Maintenance-Free Fan-Drive Belts Saving
University $30,000 in Energy
Bruce T. Halle
Library on on
the campus of
Eastern Michigan University (EMU) in Ypsilanti, Mich., has a number of
air-handling supply and return fans of varying size and belt
configuration. EMU was unable to shut off those fans reliably at night
to save energy because of the possibility of the belts being thrown off
of their pulleys upon startup. Indeed, belt slip necessitated continual
Upon learning of
maintenance-free Red Power II V-belts, EMU contacted
the manufacturer, Optibelt Corp. Optibelt
helped EMU switch from B
Section pulleys and belts to 5V Section pulleys and belts on the drives
of two supply fans and two return fans.
With Red Power II, the
number of belts required and, thus, the overhung load on the bearings
was reduced. The savings in energy was significant. A 10-kw reduction,
which was well over the 12-percent energy-savings goal, was realized.
What was more significant to EMU was the ability to shut down the fans
for 10 hr a day, which resulted in more than $30,000 in energy savings.
Once another 11 fans are converted, an additional $100,000-plus in
savings will be realized.
Also significant were the airflow
increases. Cubic-feet-per-minute increases of 20 percent and more were
realized just by changing to Red Power II. Because Red Power II
requires no maintenance and, in this case, eliminated retensioning,
another large dollar savings was realized by EMU.
Red Power II
can be applied on 5- to 500-hp units. It can be used to easily convert
drives to 3V, 5V, or 8V belt sections. It also is suitable for adverse
temperature ranges because it is more resistant to higher temperatures
than standard V-belts.