Mumbai, India (PressExposure) June 28, 2011 -- A fin fan cooler is a term used to refer to an aerial cooler. I believe at one time a specific manufacturer called their coolers "Fin-Fans" and the term later came to be a reference to any aerial cooler. Much the same was as electric refrigerators were all referred to as Frigidaire's or copies are referred to as XEROX's.
This type of aerial cooler is used a great deal in refinery and petro chemical plants. The construction usually consists of two metal rectangular boxes with drilled holes to accept hollow tubes that have aluminum fins attached to them.
For those familiar with a car radiator, the concept is the same. The difference is Fin Fan Cooler Manufacturer construction needs to be more robust because the pressure contained by the coolers is usually much higher than that of a car radiator.
The two boxes (called headers) with the interconnecting tubes are housed in a light metal plenum that directs air from one or more fans over the finned tubes to achieve the desired cooling.
This is a simplified description of an aerial cooler. There are many details regarding fabrication, configuration, materials, fan design etc. that I have left out.
Air coolers are twice as expensive to purchase and install as water coolers. The great advantage of an air cooler is that it does not need cooling water. The difficult aspect of air cooling arises from the flow of air across the tubes.
Most air coolers are either induced-draft or forced-draft, the more common arrangement being forced draft. The air is moved by rather large fans. The tubes are surrounded with foil-type fins, typically 1 in high. The surface area of the fins as compared to the surface area of the tubes is typically 12 to 1. That is why we call an air cooler an extended-surface heat exchanger.
The heat-transfer coefficient of an air cooler Aluminum Radiator (Btu, per hour, per square foot of finned area, per degree Fahrenheit) is not particularly good. It might be 3 to 4 for cooling a viscous liquid, or 10 to 12 for condensing a clean vapor. The low heat-transfer coefficients are offset by the large extended surface area.
In a forced-draft air cooler, cool air is blown through the underside of the fin tube bundle. In an induced-draft air cooler, cool air is drawn through the underside of the fin tubes. Either way, road dust, dead moths, catalyst fines, and greasy dirt accumulate along the lower row of tubes. As the tubes foul, they offer more resistance to the airflow.