Electronic Cooling Fans – The Basics

  • Deutsch
  • English (United States)
  • Español de México
  • Français
  • Italiano

Electronic cooling fans refer to any fans used to cool electronic devices. An electronic cooling fan may refer to a computer cooling fan, such as a CPU cooling fan or hard drive cooling fan, or it may refer to a server cooling fan, or even a cooling fan for a non-computer related electronic device such as a household appliance, industrial machinery or medical equipment. Read on to learn a little more about electronic cooling fans and why they are so important for the efficiency and continued functioning of many electronic devices.

Types of Electronic Cooling Fans

The two types of electronic cooling fans you will usually be considering are axial fans and radial blowers. Axial fans work by moving air where the air flow is parallel to the fan’s axis. The result of this configuration is generally low pressures with high flow rates. In contrast to the axial fan, the radial blower moves air so that the air flow is perpendicular to the blower’s axis. Conversely, these blowers produce high pressures and low flow rates. Do some research to learn which type of air mover is more appropriate to your particular application.

Construction of Electronic Cooling Fans

Electronic cooling fans are constructed with motors and bearings. Many electronic cooling fans with AC motors are used in aerospace applications, medical equipment, or for other industrial purposes. Applications that rely upon variable speed and torque often use fans powered by either brushed or brushless DC motors. Brushless DC motors are usually the more popular choice because they tend to last longer, as they do not have brushes that can wear out. These fans may be slightly more expensive, but they can make up for this with their durability. Electronic cooling fans generally use ball bearings (radial, thrust or angular contact) for smooth motion with a minimum of friction. Sleeve bearings may also be used in certain cases.

Features of Electronic Cooling Fans

When looking into an electronic cooling fan, some of the features you will focus on will be size, voltage and cooling fan Noise. Larger fans may provide more cooling, but will be louder, and may not fit into your application. Higher voltage fans may also provide more cooling, but may be an excessive drain on your resources. Cooling fan noise may be a consideration for some users but not others. Although bigger fans tend to make more noise, and the faster a fan rotates, the louder you can expect it to be, there is no reason to expect a cooling fan that makes very little noise will not provide effective cooling power. That being said, while there are some external adjustments you can make to slightly reduce fan noise, any attempt to alter the fan itself in order to minimize noise may damage or reduce the functionality of the fan.

Why Electronic Cooling Fans Are Important

Electricity flowing through any medium generates heat. The more work that an application is doing and the more power that it is using, the hotter it gets. Unfortunately, the reality is that many electronic components are not designed to be particularly heat-resistant. These components are usually made all or in part out of metal which can melt if subjected to high enough temperatures. The electronic cooling fan is what prevents this from happening. The fan either pushes cool air over the components, draws warm air away, or both, with the end result being to dissipate some of the heat and protect the components. This effect is most obvious with computer components. You will notice that there is a vent on your computer through which air is blowing. This air is probably warm; hopefully it is not extremely hot. This is a result of the cooling fan inside your computer keeping your sensitive computer components cool. If your computer is suddenly shutting down during intense operations, there is a good chance it is overheated, and the computer is taking defensive measures to prevent those delicate components from melting. If you’re interested in purchasing electronic cooling fans for your computers or any other electronic devices, NMB can help. NMB distributors provide a high quality selection of electronic cooling fans, from large to small, in a variety of voltages and noise levels.