Enhanced performance and increased efficiency in compact design
The bionic lightweight construction ZAvblue centrifugal fan from Ziehl-Abegg: Patent application filed
Ziehl-Abegg, the specialist in fan manufacture, presents a new centrifugal fan that sets new records in air flow and compact design. The new ZAvblue impeller is up to 20 percent more efficient than other standard products in the market. In this context, the bionic design of the new development from Ziehl-Abegg requires significantly less space in the customer device. Equipment designers can now generate the current airflow with impellers that are one size smaller.
The ZAvblue can be used for ventilation and exhaust (duct, tube and roof fans) for close control air handling units (cooling of data centres) as well as in clean rooms, heat pumps or compact air-conditioning units. The ZAvblue has been specially optimized to provide very high efficiency for high air flow even in the most confined spaces.
Chairman of the Board Peter Fenkl promises " lower energy consumption due to the bionic blade design and at the same time a significant reduction of the costly space required for the fan unit". A bionic lightweight construction saves on the installation space required whilst simultaneously maintaining the strength. A patent application has been filed for the new development.
Since the new fan has standard connection sizes (but an improved airflow) customers can upgrade very quickly from the current products to the more efficient ZAvblue. “The new fan design allowes the same minimum construction height both with AC as well as EC motors", emphasises Fenkl. This is possible because the ZAvblue can be fitted with both AC and EC motor technology using customized adapters, without having to make significant modifications to the equipment. "The impeller meets the latest EU energy saving requirements both with AC as well as ECblue motors", adds the Ziehl-Abegg Board Chairman.
Summary of the innovations
- Vey high efficiency at high air flows
- Minimum space required for installation thanks to compact size
- impeller design allows for minimal gap between fan and housing (pressure side panels close to impeller)
- Resource efficiency: bionic lightweight design reduces weight whilst maintaining strength
- Increased air flow and quieter operation (thanks to bionic blade design)
- Reduced weight increases the service life of motor/bearings.
- Thanks to the special design of the impeller, the diameter or rotation speed in the customer device can be reduced, lowering power consumption.
- Because of the minimal installation height the customer can switch from AC to EC motor technology using an adapter, without having to make significant modifications to his unit.
Knowledge of the “tree whisperer” applied
The engineers at Ziehl-Abegg drew inspiration from Professor Claus Mattheck. The "tree whisperer" or "tree Pope" as he is called in the media, creates the bridge between nature and technology: as a pioneer in the science of bionics, he carries biological processes over into technology products.
How is this done with the ZAvblue fan? The seven blades of the centrifugal fan join into both the cover and the base plate in the precisely the same way that trees grow: not at right angles but at a slight radius to the ground. This is difficult to see with the naked eye as the rate of growth by the tree is too small. Nevertheless, these bionic approaches provide the same strength in the vane transition as with heavy blades.
The Prof. Claus Mattheck approach is now being applied for the first time to fan development with the ZAvblue. In addition, the centrifugal fan comes with a ready-proven bionic blade design from Ziehl-Abegg: blades are curved like a bird’s wings, with an extended, thinning shape at the edges.
Joint project between experts in aerodynamics and tool-making
What might sound simple actually involved an iterative process between experts in aerodynamics, specialists in lightweight construction and experts in tool-making which took about 2 years. This is because the design of a fan also ultimately depends upon what the tools can manufacture in an injection moulding machine. So not only did the fan development engineers have to create something new but the tool-makers also had to develop a new and complex tool technology involving numerous inter-connecting sliders. In the final analysis the ZAvblue is therefore a joint project between experts from several disciplines.
Info on Ziehl-Abegg
Ziehl-Abegg (Künzelsau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany) is one of the leaders in the field of ventilation and drive technology and the associated control systems. Heating and refrigeration systems, clean room and agricultural installations are just some of the examples of where the products are used. Back in the Fifties’ Ziehl-Abegg established the basis for modern fan drives: external rotor motors which even today are still seen as state-of-the-art worldwide. Another area of business is electric motors which provide the power e.g. for elevators, medical applications (computer tomography equipment) or deep-sea underwater vehicles. The theme of electro-mobility/clean power for motor vehicles was established as part of the Ziehl-Abegg Automotive Team in 2012 that incorporates the sales and further development of a wheel hub drive for urban buses already in use in several countries.
The high-tech company has an impressive and extensive range of vertical manufacturing integration. Ziehl-Abegg employs 1,900 personnel in its production plants in Southern Germany. The company has a global workforce of 3,400, spread between 16 production plants, 27 companies and 87 sales locations. The products, approx. 30,000 in all, are sold in more than 100 countries. Sales revenues in 2014 totalled 423 million euros. Exports account for two thirds of sales.
Emil Ziehl founded the company in Berlin in 1910, manufacturing electric motors. After the Second World War the company’s headquarters were relocated to Southern Germany. Ziehl-Abegg SE is a not a listed company but family-owned.
For more information please visit www.ziehl-abegg.com.