If you’re one of those interested in an air curtain with a size of approximately 6 metres height and 12 metres width - hear me out! The new product UF600 creates a very effective air barrier for large industrial doorways.
UF600 not only creates the largest air barrier on the market - it’s also energy efficient and has its outlet opening at floor level. We met up with Gerlinde Fuss, Key Account Manager at Frico in Germany who’s been in the industry since 1986, to have a chat about this new product.
Tell us about the UF600! What’s unique about it?
Unique for this kind of air curtain, is that air at very high speed - up to forty meters per second, is pushed out through a linear nozzle placed in a narrow slot in the floor, either inside or outside the door opening. This gives a very effective protection against cold air flowing into the building. And also, the very large size of the air barrier that UF600 creates is unique - it’s the biggest on the market.
What does the product consist of?
The product consists of one or two columns with air inlets, silencers and axial fans as well as a floor duct with a slot at floor level. The floor slot’s width is calculated for each specific doorway in our own CFD software (Computer Fluid Dynamics). The CFD analyze is also used to optimize the motor performance. The pillars can be placed on both sides of the doorway. When two pillars are needed they will be positioned one on each side. As the air intake should be above the door opening for indoor installation, an extension of the column is sometimes necessary. Also, the UF600’s nozzle slot is directed at an outward angle of about 15 degrees to compensate for the inward air flow caused by negative pressure inside the building. Throughout a special axial fan combination, a high air rush is being generated and a high dynamic pressure is building up. This pressure rushes against the internal resistance of the channel and the nozzle. The resistance can be up to 2000 Pa and therefore creates a very effective air curtain.
Are there different types of U600?
The UF600 comes in six different sizes, for doors that are from three meters high and four meters wide, to doors up to 6 meters high and 12 meters wide. Depending on whether the device is installed inside or outside the building, the width and the angle of the nozzle will be installed differently.
What are the benefits of using the UF600?
The largest benefit of using the UF600 is that a huge amount of energy can be saved. Also, you will have a very comfortable and healthy indoor climate for the staff working inside the building - even with a large and constantly open door. Not using the UF600, would mean loosing a lot of warm air and you would have to use a larger heating capacity to create a comfortable indoor climate. In the end you would end up with high energy costs and ill staff.
Do you believe there’s a big market for UF600?
Yes, I believe so. The industrial market is large and the customers are asking for air curtains like the UF600. The biggest challenge right now is to educate the sales people in the performance of UF600, how it’s used to protect against cold air drafts, how the heat losses can be reduced, its technical specifications, how it can be installed and so on. It’s also much better for the customer if we come in an earlier planning phase of a new building.
Are there any similar solutions on the market?
We’re quite alone with this product on the market! If the customers want an air curtain for very large doorways, there aren’t really any other options. A normal curtain can’t handle these big doorways. We have the experience that is needed to understand what the customers require. When we sell the UF600, we deliver standard modules for the motor, but everything else - the fans, ducts, nozzle, etc. are custom-built. This means that we deliver the unit with exact performance for each specific doorway. We sell a complete installation that’s more like a total solution - including the energy efficiency.
So, what are you up to in Germany at the moment?
We are currently developing several components, like for instance, the noise dampers. Those noise dampers play a significant role, not at least because of the fact that they’re causing less pressure loss and they certainly reduce the noise level caused by air rush and the fans. Furthermore we are developing and optimizing the design of the blades, impeller and the whole axial fans, in order to reach more efficiency with a lower consumption of energy. Therefore we’re also optimizing the whole energy efficiency in order to provide a functional and high quality air curtain to our customers.
Do you want to learn more about how Fricos different air curtains can save energy for you? Click this link!
An interview with:
Gerlinde Fuss, Key Account Manager, Frico, Germany