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Ziehl-Abegg showcases ZAbluefin for central air conditioning control units at ISH in Frankfurt

Company incorporates bionic elements of whale in its new radial impeller

| | Mar 23, 2017 | 1:37 pm
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Dr Karsten Brensing (left) and Peter Fenkl, CEO of Ziehl-Abegg at the opening of the ISH in Frankfurt.

Frankfurt, Germany: Ziehl-Abegg put the spotlight on bionics by exhibiting its latest product – ZAbluefin, a fan developed based on the characteristics of a whale, at the ISH trade fair in Frankfurt.  According to a press communiqué from the company, marine biologist, Dr Dr Karsten Brensing, spoke at the opening and explained how features of the whale were adopted to develop the fan.

The fan, which reportedly increases efficiency by up to 15%, was the focus of interest at the trade fair, said the communiqué. “The trade fair stand was repeatedly inundated with visitors,” said Peter Fenkl, Chairman of the Board of Ziehl-Abegg. “That’s why our engineers have clearly underlined their position at the forefront of bionics and as leaders in fan technology.”


Development engineers, the communiqué said, studied the physical structure and characteristics of the humpback whale to transfer elements to the new radial impeller ZAbluefin. Revealing which of the elements have been replicated into the fan, the communiqué said: the leading edge of the fan blade has an undulating profile that has been modelled on the golf-ball sized bumps (technical term: tubercle) on the whale’s fins to avoid excessive turbulence, reducing both flow losses and noise. The flow engineers have also taken a close look at the whale’s rear fin, the “fluke”. The v-shaped contour of the rear section of the wing delays potential flow breaks – enabling the fan to be used for numerous different pressure ranges.

Experts at Ziehl-Abegg, the company highlighted, spent about two years on the new radial impeller for central air conditioning control units and industrial ventilation. A bionic profile, the company said, has proven very effective in terms of efficiency and low noise. Furthermore, the company said that unlike hollow blades, which are currently commercially available, the bionic profile blades have no gaps that allow dirt or condensation to penetrate and which would not only lead to corrosion but also create an imbalance.

The company also mentioned that the fan has incorporated bionic elements of the owl.

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