© Gernot Walter

Now fans can live longer

Fans often last longer than their spec­i­fied service life but are replaced sooner to be on the safe side. FanCheck saves money by calcu­lating the remaining service life based on the actual wear.

Many IT and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions compa­nies use fans to cool sensi­tive elec­tronics in data centers or cellular network base stations to guar­antee the desired avail­ability for their customers. So they replace the fans at regular inter­vals with plenty of time to spare before the spec­i­fied service life expires.

But hardly any fan oper­ates constantly at its speed or temper­a­ture limit. They could work much longer than they actu­ally do. ebm-papst’s FanCheck soft­ware resolves this dilemma and calcu­lates the service life based on actual oper­a­tion. This results in a consid­er­able reduc­tion in mate­rial and replace­ment costs.

The weakest link

A fan’s service life depends primarily on its bearing, which is the weakest link in the entire product. So FanCheck focuses on this compo­nent for its service life calcu­la­tions.

Speed and temper­a­ture

fanscout-temperature-speedThe speed at which a fan’s bear­ings wear out depends primarily on its speed and oper­ating temper­a­ture. Both values are recorded as stan­dard for most ebm-papst prod­ucts. The higher these para­me­ters are over the entire service life, the faster the bearing will wear out.

Credits for service life

fanscout-creditsAt the begin­ning of its life­cycle, every fan gets service life points (credits). This figure (in the millions) varies depending on the size and design of the fan. The number of credits can also be adjusted during the fan’s design. For example, it can be reduced if the fan oper­ates under espe­cially hot or humid condi­tions.

Calcu­la­tions accu­rate to the minute

fanscout-accurate-to-the-minuteFanCheck records the temper­a­ture and speed of a fan every second. A data­base in the micro­con­troller stores infor­ma­tion about how many credits have to be deducted for each combi­na­tion of speed and temper­a­ture values. This value is summed every second. After one minute, FanCheck subtracts the credits to be deducted from the remaining service life and writes the result to a non-volatile memory. The infor­ma­tion from the data­base is based on expe­ri­ence gath­ered by ebm-papst over decades in the field and in endurance tests.

Infor­ma­tive soft­ware

fanscout-informative-softwareThe customer can specify at which time and in which way the fan is to provide status infor­ma­tion or warn­ings; it can closely monitor the remaining service life or trigger an alarm when it goes below a previ­ously set value. In this way, FanCheck can be easily inte­grated into existing control systems.

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