Thermal management is rarely amongst early project considerations but is often critical to a product’s functionality and reliability. Careful fan selection can optimise performance and reliability but subtle customisations can maximise efficiency.
How can fans be customised? Fans are typically supplied with a generic lead length, no termination and often without the option of additional features, such as tacho feedback or pulse width modulation (PWM). This typically means a secondary process is required, prior to assembly, adding time and cost.
How do OEMs benefit from additional features? Tacho feedback offers many benefits. In addition to advance warning of service requirement, pinning performance to fan speed ensures cooling performance is controlled in every instance. Adjusting voltage to achieve specific RPM ensures the required level of air flow, whilst negating considerations given to batch variation and wear and tear over the fan’s life.
On-board PWM is widely regarded as the optimal method of fan speed control, ensuring the correct balance between air flow, power consumption and noise. PWM via an additional wire carries a small premium but is the most effective speed control method, while removing potential reliability issues resulting from power-cycling.
Why should fan speed be controlled? Power consumption is at the forefront of everybody’s mind, so the priority is minimising the supply needed for thermal management, making way for other, more desirable features. Right-sizing fan speed achieves the optimal balance of noise, air flow and power consumption, while also maximising reliability. Lower fan speeds typically reduces bearing temperatures and extends fan life.
Fans supplied ‘production line ready’. Adjusting fan lead length and fitting connectors as a secondary process adds time, cost and an element of risk. Protecting the bearing is essential to maximising reliability and limiting avoidable handling is encouraged. Gelec’s experience suggests incorporating mechanical needs—such as selecting lead length and connector termination—at the point of manufacture minimises risks and delivers cost savings.
Customers receiving fans customised to their requirements receive many benefits. Engaging Gelec early in the design stage maximises value and minimises risk. Manufacturing Sunon fans to customer’s specifications guarantees authenticity and traceability, ensuring peace of mind that parts will meet expectations each and every time.