Aerovent Offers State of the Art Testing Laboratory

Aerovent Testing Laboratory: An Introduction
Aerovent's airflow, acoustics, safety, and reliability testing facility is used to conduct numerous types of tests for quality assurance, research and development, product certification (AMCA license), and product safety (UL listing). It is maintained as an AMCA Accredited Laboratory* for air performance testing (per AMCA Standard 210), inlet and outlet sound testing (per AMCA Standard 300), and is a member of Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) Client Test Data Program (CTDP). The laboratory regularly tests Axial Fans, Mixed Flow Fans, Jet Fans, Power Roof Ventilators, and Centrifugal Fans and Blowers.

In 1993, the laboratory was expanded to include a semi-reverberant room, qualified per AMCA Standard 300, and moved away from downtown noise sources to its present suburban site next to low-traffic parkland.

Our custom-designed data acquisition systems display results in real time and eliminate human error and bias. This allows for rapid, accurate testing. As required for AMCA laboratory accreditation, Aerovent results are periodically compared with tests of the same fan’s performance in the AMCA laboratory to verify the accuracy of results. Similarly for UL’s CTDP, all UL test standards that the Aerovent laboratory is listed for are witnessed annually by UL auditors to assure test procedures are maintained to UL requirements.

Engineers and Qualified Laboratory Technicians staff the laboratory. Aerovent is continuously upgrading its testing capabilities and equipment. Recent improvements include jet fan testing capabilities per AMCA proposed 250 draft and an additional high-pressure test chamber capable of testing up to 80 in.-w.g. The new high-pressure chamber uses a state-of-the-art National Instruments data acquisition system using a PXI 1010 PC Chassis that ties in all of the transducers and data acquisition cards required for performance testing. This new system meets or exceeds all AMCA/ASHRAE/ANSI requirements.

Facility Specifics

  • A 73,000 cubic foot semi-reverberant room qualified per AMCA Standard 300

  • Sound testing to 1/3 octave bands on fan inlet or outlet
  • Three airflow test chambers designed per AMCA Standard 210
  • Airflow capacities to 63,000 CFM at 10" static pressure or 10,000 CFM to 80" static pressure
  • Air testing of Axial Fans up to 72 inches in diameter
  • High inertia mounting plate for vibration and modal analysis
  • A safety-testing laboratory recognized in UL’s Client Test Data Program (CTDP)
  • Jet Fan testing capabilities per proposed AMCA 250 draft

Testing Laboratory Series: Air Performance Testing

One of the many types of tests performed in the Aerovent test lab is air performance testing using AMCA Standard 210, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 51.

Air testing is performed using test chambers designed per AMCA standard 210. During these tests, airflow, pressure, RPM, and fan input power are measured at various operating points. Static pressure can be adjusted during the test by the use of an exhaust or supply fan along with a damper. This setup allows the fan performance to be measured over its full range. Airflow is determined by measuring the differential pressure across flow nozzles. Static pressures are measured in chambers that have relatively large areas, which reduce velocities and ensure accurate and repeatable readings. Data is gathered by a data acquisition system that records and displays real time results.

For new product certification (air and sound), data collected in our laboratory can be submitted along with the proper forms and test configuration information to AMCA. This submittal follows steps outlined by AMCA’s Certified Ratings Program.

A recently added high-pressure chamber is capable of testing static pressures up to 80 in.-w.g. This chamber can be orientated for Figure 12 or Figure 15 testing. The high-pressure chamber is also advantageous for testing small, low flow fans, as the leak rate of the high-pressure chamber is many magnitudes lower than that of a larger more typical chamber. Aerovent also has a "large" Figure 12 chamber and a "large" Figure 15 chamber with flow measurement capacities over 60,000 CFM each.

Static and dynamic strain testing
When new products are developed, rotational speed limits of the impeller need to be determined and verified as valid. To determine these limits, computer models are generated and analyzed using Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Strain gages can then be placed on fans in the high stress areas determined by FEA and engineering judgment to verify the accuracy of the computer models. The signals from these gages are transmitted through slip rings so the strains are recorded while the fan is running. Speeds and operating points can be changed while monitoring the strains to simulate worst case conditions. Both static and dynamic strains can be recorded.

Vibration testing and modal analysis
Complete fan assemblies may need to be analyzed for structural rigidity. This is performed by vibration measurements at various speeds. A number of diagnostic tools including balancers, spectrum analyzers, Modal analysis setup on high inertial mounting base and modal analysis equipment are used. Vibration testing and modal analysis is also useful for field diagnostics.

Endurance testing
In addition to FEA and strain testing, some products are cycle tested for long periods in order to analyze wear patterns and any indications of fatigue that may develop. Based on these tests, products are improved and retested to ensure that our customers will only receive fans that provide a long life without failure.

Safety Testing
Aerovent has recently become a member of UL’s Client Test Data Program (CTDP). Being a member of the CTDP means that UL has audited and witnessed testing in the test lab and verified that the procedures and methods used by technicians and engineers in Aerovent’s lab conform to UL standards. Requirements and calibration standards of test equipment are audited per project in the CTDP as well. UL accepts test data submitted by CTDP members as if it were tested by UL. Aerovent is recognized in the CTDP for testing to UL 705 and CSA 22.2 No. 100 and 113. These standards cover safety testing, such as motor temperature rise testing, abnormal or extreme (under/over) voltage testing, rain testing, and dielectric voltage-withstand testing. The majority of testing monitors motor temperatures and current draw to verify safe operation of the test units in various field conditions, including unfavorable and extreme conditions. Aerovent’s safety testing laboratory is equipped with an automated data acquisition system allowing for multiple units to be tested simultaneously with data scans at any interval required. Data is plotted on a computer monitor during testing and is also recorded numerically. Numerical data is then reduced, organized, and labeled using an Aerovent program and can then be submitted to UL.

Contact Fluid Engineering at 1-800-841-9944 today for assistance with all your fan needs!

*Product performance data based on tests in an AMCA Registered Laboratory are not to be construed as being licensed to bear the AMCA seal. For more information visit the AMCA web site.

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