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OWNERS MANUAL

FOR
HEAVY DUTY FANS

CONTENTS

General Information
Receiving & Inspection
Foundations
Assembly
Special Cases
Vibration
High Temperature Fans
Long Term Storage
Installation Procedure

Rev. 8/14

P.O. Box 1607 2770 Welborn St., Pelham, Al .35124


Phone: (205) 663-5330 Fax: (205) 663-6037
www.processbarron.com
GENERAL INFORMATION

Fan Terminology

It is helpful to use the proper terminology when communicating with the factory about fans. The pictures
shown below are designed to help you to understand the terms fan manufacturers use.

1. Inlet Box 9. Housing Cut-Off

2. Inlet Flange 10. Shaft Seal

3. Outlet Flange 11. Bearing Pedestal

4. Base Flange 12. Bearing

5. Scroll Plate 13. Auxiliary Dust Seal

6. Cheek Plate 14. Shaft Extension

7. Scroll Liner 15. Drain

8. Cheek Liner 16. Access Door Figure 1-

1. Backplate (SISW) Centerplate(DIDW)

2. Hub

3. Shaft

4. Blade

5. Shroud

6. Shroud Stiffener or Eye Bar

7. Shroud Stiffener or Ring (Outer)

8. Inlet Cone

9. Cheek Plate (Housing) Figure 2

1
Duct Design
Aerodynamic design of duct systems is a science in itself. The literature is filled with articles
covering ductwork design. There are two major concerns that can drastically affect fan performance.
Turns or bends in the vicinity of the fan inlet or outlet can cause as much as a 50% reduction in fan
performance. Try to have a long straight run before and after the fan when possible. The other major
concern is structural. Ductwork should be supported independently near the fan. A load can be
imposed on the fan by improperly designed ductwork, which may cause fan casing distortion along
with fan vibration and resulting damage.

Properly designed ductwork will have expansion joints at or near the inlet and outlet connections to
the fan. These joints prevent strains in the fan casing and are absolutely necessary because of the
expansion of the fan and duct work at operating temperatures. THE FAN CASING MUST NOT BE
SUBJECTED TO EXTERNAL LOADS OF ANY KIND. Special consideration should be given to
insure the rotor can be removed, once the duct work and the fan are installed.

Outlet Connections Inlet Connections

If you suspect that duct conditions are causing a performance problem, contact the factory for
advice.

2
Fans and Systems
It is important that the fan and system are properly matched. Failure to do so may result in problems
in capacity, operation or reliability. There are many things that can be done to improve the
compatibility between the fan and system. Contact the factory for a recommendation if assistance is
required. There are four areas that should be considered:

Pre-start-up and Check-out


In some circumstances, it may be necessary to operate a fan without fully connecting it to the
system. If this is the case, it is important to adjust the system so it operates at similar pressures and
volumes to those for which it was designed. In many cases this involves restricting flow
independently from the fan dampers. At low temperatures, fans designed for high temperature
operation may require further restriction in flow to keep the operating power below the driver's
capability. If extreme levels of casing vibration are observed during this time, it is likely that a
temporary fan/system mismatch has occurred. Contact the factory for advice. Operating the fan
under these extreme conditions can lead to damage, which may not be covered under the
equipment's warranty. If this situation is noticed on fans with variable inlet vane (VIV) dampers,
contact the factory immediately.

Start-Up
It is not unusual for fans to experience higher levels of casing vibration or difficulty in system control
during the start-up phase of a system or process. This may be due to operation at lower than
design temperatures, lower flow rate, or system/fan instability. It may be helpful, or necessary, to
operate the equipment under manual control during the start-up phase. If start-up conditions must
exist for a long time or casing vibration appears extreme, contact the factory for advice. Operating
the fan under these extreme conditions can lead to damage, which may not be covered under the
equipment's warranty.

Normal Operation
If extreme levels of casing vibration are observed during normal operation, it is likely that a
fan/system mismatch has occurred. Contact the factory for advice. Operating the fan under these
extreme conditions can lead to damage, which may not be covered under the equipment's warranty.

Upset Conditions
During system upsets, it is not unusual for fans to experience higher levels of casing vibration. If
this condition results in extreme levels of vibration or the upsets last for prolonged periods, contact
the factory for advice. Operating the fan under these extreme conditions can lead to damage, which
may not be covered under the equipment's warranty.

If high levels of casing vibration are experienced on fans equipped with variable inlet vane (VIV)
dampers, contact the factory immediately. This may indicate a serious problem.

3
Receiving and Inspection
Upon receipt of equipment, check all items against bill of lading and/or packing list to be sure that
the items listed have been received. If more than one fan is included in your project, note that some
small but important parts; such as shaft seals, bearings, couplings, and similar products are shipped
bundled together in order to minimize difficulty in keeping up with these parts. These should be
identified so they are easier to find when assembly begins.

Carefully inspect each piece for evidence of rough handling or possible damage. Pay particular
attention to fan impellers, shafts, bearing journals, pedestals and soleplates. Seemingly minor dents
or bends in these areas can cause serious problems in fan operation. Contact ProcessBarron and
the carrier immediately concerning suspected damage.

If equipment is to be stored, check to be sure any protective coatings applied by the manufacturer
are intact. Bearings, bearing journals, pedestals and soleplates must be protected against moisture
and foreign matter whenever a fan is to be stored. These areas are protected from corrosion by
packing and coatings, and their machined surfaces rust easily if coatings are damaged. Protective
coatings should not be removed until just prior to installation. Use extreme care not to damage the
machined surface. If long-term storage is planned, see the specific instructions in this manual or
those available from the factory.

Handling
Care must be taken in handling not to damage or distort any part of fan housing, impeller or shaft.
Use lifting holes or lugs where provided. When handling impellers, use two hoists with slings
wherever possible. If one hoist is used, some means of spreading the sling to avoid distorting the
impeller must be used. The force resulting from lifting a large impeller with a single sling can easily
bend the rotor at the point of contact with the sling. A chain or sling should be well padded where it
comes in contact with the impeller or shaft. NEVER, under any circumstances, lift an impeller with a
lifting device that contacts the bearing journal area. When handling fans on common baseplates or
assembled fans, special care is necessary to prevent changes in bearing and driver alignment, and
damage to the fan base itself. Avoid damage by inserting chain hoists between the support points
and the main lifting devices so that lifting forces can be uniformly distributed across the structure.

4
Foundations
With fans, as with all rotating machinery, a level, rigid foundation with substantial mass is an
absolute necessity to insure smooth, quiet operation. Foundation design is also a critical factor to
bearing life and maintenance cost. A faulty foundation may cause misalignment and vibration,
which will shorten the life of all fan components. ProcessBarron defines the stiffness requirement
for fan foundations on the Fan General Assembly Drawing. A concrete foundation is recommended.
It should be designed with an approximate weight of ten times the rotating mass, or three times the
weight of the complete assembly, whichever is greater. When fans must be installed in buildings
above ground level, they should be located over columns or heavy structural beams. Guidelines for
foundation design are available from ProcessBarron.

All rotating parts must be supported by a permanent, rigid foundation. This applies to prime movers,
all equipment in the drive train, and the fan impeller. The fan and its driver should be mounted on
the same foundation, and separate fans should be mounted on separate foundations.

"L" or "T" shaped anchor bolts are recommended and should be placed in pipe sleeves of at least
twice the diameter of the bolt itself. These sleeves will
allow for adjustment of the anchor bolts during alignment
and grouting. Foundations should be level in order to
minimize the need for unequal shimming. Allowance must
be made for 1" of grout. Concrete should be adequately
reinforced.

It is recommended that anchor bolt plan templates be


constructed to lessen the chance of anchor bolt movement
when concrete is placed. These templates should be made
of fairly thick stock for strength and durability. Fan housing
anchor bolts should be 12" long and those supporting
rotating parts should be at least 28" long.

When using concrete foundations on unstable soil, piers


should be dropped to solid rock whenever possible. When
doubt exists, concrete foundations should be made wider
than normal to provide added support. When backfilling
around inertia blocks, be sure to compact the earth around
its sides.

Please remember that care taken in the areas mentioned


above will eliminate future problems and help to insure long
term, maintenance free fan operation.

5
Structural Steel Foundations
Although structural steel supports are not recommended for larger fans, they may be used if
appropriately designed. Whenever possible, the support structure should utilize a concrete slab with
as much mass as practical. Otherwise, steel structures should, at least, have provisions for
installation of additional mass if that becomes necessary in order to change the natural frequency of
the structure to avoid the vibration which results when operating and natural frequencies coincide..

Special consideration is needed to be sure that the structural steel foundation is designed for the
dynamic load as well as the dead weight it must support. The structural steel foundation should be
cross-braced, with heavy members, in all directions.

Assembly
ProcessBarron fan housings are built as a complete unit, cut apart, and then disassembled before
shipment. The housing may be shipped in as many as five parts and the impellers are normally
shipped separately on skids. When this is the case, all housing pieces will be match-marked.
When fans have integral bases and size permits, the impeller will be shipped in the fan casing. On
rare occasions, small fans will be shipped with the impeller inside the casing and supported by
shipping clamps. These clamps may be mounted on the fan casing where the shaft protrudes
through to the inlet box. In order to prevent damage, bracing will sometimes be used inside the fan
housing or inlet boxes.

ALL SHIPPING CLAMPS AND/OR BRACING MUST BE COMPLETELY REMOVED


PRIOR TO ALIGNMENT AND OPERATION.

Pedestals, soleplates, bearings, couplings, bolts, and other small parts are frequently boxed or
shipped on pallets. If more than one fan is provided for your project, similar parts may be grouped
together. For this reason, care should be taken to separate the parts so that they are available
when needed. They should also be protected from the weather.

Several special cases which must be addressed are: (1) fans with integral bases, (2) fans on which
inlet boxes ship separately, (3) fans equipped with a set of inlet dampers, (4) fans with forced oil
lubrication systems, and (5) fans supplied with turning gear. These features will be identified on the
general assembly drawing, and there are separate sections of this manual that deal with them.
Please review the special instructions before assembling these fans.

Begin Assembly
In the following section, bold face type denotes critical elements of the assembly process.
Underlined text denotes items of special importance. Install the bottom section of the fan
housing. Particular care should be taken to avoid damage to the anchor bolts during installation.
The fan housing should not be grouted until installation is complete. Leveling bolts and nuts are
provided to aid in installation. A dam may be placed under the housing base to minimize the
quantity of epoxy grout required to install it. It should be as high as the top of the base angle.

Install the bearing pedestals (soleplates, if so equipped, should be bolted to the pedestal and
installed as a unit.) Remove any protective coating, adhered material, or rust, which could prevent
formation of a bond between the grout and soleplate. If necessary, sandblast (or roughen) the
bottom to provide a profile on the lower soleplate surface. Care should be taken to insure that the
washers have been installed under the pedestal bolt heads. The pedestals should be placed at the

6
correct elevation and leveled using the holes and bolts provided for that purpose. The leveling
bolts should be greased before installation to prevent adhesion to the grout when it is placed. It is
also helpful to place a small metal plate on top of the concrete, under the leveling bolt, in order to
make height adjustment easier and more accurate.

Soleplate and pedestal level should be checked using (at least) a precision level on the top of the
machined surface in both the horizontal and axial direction. Do not place the grout at this time. Do
not use shims between or under the pedestals or sole plates.

NO SHIMS OR WEDGES SHALL BE USED TO LEVEL PEDESTALS OR SOLEPLATES.


THE USE OF SHIMS UNDER OR BETWEEN PEDESTALS OR SOLEPLATES MAY
VOID THE WARRANTY.

Install the rotor, bearings, and inlet cones. Bearing internals must be kept clean and dry
during fan assembly, and the seals are ineffective when the fan is not operating. Be sure the
impeller rotation is correct. Check the sketch contained in the manual if questions exist. It is
sometimes desirable to have a full-contact metal shim between the bearing and pedestal to allow for
future lowering of the bearings. Cold finished, 1/8 inch thick, mild steel plate works well for this
purpose. Allow for its thickness in fan height positioning. Refer to the fan general arrangement
drawing to find how to correctly position the bearing housings to allow proper placement of
bearing accessories like vibration probes and thermocouples.

Assemble the rest of the housing at this time. With the bottom section in place, the other sections
of the fan housing should be installed. The housing and driver should be positioned with respect to
the rotor.

Do not use gaskets in the shipping splits or behind the inlet cone flange. Once the fan has been
installed, the shipping splits (and stiffeners they cross) must be seal-welded per the General
Arrangement Drawing. Be sure all stiffener splice bars are installed and that all bolts are tight. Inlet
cone bolts should be checked and re-tightened. Dampers, if any, should be re-checked for
orientation and free operation.

Leveling
Installation of the housing in the proper attitude minimizes the possibility of rubbing between the inlet
cone or housing and the rotor. Housing leveling nuts and bolts are provided for this purpose.
The bolts should be greased before installation to prevent them from adhering to the grout when it is
placed. On single inlet fans, measurement ports may be provided on the housing to facilitate
providing a proper relationship between rotor and housing. These will be identified on the general
assembly drawing. Backplate clearances shown on the drawing are approximate, but should be
uniform across the housing. Housings splits should be bolted together before the housing is
leveled.
The impeller shaft can be leveled when the housing has been set in position. This should be
done using (at least) a precision level. Full contact shims, to raise the bearings to the same
elevation, should be placed only between bearing and pedestal. The relationship between impeller
shaft and housing should be such that the shaft is centered in the shaft seal openings and inlet
cone. This allows for the proper fit-up of seal and cone during their final adjustment. The inlet
cones should be adjusted, as shown on the drawings, at this time. Note that fans with
integral VIV dampers require a certain orientation of the damper levers so that the linkage may be
set-up properly. This is shown on the damper installation drawing. Preliminary alignment between
fan and driver should be established before grouting.

7
Grouting
Once the fan housing, rotor, and driver have been positioned, leveled, and aligned; the fan may be
grouted. Before grouting, leveling bolts and forms should be greased so that they can be removed
after the grout cures.

DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN THE LEVELING BOLTS OR ANCHOR NUTS AT THIS TIME.


PEDESTAL OR SOLEPLATE DEFORMATION MAY RESULT.

Once the pedestal or soleplate is secure and in position, grout with a high-quality, non-shrink, epoxy
type grout with a minimum compressive strength of 10,000 psi. Be sure to follow the instructions
written on the grout packaging. The housing base angles may be dry-packed with a masonry non-
shrink grout. Pay attention to requirements for temperature restrictions during placement, mixing
ratio, aggregate size and quantity, and for requirements such as wetting the existing concrete before
grout installation. Be careful to see that grout is uniformly placed under pedestal or soleplate to
assure full contact. Allow grout to fully cure before proceeding. Masonry grouts should be kept
moist during the curing period. The leveling bolts should be removed and the anchor bolts tightened
after the grout cures. Note that ProcessBarron does not recommend that fan housings or pedestals
be shimmed below the base, but that the leveling nuts and bolts provided be used for this purpose.
If shims must be installed, they should be installed at every bolt to insure the base is not deformed.
The shims should be removed after the grout cures and the resulting voids filled.

The inlet and outlet ducting may now be attached. Expansion joints are required at the inlet
and outlet to the fan housing.

Alignment
The fan drive should now be aligned to the rotor. Since the fan shaft usually will not rise with
heat, it is customary to set the drive low and allow for its thermal expansion. See driver manual for
details. Generally, couplings should be aligned as closely as possible to the fan shaft (after
allowance for growth). For gear couplings, a tolerance of .0005 inches per inch of shaft diameter at
the coupling bore is acceptable on both coupling face and OD. Reverse indicator or laser alignment
techniques are usually employed on couplings. Refer to the bearing and coupling manuals for
further techniques and details on alignment. Contact a ProcessBarron representative or
telephone the factory if in doubt. Although shims must not be used under the bearing pedestals,
they are acceptable for bearing and drive alignment. For motors with sleeve bearings, check
magnetic center before alignment. Align the coupling with allowance for magnetic center.

Guards
ProcessBarron fans and guards are not designed for service in general traffic areas. Typically,
guards are only provided for couplings, heat flingers, and shafts that extend through their bearings.
Special provisions are required if (optional) general traffic type of guards are required.

Inlet Cone Adjustment


A sketch showing how to adjust the inlet cone is shown on the general assembly drawing. Inlet
cone clearance is specified at the cone's closest point to the rotor. In order to allow maximum
thermal rise of the fan housing, this point is located directly under the shaft. On fans designed to

8
operate at low temperatures, the inlet cone may be centered on the rotor. Some fans have
adjustable rings to minimize clearance. These should be adjusted as shown on the general
assembly drawing. The inlet cone cannot be allowed to rub the fan rotor. If there are problems in
cone adjustment, contact the factory. Excessive clearance will reduce fan efficiency.

SPECIAL CASES

Integral Bases

The fan supplied with an integral base is installed in the same sequence as an arrangement 3 fan
except that leveling of the pedestal with respect to the rotor has already been accomplished. Even
fans which have been fully assembled at the factory may shift or change in shipment and handling.
Their bearings, couplings, clearances, and alignment should be as fully checked as a fan which is
being assembled at the site. Although the inlet cone may be loosely installed before final alignment,
the housing should be completely assembled and bolted together before the pedestal and fan shaft
are leveled. This helps to restore the housing to the shape it was in before it was disassembled for
shipment. Leveling bolts are provided and should be used for this purpose and a precision level (at
least) should be used to insure accurate results. It is important that the fan shaft is leveled with the
housing in the relaxed position, i.e. the anchor bolts have not been tightened, and the fan housing is
supported solely by the leveling bolts. Work gradually from the center to the outside of the base
until the specified height (usually 1 inch) is achieved. If a drive base is included, a preliminary
alignment should be completed before grouting. If the driver is shipped mounted, it is still necessary
to check the alignment. The base may then be grouted as described above. Note that some fans
which ship disassembled may have been designed to have shims under the bearings and motors.
These will be called out on the drawing and these shims must be installed during re-assembly to
provide proper rotor and inlet cone alignment. A fan that has been fully shop assembled (and then
disassembled for shipment) will require the shims used to align it to be re-installed in their original
location. If shipping loose, the location of each shim, will be marked by the factory.

Note that ProcessBarron does not recommend the use of shims underneath the base of the fan
housing base or pedestals. Leveling nuts and bolts (provided) should be used for this purpose. If
shims must be installed, they should be installed at every bolt to insure the base is not deformed.
The shims should be removed after the grout cures and the resulting voids filled.

9
Anti- Friction (Ball and Roller) Bearings

The bearing manufacturers instructions for assembling anti-friction bearings are included in this
manual. The boxes, which contain the bearing elements, also contain the same literature.
Bearings must be kept clean and dry during storage, assembly, and before start-up. When
not operating, bearings are subject to water damage due to rain and/or condensate build-up.
Poor storage and handling can generate rust in bearings, which have not been put into full-time
operation. Bearings in this condition should be changed before start-up. Contamination with water,
dust, or rust can lead to premature bearing failure.

There are significant differences between the mounting procedures and load ratings for adapter-
mounted ball and spherical roller bearings, and it is not unusual to find both types of these bearings
employed on the same fan. When this is the case, care should be taken to identify each bearing
type and its correct location. The location and type of the fixed and floating bearings are shown on
the drawings. Adapter-mounted ball bearings must not be over-tightened. Read the mounting
procedures carefully, the literature contains installation instructions for both types of bearings. If
doubt exists, contact the fan or bearing manufacturer.

Roller bearings 5 inches in diameter and larger require that extreme care be taken in their assembly.
It is recommended that start-up service be purchased for fans with bearings of this size, and that the
lock-down and final set up of these bearings be done under the supervision of ProcessBarron or the
bearing manufacturer.

In anti-friction bearing installation, particular care must be taken to: (1) Measure and record the un-
mounted clearance before bearing installation on the shaft. (2) Remove the load from the bearing
before tightening (reducing the clearances). (3) Make allowance for axial growth of the fan shaft
(offset the floating bearing to allow for thermal expansion). (4) Make sure the bearing base is flat.
(5) Make sure that housing shims are full contact, and (6) avoid damage to the inner tab on the lock
washer when tightening the locknut.

Other items that should be considered are: (1) The stabilizer ring should be mounted on the locknut
side of the fixed bearing to facilitate installation and maintenance. (2) Care should be used in
orientation of the bearing housing to allow connection of bearing accessories and lubrication
devices as shown on the assembly drawing. (3) On start-up, the bearing temperature and vibration
should be checked to insure the bearing is operating properly.

Lubricants containing molybdenum disulfide (an anti-seize compound) should not be used inside
roller bearings. Specific instructions for lubrication will be found on the fan general assembly
drawing, owner's manual, and in the bearing manufacturer's literature that is packed in the bearing
container. Most roller bearings are shipped with grease fittings in-place. It is normal for roller
bearings to purge some lubricant if the housing contains too much. This may happen on start-up or
during on-line lubrication and should not be a cause for concern. It is also typical for anti-friction
bearings to run hot for several hours after lubrication and this should be considered in the setting of
temperature alarm and trip limits. On grease lubricated bearings, which run at temperatures in
excess of 150F, it may be desirable to remove the drain plug before lubricating the bearings. Over-
lubrication will cause the bearings to overheat. It is also common for new anti-friction bearings to
run hot during their initial operating period, and temperatures will drop and stabilize after they "run-
in". If there is any question about operating temperature, please contact the factory for additional
information.

10
Anti-Friction Bearings Arranged For Oil Lubrication
Bearings are arranged for this type of lubricant because of high speed, light load, or owner
preference. Most of the above section also applies to these bearings. Use a high grade, single
viscosity oil with rust and oxidation inhibitors and anti-foam agents. Oil lubricated bearings should
be fitted with sight gauges to allow the checking of oil level and grease fittings should be removed to
avoid confusion. Static oil level is set based on the manufacturer's literature, and when the fan is
operated the level will change because some of the oil is pulled into the bearing. Orientation of the
housing so that the sight gauge connection is on the side to which the fan shaft rotates will minimize
the difference between static and dynamic oil level. It is wise to mark the bearing sight gauge with
the dynamic oil level so that oil can be added while the fan is running. The best time to do this is at
the initial start-up. It is normal for roller bearings to purge some lubricant if the housing contains too
much. This may happen on start-up or during on-line lubrication and should not be a cause for
concern. Over-lubrication will result if the run-time oil level is held (as is possible with constant level
oilers) at the static level instead of the dynamic level. Over-lubrication will cause bearings to
overheat. It is also typical for anti-friction bearings to run hot for several hours after lubrication and
this should be considered in the setting of temperature alarm and trip limits.

High Temperature Anti-Friction Bearings

There are several reasons for anti-friction bearings to run at high temperatures (over 150 F.)
These are mentioned above. Information on the proper lubricant can be found on the fan general
assembly drawing. Information on lubrication quantities can be found in the bearing manufacturer's
literature in the fan owner's manual and which is included in the box with each bearing element.
Some bearings, however, are designed to run at temperatures between 150F and 210F and will
do so without problems. If bearing temperatures are expected to be high, this will usually be shown
on the approval and general assembly drawings. In these applications, lubrication will be of critical
importance. The lubricant must be able to stand the bearing operating temperature without breaking
down, and still maintain the proper viscosity. If high temperature operation proves unacceptable,
other methods of cooling, such as circulating oil, may be employed to lower bearing temperature.

Sleeve (Journal) Bearings


The bearing manufacturer's instructions for assembling sleeve bearings are included in this manual.
There are, however, some specific comments related to fans. Sleeve bearings have to be kept
clean and dry during assembly and before start up. Bearings are subject to condensate build-up
when not running which may generate rust in the bearing housing. If cooling water is kept running
while the fan is down for an extended period of time, bearings should be checked for the presence
of water (condensate). Use a high grade, single viscosity oil with rust and oxidation inhibitors and
anti-foam agents.

11
Contamination of the bearings with water, dust, or rust can lead to premature bearing failure.
Several critical items, which should be checked closely, are as follows:

1. The plunger screw holds down the bearing liner inside the housing. It is critical that it is
loosened before the bearing cap is removed and re-tightened after the cap is re-installed.
The correct torque is listed in the bearing literature.

2. Cooling (water or oil) flow rates should be checked to insure the correct flow rate is
achieved. Valve handles may be locked or removed to prevent the flow rate from being
changed after it has been properly set.

3. Thrust collar run-out should be minimized to prevent problems.

4. Cooling media and instrument connections are to be made of flexible material.

5. It is customary to check the fit between the bearing liner and housing by blueing. Apply dye
to one surface, assemble, and disassemble the components. Visually check the amount of
dye that is transferred from one to the other. A minimum of 70% contact is required between
these two surfaces. If excessive bearing liner (or cooling line) vibration is noticed, a poor fit
between these areas or severe misalignment is the most likely cause of the problem.

6. Care should be used in orientation of the bearing housing to allow connection of bearing
accessories and lubrication devices as shown on the assembly drawing.

12
Fan Vibration

Fans should not be allowed to operate when bearing or housing vibration levels appear to
be of sufficient magnitude to cause damage to the equipment. The guidelines below may
be used to decide when vibration levels are dangerous to the health of the fan.

Vibration Severity Chart


All mechanical draft fans are static and dynamically balanced in our shop. Occasionally rebalancing
in the field may be necessary due to handling or mishaps in transit. It is sometimes necessary to
rebalance when the fan is mounted on a soft or otherwise improper foundation. Fan balance is
sometimes affected when coupled to the prime mover because of unbalance in the prime mover or
because of misalignment. The following chart should be used to judge the severity of fan imbalance.

13
Overhung Rotor Fan Arrangement
Fans that have both bearings on the same side of the fan rotor present a special case. An area
critical to fans of this type is the location of the bearing closest to the rotor. Moving this bearing,
even slightly, away from the rotor can result in excessive vibration and bearing wear. For this
reason, the addition of heat flingers, Impro-type seals, and special guards should not be made
without ProcessBarron's involvement. Overhung fans with sleeve bearings require special treatment
during bearing set-up. The order in which bearing caps and plunger screws are tightened is
important and fully explained in the bearing manufacturer's literature. If there are any questions,
contact the factory or the bearing manufacturer. Note that some fans which ship disassembled may
have been designed to have shims under the bearings and motors. These must be installed during
re-assembly to provide proper rotor and inlet cone alignment. The installation procedure for an
overhung fan is performed in the same way as described for a fan on a common base plate.

Inlet boxes Shipped Loose


Inlet boxes are frequently shipped loose to avoid the cost of shipping oversized loads. When
assembling fans of this type, care must be taken to avoid some common pitfalls. The clip angles on
the side plates of the housing must match-up with the holes in the inlet box. Check to see if it is
necessary to weld the housing stiffeners to the inlet box (and vice-versa). This will be shown on the
general assembly drawing, if required. Further, it may be necessary to field trim such items as pipe
stiffeners and anti-spin baffles in order to achieve complete assembly. The inlet box seal welds
should not be made until the fan housing is totally assembled an aligned. Inlet box pipe stiffeners
are critical and must be installed as shown on the general assembly drawing.

Auxiliary Equipment

DIDW Inlet Box Damper Linkage

Double inlet fans, equipped with inlet dampers that are tied together with a common linkage, are
usually furnished with a linkage installation drawing that indicates damper drive location, linkage
lever position, actuator lever location, and damper rotation. A crossover shaft, if provided to connect
the installed dampers, is usually shipped inside the two dampers, which have been bolted together.
The operating levers should be tacked in position and the damper operated before field welding is
completed. The damper blades should operate, from full-closed (perpendicular to air flow) to full-
open (parallel to air flow), as the damper operator goes from 0 to 100% of stroke.

Variable Inlet Vane (VIV) Dampers


Variable inlet vane dampers are supplied with a drawing showing how to arrangement the linkage to
insure proper operation. There are other orientations which will work, but will require more torque
than the damper operator can supply. Care should be taken with the initial installation of the
dampers, to verify that the lever, which connects the dampers to the linkage, is in the proper
position. This will insure the damper linkage arrangement shown on the drawings is achievable.
Operating levers should be tacked in position and the damper operated before field welding is
completed. The damper blades should operate, from full-closed (perpendicular to air flow) to full-
open (parallel to air flow), as the damper operator goes from 0 to 100% of stroke. Most fans with
variable inlet vane dampers will be shipped without the fan bearings and coupling mounted on the
shaft to facilitate damper installation.

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Shaft Seals
Shaft seals are usually shipped in a separate box. All the parts in the box are necessary for proper
assembly of the seals. They should be installed to allow for vertical growth in the fan housing without
applying pressure to the shaft. The standard seals are spring-loaded and are pictured on the
general assembly drawing. It is important to install all the parts shown on the drawing. The springs
and bolts used in the shaft seal are of special length so that the right tension will be applied to the
seals. Seals should be offset (down) to allow for thermal growth of the fan housing. Special seals
will have their instructions included in a separate section of the manual. Special seals usually have
to be installed before the bearings and coupling are mounted to the shaft. They may also have
alignment fittings, which are to be removed after installation.

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Circulating Oil Systems
Systems which circulate oil, do so to lubricate, and/or cool the bearings. These systems usually have a
special section in the owner's manual and bearing literature. Information about oil flow and viscosity
requirements is provided on the general assembly drawing. Generally, the system functions with pressure
feeds and gravity return. Flexible lines are required on the bearing oil inlet and sight gauges and valves are
usually provided at that location. A fifteen (15) degree slope is required on the return line. It is
recommended that a vent be installed in the return line, to insure return of oil to the sump. On the initial
start-up of a fan with a lube unit, it is recommended to temporarily by-pass the bearing and to operate the
system in order to flush debris from the piping. It is also recommended to replace the filter after flushing
and before fans are put on-line. Heaters and coolers are usually furnished to keep the oil in the proper
temperature range. The connections required for these devices should be made before initial operation of
the fan. A common problem with these units is oil leakage at the bearing seals. This is usually caused by a
restriction in the oil return piping. Fans in cold climates may require insulation of the supply and drain lines
in order to assure proper oil flow.

Bearing Temperature Detectors


Specifics on bearing temperature detectors are included in a separate section of the Owner's Manual.
There are two major types. Thermocouples are bi-metallic strips that emit a voltage proportional to
temperature. RTD's (resistance temperature detectors) change resistance in a predictable way when their
temperature changes. Both of these types are designed for point contact (at the element tip) with the
bearing metal. Detectors are spring loaded to insure this contact exists. There is an oil seal between the
head and the probe to prevent leakage outside the housing. It is up to the buyer to specify the type of
element to be used. Both local and remote readouts are available but detectors and controls should be
chosen to be compatible with the owner's control system. The detectors should be mounted in the
appropriate location (as shown on the fan assembly drawing) and not in the oil drain hole. It is also
important to realize that anti-friction bearings frequently run hot for several hours after lubrication. In
general, temperature detectors should be set to protect the lubricant. Refer to the lubrication block on the
fan general arrangement drawing for specific alarm and trip settings. Check with the factory for settings on
high temperature lubricants.

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Vibration Detectors
There are many different types of vibration detectors. The details of those supplied for a particular project
are covered in a separate section of the manual. Vibration limits are discussed above. In general, there are
two types, seismic and proximity. Seismic detectors (accelerometers and transducers) are usually
recommended for anti-friction bearings, but also work well for sleeve bearings. They measure the actual
vibration of the bearing housing (or the device to which they are mounted). Proximity probes are usually
found only on sleeve bearing machinery. These probes measure the actual movement of the shaft in the
bearing and these values must be compared to the clearance values for the bearing in question. Vibration
switches are less expensive and usually combine a seismic probe with a switch that alerts the operator as
vibration levels climb. The limits usually must be set once they are installed.

High Temperature Fans


All fan shafts experience deflection between the bearings and rotor due to the loads placed on them by the
fan rotor. When shaft temperatures are high, the amount of the deflection is exaggerated. Damage can
occur when a fan shaft is allowed to cool in this condition. The damage can be temporary or permanent,
and is usually characterized by high vibration when the fan starts after the shaft cools. It is possible to
minimize the damage by turning the fan to avoid this problem.

Instructions for Fan Shutdown


Under High Temperature Conditions

It is always better to run fans until the gas stream is cool (below 200 F). However, this cannot always be
done because of other restrictions. When a high temperature fan must be shut down at full operating
temperature, the fan impeller assembly should be rotated in order to prevent the shaft from taking a
permanent mechanical set (due to cooling while in a deflected shape). The rotation may be accomplished
by either mechanical or electrical means. Rotation should follow the sequence: turn 180, then 90, then
180, etc.

Gas Temperature in Housing Rotation Interval

Above 500 Turn continuously

200 - 500 Turn once per hour

Below 200 Turn once per week

Note: Many fan users have found that when a turning gear is available, it is more convenient to turn fan
impellers continuously until the temperature falls below 200 F. The turning gear can be energized while the
fan is running. It will engage the rotor as it decelerates and continue rotation until it is de-energized.

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Turning Gear
A turning gear is a device, which slowly rotates the fan rotor when the main drive for the fan goes off-line.
This device is used to prevent damage to the fan bearings and shaft due to heat contained in the fan
housing (or within the fan rotor). Two kinds are commonly used. The first, and most frequently used, is able
to start the fan from rest. The second is an emergency drive, which engages the rotor as it decelerates.
With this second type, it is important to make sure the appropriate control logic is used to prevent damage
to the fan shaft and bearings. If a turning gear is to be added to an existing fan, it is necessary to check
bearing loads at the lower speed to prevent bearing damage.

POLICY ON EQUIPMENT LONG TERM STORAGE


The proper approach to prevent damage during long term storage of a fan and its associated equipment
depends on the environment of the storage location.

If at all possible, the equipment should be stored in a clean, dry, and well ventilated area. A temperature-
controlled area is preferred. It is advisable to keep all components in a common location of the building to
reduce confusion and prevent loss of parts.

When inside storage is not possible, care (which depend on climate and period of exposure) should be
taken to provide protection from the elements. If a special coating system has not been specified, a
standard rust preventive primer paint is applied to the exterior of fan equipment and is sufficient in most
environments to protect it from damage for a short time while it is outside. A plastic moisture barrier should
be placed on the ground and the equipment should be placed on supports such as wood timbers, concrete
blocks or steel supports. All equipment should be completely wrapped in a suitable weatherproof covering.
Care should be taken to insure that the equipment does not have any standing water or trapped moisture on
it before being placed in storage. A periodic inspection of the equipment should be made to insure that no
damage is occurring. At first, inspections should be as frequent as once a week, but if the equipment
seems to be doing well, the inspection frequency may be decreased. The maximum interval between
inspections should not exceed one month.

The most critical parts of the assembly to protect during long-term storage are the bearings, couplings,
journals of the fan shaft, machined surfaces of the bearing pedestals, motors and other miscellaneous
electrical equipment. The bearings and coupling must be kept clean and free from moisture and dirt. The
shaft journals and coupling are protected at the factory for shipment. This protection of the shaft journals is
intended for transit protection only. Additional protection may be required in order to prevent rust and
pitting. Machined surfaces of the pedestal are also covered with a rust inhibiting coating. Motors and any
auxiliary electrical equipment should be stored in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, which are
normally supplied in the fan owner's manual. If the fan is not assembled, blocks should be placed under the
shaft on both sides of the impeller to prevent the shaft from developing a set (permanent shaft deflection
due to impeller weight.) Blocks should be as close to the rotor as possible. If the fan is assembled, the rotor
should be turned 90 monthly to lubricate surfaces inside the bearing and also to prevent shaft set.

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Fan Installation Procedure
Install the bottom section of the fan housing.

Install the bearing pedestals (bolt them to the soleplates if the fan is so equipped.)

Keep bearings clean, dry and lubricated. (Seals are not effective unless fan is running.)

Level pedestals using holes and bolts provided (do not over-tighten leveling and anchor bolts.)

Do not use shims between or under the pedestals or sole plates.

Position the bearing housings to allow proper placement of bearing accessories.

Be sure the impeller rotation is correct.

Install the rotor, bearings, and inlet cones.

Assemble the rest of the housing.

Level the impeller shaft

Center the housing shaft openings to the fan shaft.

Level the Housing using the leveling nuts and bolts provided.

Seal-weld the shipping splits.

Grout underneath the fan (grease leveling bolts and forms prior to grouting).

After grout cures, tighten anchor and bearing bolts.

Adjust inlet cones for proper clearance.

Attach inlet and outlet ducts. (Expansion joints required)

Check motor rotation and verify magnetic center.

Check bearings and set alignment (refer to the bearing, coupling, and driver literature.)

Check for debris in duct (remove it.)

Check cooling water and lubrication.

Close control dampers.

Start fan and check bearing vibration and temperature.

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