Evaluating Different Blower Technologies On A Wire-To-Air Basis
By Andrew Balberg
In the absence of official third party specifications on energy efficiency, it is difficult to evaluate and compare blower technologies fairly and effectively. The lack of readily available evaluation tools leads to misinformation and unfair comparisons between technologies. Further, the performance verification process is difficult to prove.
Blower manufacturers and their related industries are researching ways to develop fair evaluation criteria and specifications that can be used to determine which blower technology offers the best energy efficiency and performance for a particular application. The evaluation would measure the total energy consumption used by the entire blower system in real world conditions, while taking into account all potential energy losses.
Five basic blower technologies serve the water and wastewater markets: Positive Displacement Lobe Type, High Speed Screw, Multistage Centrifugal, Integrally Geared Single Stage and Gearless Single Stage “Turbo” Technologies that incorporate air or magnetic bearings. Each have all the same basic components, a compressor, motor, starter and inlet filter, and some technologies also have cooling systems, an oil pump, gears, belts, couplings and control systems. Whether the components are shipped separately and assembled on location or pre-assembled with a controller, variable frequency drive and sound enclosure, the evaluation should include all relevant pieces that consume or affect performance.