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Enhanced performance and increased efficiency in compact design

Техника для вентиляции

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.