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Bronswerk® designs world’s most ultra low noise fans

In recent years, Bronswerk® Heat Transfer has made serious investments to enable it to design the world's most ultra low noise axial fans for air coolers: the Whizz-Wheel®. These fans are huge energy savers and therefore result in a considerable reduction of operating costs. 'Considerable' in this case is also a euphemism for the gigantic dimensions of the fans. The first test model for example, has a diameter of nearly four metres. We now design fans with diameters that measure over ten metres!

Since 1940, Bronswerk® Heat Transfer has been designing, producing and supplying heat exchange installations that are used by companies such as Shell, Exxon Mobil, Texaco and Siemens in the worldwide gas and oil industries and utilities. One hundred and fifty staff are employed in Nijkerk, with a further hundred abroad. Bronswerk® has been growing over the last few years.

We meet Guus Bertels; he is constantly looking for the latest developments, innovations and breakthroughs. He has thirty years of experience in the field; a real expert. Guus: "We create solutions for problems that are so special, that existing techniques fail to perform. What we design must also work under the most extreme circumstances. From the Arctic to the Antarctic, from the highest mountains to the deepest seas, from the wettest places to the driest deserts, our solutions must perform under any conditions. We therefore invest heavily in knowledge/know-how and technology."

How does this reflect in the design of Whizz-Wheel® fans? Guus: "It is a good example of the innovative strength that we have. Traditional cooler fans are usually driven by gear boxes or v-belts. We looked for an alternative. Eventually, we designed new drive concepts which enable the Whizz Wheel® fans to be smaller, lighter and more quiet. They still comply to the strictest noise regulations and the efficiency of the shaft power has been increased by over thirty percent. They are therefore the most ultra low noise and ultra efficient fans in the world. This allows us to save a vast amount of energy.
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WhizzWheel impression WhizzWheel fan WhizzWheel detail Air-cooled cooler WhizzWheel fan

RADIAX® Technology

Our industrialized world is immensely dependent on machines for fluid and gas transport, such as pumps, compressors and fans. They use more than 50% of all generated electricity. They can also be very noisy and they are, together with the immense energy consumption, a heavy burden on the environment. That dependency demands that the machines have to be very reliable and have as little failure, maintenance or repair as possible. The supply conditions have to be guaranteed, whereby the designed durability aims at a long continuous operation. A large amount of the machines that are being used at the moment are insufficiently aimed at a high efficiency and insufficiently based on new, advanced technology. High quality new design knowledge can, combined with accurate and innovative production techniques, nowadays provide a long durability and the utmost reliability. This development can be compared with the development of a car: a modern car barely has any maintenance compared to a car of ten years ago.

Centrifugal pumps are ‘the’ usual workhorses for fluid transport, such as water for the drinking water supply. They work properly, but they have design limitations. These limitations relate to the classic so called operating point concept; when you open wide the tap at home the water pressure drops. More ‘flow’ unavoidably leads to lower pressure. The pressure and flow of centrifugal pumps have a similar  fixed relation regarding pressure and flow around the (design) operating point. In other words: when you change the resistance behind the main pump, by changing the tap opening, then the pressure changes, as well as the flow. Furthermore, the efficiency will drastically decrease when deviating from this (design) operating point for centrifugal pumps. Besides this limited working window, there is also a large chance of damage to the pump, such as erosion damage caused by cavitation. Another limitation of a conventional centrifugal pump is the pressure increase: 1,7 bar (per stage). To attain a higher pressure there are more serially connected (stages) pumps needed.

The RADIAX® pump of Bronswerk® Heat Transfer brakes rigorously with the limitations of the classic pumps. Designed for a fixed maximum pressure and flow, the pump is completely variable for both pressure and flow, from 0% to 100%. This goes independently of each other and with a very high efficiency. The RADIAX® pump does not show any cavitation. Although the build-up from the pump is centrifugal, functionally it behaves as a volume displacement pump. The RADIAX® pump has a pump factor of 20; this means that the pump can bring water from 1 to 20 bar in one stage. The RADIAX® pump offers unprecedented possibilities: maximum flexibility with minimal complexity. The weight and the volume are about the same as one quarter of a conventional centrifugal pump.
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Radiax detail Radiax impression
Klarex self cleaning heat exchangers  

Klarex non-fouling heat exchanger

The work horses under the heat exchangers are the Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers. They are extremely reliable, and because of extensive research, predictable in their ‘behaviour’. Often they are the solution to a rather specific problem. Many thermo mechanical engineers delight in designing the optimal Shell & Tube Heat Exchanger for such special cases. And there are a lot of special cases in the world of heat exchangers that need a special solution.

One of the problems that often needs a special solution is the fouling of the heat exchanger. It occurs in al heat exchangers, but in some cases the fouling is so severe that for example three heat exchangers are required to guarantee continued operation. Then there is one in operation, one opened to be cleaned and one on standby for when the first one becomes fouled again. It leads to enormous expense for maintenance and a lot of “over design” is needed to compensate for the reduced heat exchange.

The patented Klarex® heat exchanger is a special design of a Shell & Tube Heat Exchanger, but with an important difference. The Klarex® heat exchanger prevents fouling. No matter how long it is in use, the inside of the tubes stay clean. The Klarex® heat exchanger does not need maintenance, does not use more energy and does its work uninterrupted and reliable for many years to come.

The secret of the Klarex® heat exchanger are the addition of metal anti-fouling particles. In the vertical pipe shell heat exchanger, metallic anti-fouling particles are continuously circulating with the fouling fluid. These metal particles prevent fouling of the pipe walls from the start. Furthermore, they also serve as turbulators for  improving the heat exchange. A multiple path distribution system provides a uniform distribution of the particles across the pipes. Besides that, the system creates homogeneous mixing. Also, the quantity of the anti-fouling particles is adjustable.The anti-fouling Klarex® heat exchangers are equipped with an external fall pipe for the particles. This has several advantages:
- partical circulation is done with a lower downward particle speed, resulting in less wear of the fall pipe bottom;
- both the rate of distribution, as well as the concentration and the circulation of particles in the fall pipes is easier to inspected and monitor with an internal fall pipe;
- there is no risk of unequal distribution of the particleflow in between the various parallel internal fall pipes;
- when the heat exchanger is taken out of service, it is easy to remove most of the particles. This is advanteous for startup of operations of the heat exchanger, as well as inspection.

The Klarex® heat exchangers are suitable for many different applications, for they already have been tested extensively.  
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