Aerodynamics Help Please -- Warehouse fans blowing toward each other

  • #1
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Summary:

Regards the result of conflicting/opposing airflows

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello, all. I work in a warehouse, and in an elevated work area. It's warmer up there because heat rises, but we have a few fans meant to help cool us. Unfortunately, one out of three fans is facing toward another, and I've been trying to explain to my coworkers that if one fan faces another, the air currents basically cancel each other out. We can feel it by standing at equal distance from both of the fans that are blowing toward one another(i.e. you don't feel any kind of breeze if you stand in the middle).

I tried to explain this to one coworker, and he says "No, that's not how air works". I'm 90% sure he just "wanted to be right". Since telling him that much doesn't convince him, I tried searching the web for explanations to support my claim, but none of the results matched this specific scenario. Simple or complex explanations will both be appreciated.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Welcome! :smile:
It seems that the only problematic location, regarding flow of air, is that middle point between those two fans.
Perhaps, that middle point is far enough from the fans to receive poor flow anyways?
What type of fans do you have in your warehouse, axial or centrifugal?
Could you show us a diagram?
 
  • #3
jrmichler
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Clearly, a demonstration is in order. Get a few smoke bombs, and try with the fans in different orientations. Here's a good source: https://www.mcmaster.com/smoke-bombs. Be advised that they have poor shelf life, so buy only what you will use up within a few weeks.

Make sure you get permission from the boss. Management tends to react poorly to surprise experiments. Once upon a time, my summer student lit a smoke bomb underneath a 5 MW hydroelectric generator without warning management. The power company management offices had a floor to ceiling glass wall overlooking that generator. Oops.
 
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  • #4
berkeman
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Make sure you get permission from the boss.
And make sure your Emergency Response Team knows about it so they don't respond. And make sure the neighbors know about it, so they don't call the Fire Department.

Our ERT used to hold annual fire extinguisher training in our parking garage in downtown San Jose, and I always placed a courtesy call to 911 an hour or two ahead of time so they knew that any calls about smoke or white clouds coming from our parking garage were just our training...
 

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