Type of Tests

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. For more information about AMCA's Certified Ratings Program, click here.

Data acquisition system and controls for air performance testing on "large chambers"

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. TCFC also has a "large" Figure 12 chamber and a "large" Figure 15 chamber with flow measurement capacities over 60,000 CFM each.

An Aerovent fan is air performance tested in the lab's large Figure 12 chamber

A roof ventilator is mounted on the high-pressure chamber

Capacities of Aerovent's test chambers are as shown below:
Variable Fig. 12 Large Chamber Fig. 15 Large Chamber Fig. 12 High Pressure Chamber Fig. 15 High Pressure Chamber Units
Flow 66,000 65,000 10,000 10,000 Cubic feet/minute
Static Pressure 10 10 80 80 Inches water column
BHP 50 50 50 50 Horsepower
Torque 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 Inch-pounds
Outlet Area (Cent.) 16 ---- 3.14 ---- Square Feet
Outlet Area (Axial) 9 ---- 1.77 ---- Square Feet
Inlet Area ---- 28.8 ---- 5.65 Square Feet
Diameter (Axial) 40.6 72.7 18 32 Inches
Fan+Duct Length* 218 223 158 158 Inches
Chamber Opening 93 x 93 93 x 93 32 x 32 32 x 32 Inches
Chamber Inside Dimensions 141 x 141 (c/s) x 84 (flow dir.) 141 x 141 (c/s) x 84 (flow dir.) 72 dia. 72 dia. Inches
Dist. to Screens 103 103 38.75 38.75 Inches
* The combined length of the fan plus the duct limit applies to sound testing only.

Sound testing using AMCA Standard 300

Our customers are provided with sound power level data developed from product testing. To keep our data current we test new fan designs as well as retest our established product lines. All sound data certified since our 1993 addition of the semi-reverberant room is based on test data from our AMCA accredited laboratory and verified by AMCA as required per AMCA Publication 311 (Certified Sound Ratings Program for Air Moving Devices). Sound data certified prior to our 1993 addition was tested at AMCA.

Microphone boom with travel as required per AMCA Standard 300

Our sound testing is performed in a semi-reverberant room using the substitution method. In this method, sound pressure levels of a reference sound source, with known sound power levels, are measured. The relationship between measured pressure levels and known power levels is used to determine the room characteristics. This is performed before each fan sound test, since variables such as ambient conditions and fan location, can change the room characteristics. The sound power levels of a fan are then determined by measuring its sound pressure levels and adjusting for room characteristics as determined by the substitution method described above. This approach is used by AMCA to establish a uniform testing procedure for laboratories that is both accurate and practical.

B & K 2133 analog frequency analyzer and NI digital sound measurement system

Silencers allow flow into and out of the sound room while minimizing noise entrance from other parts of the lab

Jet fan thrust testing using proposed AMCA 250 draft

Jet fan test setup in the Aerovent laboratory

For certain applications, fans are specified by the amount of thrust they produce rather than a typical flow vs. pressure specification. Fans for these applications are known as jet fans. TCF has constructed a test rig per the proposed AMCA 250 draft. For this type of testing, a fan is suspended in a manner that leaves it free to move axially except where restrained by a load cell. When the fan is operated, the fan is adjusted back to its level position by adjusting the connection to the load cell, allowing the load cell to measure the full thrust of the fan. Using current lab equipment in order to comply with the requirements of AMCA Standard 250, the test lab is limited by the following maximum values:
Variable Maximum Units
Fan Weight 6000 Pounds
Diameter 49.2 Inches
BHP 50 Horsepower
Thrust 1000* Pounds-force

*Any thrust greater than 500 lbf. may require test rig modifications

Note: It is possible to exceed some of the limitations above to perform a test, however, that test will not meet all of the requirements stated in the AMCA standards. If the 50 HP limitation on both chambers needs to be increased for a test, a generator needs to be rented that will be able to power the motor. Additionally, all parts required for the test must fit through our 95" x 110" delivery door.

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 judgement 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 varous speeds. A number of diagnostic tools including balancers, spectrum analyzers, and modal analysis equipment are used. Vibration testing and modal analysis is also useful for field diagnostics.

Modal analysis setup on high inertial mounting base

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 Aerovent’s 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 a Aerovent program and can then be submitted to UL.

Roof ventilators are mounted on test stands in Aerovent's safety (UL) test lab

Temperature data as scanned by the data acquisition system and shown on a computer monitor