© ebm-papst | Gernot Walter

“Axial and centrifugal in one fan”

The DiaForce diag­onal compact fan is revo­lu­tion­izing elec­tronics cooling. Chris­tian Stern, Product Manager at ebm-papst in St. Georgen, reveals why this is.

Mr. Stern, why is there a need for a new compact fan for elec­tronics cooling?

Data volumes are constantly increasing in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and automa­tion tech­nology. Cooling these powerful elec­tronics systems is becoming a real chal­lenge, as the number of axial compact fans cannot be easily increased. This is due to the little avail­able instal­la­tion space and the noise protec­tion require­ments.

How did you solve this problem?

Chris­tian Stern, Product Manager at ebm-papst in St. Georgen (Photo | ebm-papst)

We combined our inter­na­tional devel­op­ment exper­tise to come up with a new approach. The close collab­o­ra­tion between our Mulfingen, St. Georgen and Shanghai sites resulted in the design and devel­op­ment of a new diag­onal compact fan, one that meets future require­ments and has the same dimen­sions as a conven­tional solu­tion: the DiaForce.

What is new about the DiaForce?

In terms of its char­ac­ter­is­tics, it is a hybrid between an axial and a centrifugal fan. To achieve this, we fitted the fan impeller with a conical cover plate that surrounds the ends of the blade. There is no longer a tip gap which would lead to a drop in pres­sure and turbu­lence at the edge. As the outlet opening of the fan impeller is larger than the intake opening, the air flows through the fan in both an axial and a radial direc­tion.

“The DiaForce is six dB(A) quieter than a conven­tional axial compact fan — with up to 50 percent higher air perfor­mance.”

What are the bene­fits of that?

The DiaForce diag­onal fan combines features of axial and centrifugal fans. (Photo | ebm-papst, Gernot Walter)

This design ensures a high pres­sure increase. It also enables much lower noise levels. Thanks to the aero­dy­namic opti­miza­tions, the DiaForce is six dB(A) quieter than a conven­tional axial compact fan — with up to 50 percent higher air perfor­mance. The axial design, which is cheaper for instal­la­tion, is retained ­never­the­less.

What role does the motor play in this increase in perfor­mance?

The EC motor with an output of 500 watts is very compact and oper­ates at a high level of effi­ciency. Its elec­tronics make a major contri­bu­tion to this: a high-perfor­mance micro­con­troller oper­ates a field-oriented control system that ensures the maximum possible torque in all load ranges and also opti­mizes effi­ciency and struc­ture-borne noise.

How does this much power impact the service life?

The results are very posi­tive. And what is even better is that, with the optional FanCheck func­tion, we can offer a smart main­te­nance concept. FanCheck constantly calcu­lates the statis­tical service life based on the actual oper­ating condi­tions. This means that the costs for the replace­ment can be opti­mized in the plan­ning. 

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Diagonal fans

Greater air flow with high pressure increase