Type NBF Fan

May 8, 2003 - 12:30

The truth about fan performance from business growers.

The Type NBF fan from American Coolair is a durable,
low-maintenance, cost-effective greenhouse ventilation system. Produced since
1985, the NBF fan has been perfected to provide consumers with years of
heavy-duty and trouble-free service. This model features rugged, belt-driven
construction, permanently lubricated ball bearings and enclosed motors of
different speeds.

Because hot days require effective cooling to properly grow
crops, a greenhouse ventilation system is one of the most important investments
for growers. To help both large and small businesses choose ventilation
equipment that is efficient, economical and long lasting, professional growers
evaluate their experience with the NBF fan.

Design

The NBF's basic components and blade assembly are
constructed from 14-gauge high-strength steel, rather than the lighter, more
commonly used 16-gauge metal. The fan's unique design reduces radial bearing
loading because there is zero offset between the blades, bearings and wheel --
the drive load is in the same plane. "The way the motors are mounted in
the NBF fan make the product stand out," said Jim Woods, greenhouse
manager and co-owner of Wood's Country Store in Rushville, Neb.

The close range in the NBF allows for maintaining proper
alignment and ultimately reduces belt wearing. "I think the way Coolair
designed the bearing system on their blade allows belts to last a little
longer," said Bryan Lavery, president of Blue Ridge Greenhouse and Farms,
Melissa, Texas. "And once the belts are adjusted, they stay tighter."
The NBF's drive design also has a direct impact on belt life. The larger drives
and pulley diameters might be why Woods has not had to change a belt on his
7-year-old NBF fan.

Additionally, the fan is designed to operate in any position
and can be installed as an exterior or interior unit, as well as on a slope.

Dependability

Running fans all day commonly leads to lackluster air
movement and premature deterioration from bearing overload and overuse. But according
to Coolair, the NBF is designed to withstand even the most heavy-duty use and
provide trouble-free service for years.

As an owner of multiple NBF fans, Lavery has performed only
routine maintenance on Coolair systems purchased over the past 11 years. Dent
Sparkman, owner of Martin's Nursery, Gray Court, S.C., agrees, "I have
some fans that are 15 years old, and they are still in their original
condition, except for the occasional belt maintenance."

In addition to everyday wear-and-tear, extreme weather can
affect a fan's operation by causing parts to rust and breakdown from corrosion.
However, the NBF's baked-on epoxy coating is designed to prevent weathering.
"My fans' surfaces have resisted weathering, and I'm kind of shocked. I
really didn't think they would originally because the spray material in the
greenhouse is more damaging than weather. They are in good shape, even the old
ones," said Lavery.

Maintenance

Proper fan maintenance is essential for efficient operation,
but the NBF is designed to be time and cost effective. The fan's smooth
surfaces and easy-to-remove shutters make it easy to clean and maintain.
According to Lavery, only a bucket of soap and water is required to wipe down
the parts. And Woods said, "You can pop the louvers out and get right to
the blades and motor."

According to Steve Waddell, president of Roundtree
Plantation and Waddell Farms, Charlotte, N.C., having the fan's shutter on the
inside of the greenhouse makes a real difference in accessing and cleaning the
parts. "Because it is on the inside and you're not having to deal with the
outside elements, it makes it easy to get in and out," he said.

Final Word

Lavery, a large grower who utilizes more than 200 fans,
said, "I think the NBF is excellent, and I just ordered 11 more."
Davis agrees, "I would not consider any other fan because of my experience
with the NBF, regardless of price." Overall, the dependable and durable
NBF lives up to its reputation as the "economical solution to fresh air
ventilation."

About The Author

Sarah Pahnke is editorial assistant for GPN.

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