Brand Report

Special plastic fans Reduction in weight and greater efficiency on the train roof


The fan manufacturer Ziehl-Abegg has developed a fan system made of a special plastic for capacitor cooling in roof air conditioning units: it weighs less, is more efficient and yet still meets the fire safety standard DIN EN 45545. Seen over the entire life cycle, the costs are significantly lower compared with conventional fans.

Up to now, axial fans fitted to train roofs have always been made of metal for fire safety reasons; the same applied for the mounting. Ziehl-Abegg is revolutionising this by using a thermoplastic, fibre composite material. The so-called ZAmid from the fan experts in Künzelsau, has been in operational use in countless client applications since 2011. The technology leader is now also incorporating this material into railway technology. The advantage: the weight of the fan is reduced by up to 40 per cent – weight that doesn’t have to be either moved when the equipment is operating, or permanently transported with the train as it travels along. The name of the product: ZAplus.

Since both the fan blades and the nozzle with integrated motor mounting, manufactured in a one-shot injection mould, are made from the high-performance composite material, these elements allow for a highly aerodynamic design, increasing the overall efficiency of the fan system. This also reduces energy consumption whilst the fan is operating. Since air conditioning is one of the biggest users of energy on trains, this saving should not be underestimated by the operator.

ZAplus commutator nozzles are made entirely of the high-performance composite material so are corrosion-resistant. Made in a one-shot injection mould, the mounting contains no screws or bolts that can work loose.

Ziehl-Abegg offers the new ZAplus system for railway technology, with both classic AC motors and energy-saving EC motors. The advantage of EC Motors is the infinitely adjustable speed, depending on the cooling energy requirement or, for example, when the train enters a station. In addition to saving energy, this also brings a perceptible reduction in noise levels for residents and railway passengers. It goes without saying that the EC motors are network-compatible for future applications.

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