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    Question Fan specialist needed

    Hello everyone, tried a couple other forums but yet to find a suitable solution - maybe people on here can suggest something.

    I have found a ventilation kit for my car, which was made by Webasto for BMW.
    It's basically an array of 6 IP44-rated axial fans, a voltage converter (the thing is powered by a solar panel), supercapacitors and a controller board.

    Can anyone recommend a place that would be able to upgrade some of these components, eg the fans, capacitors?
    The tech is early-2000's vintage, so I am thinking there are efficiency gains to be had.
    I thought PC builder places might help, but they all seem to be either very specialised (the consumer ones) or focused on the commercial/industrial market (likely won't take on a one off).

    Thanks!

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    I'd have thought any general electronics store should be able to help. I don't know if you're near a city but most have some kind of independent/family run electronics stores where you can just take the thing in and they'd be able to sort you out.

    Going for a national/online supplier like RS would be more expensive, and the onus will be on you to order the correctly specified parts and do the component swaps yourself.

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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    Cheers, that's something I didn't consider.
    My logic was, since it's a fairly specialised bit of kit, I'd be better of with a specialised place, but I might visit some local repair shops to see what they can do

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    might be worth looking for TV repair centres. I know it's an old idea to fix a telly but as Kalniel says, you need some old school skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    MCRN Tachi Ttaskmaster's Avatar
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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    What you really want is an independent vehicle mechanic, who is very familiar with BMWs, who builds and overclocks PCs in his spare time, and who happens to have a degree in thermodynamics..... Luckily, I happen to have just such a friend.

    Are you anywhere near Reading?
    _______________________________________________________________________
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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    might be worth looking for TV repair centres. I know it's an old idea to fix a telly but as Kalniel says, you need some old school skills
    yep, I was somewhat surprised to find out general computer/phone repair shops won't touch it. I guess they just want to focus on what they know best.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    What you really want is an independent vehicle mechanic, who is very familiar with BMWs, who builds and overclocks PCs in his spare time, and who happens to have a degree in thermodynamics..... Luckily, I happen to have just such a friend.

    Are you anywhere near Reading?
    Well, the way I look at it, they can have no familiarity with BMWs, or cars, at all, as apart from *being on the car*, it's fairly standalone.
    Unless this was a sarcastic joke, I would love to speak to your friend, and as luck would have it, I am very much near Reading. PM?

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    This is sounding hopeful, but just to note you'll need 15 (non-spammy) posts before PMs get enabled, so don't think you're being ignored

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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    Ah, well, I just notice how locked down the profile is.
    I wonder if your friend is on the forum, Ttaskmaster ? Or we can keep the initial discussion here, not much of a commercial secret at this point

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    MCRN Tachi Ttaskmaster's Avatar
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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    Quote Originally Posted by 4004 View Post
    Well, the way I look at it, they can have no familiarity with BMWs, or cars, at all, as apart from *being on the car*, it's fairly standalone.
    Unless this was a sarcastic joke, I would love to speak to your friend, and as luck would have it, I am very much near Reading. PM?
    Familiarity with the cars will help, as it means he'll at least be aware of any conflicts with the CAN bus and other electrickery gremlins that might (and probably will) arise... and in this case, he has the common diagnostic software and connectivity cables for most brands.

    But no, this was not sarcastic.
    He's not on this forum, but I can forward on any details. Let me know as much as you can, specifically regarding the components, any model numbers and so on, as well as the specifics of what you want done and what you're hoping to achieve. The more he knows, the better.

    Of course no guarantees he'll even be interested, or he may leap at the idea - All I can do for now is ask.
    You being close by will help - When you say close, are we talking Oxford, Newbury, or more like spitting distance of The Oracle?
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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Familiarity with the cars will help, as it means he'll at least be aware of any conflicts with the CAN bus and other electrickery gremlins that might (and probably will) arise... and in this case, he has the common diagnostic software and connectivity cables for most brands.
    True, although this kit is so standalone, I reckon it would require his PC building skills more than car skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    But no, this was not sarcastic.
    He's not on this forum, but I can forward on any details. Let me know as much as you can, specifically regarding the components, any model numbers and so on, as well as the specifics of what you want done and what you're hoping to achieve. The more he knows, the better.

    Of course no guarantees he'll even be interested, or he may leap at the idea - All I can do for now is ask.
    Understandable - I've spoken to a few people that do have the knowledge, but either don't have the time or are not interested.

    The kit itself is BMW p/n 54130302925, but that's unlikely to provide much detail.
    Main bit is the fan unit, with 6x IP44 fans, 70x15mm. Fan p/n seems to be 030811KA, but that doesn't show up anywhere, so I can't tell what sort of RPM/cfm/power draw they are rated for.
    The enclosure they snap into is fairly small, and while there might be space to go thicker than 15mm, 70mm is likely the limit for height/width (unless he's got a 3D printer too).

    The base goal is to replace the fans with something modern (eg sleeve bearing, to get a quieter design; more airflow is a plus but not a requirement).
    I think ebm-papst might offer fans that fit the bill, but not sure about dust resistance.
    A potential challenge is that, from what I understand, the current fans are 2-wire, and so are the board connectors, so newer fans might require tinkering with the pcb/connectors.

    Stretch goal is replacing the capacitors on the board with something more modern (not sure how much that tech has advanced since 2004), and integrating either a thermistor or some other fan controller, to vary RPM based on temperature.
    I've seen fans in this size with an integrated thermal probe, but they are all calibrated to PC case temperatures (30+), whereas this will likely be lower.

    Of course, willing to listen to suggestions from people, as my knowledge of cooling hardware is limited.

    A photo to give some context - that's the main board where the solar panel and fans connect


    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    You being close by will help - When you say close, are we talking Oxford, Newbury, or more like spitting distance of The Oracle?
    I'm in Calcot - had to do a double take when you mentioned Reading, and checked if I included location in the profile.
    Of course, prepared to travel a bit (going to Surrey this Sa to pick up a missing piece from the kit that was fabricated).

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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    I hear there's a very popular specialist website called Only Fans...

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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    Standard sleeve bearings are quieter only initially. They tend to wear out quicker,and will get noisier and noiser over time,and are more vulnerable to getting dust into the bearings.

    The 70X15MM size is not so common nowadays.

    However,looking at Farnell and RS Components there are a few choices in that size range:
    https://uk.farnell.com/w/c/cooling-t..._1002379_EN_GB
    https://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/hvac-...597,4294857989

    Panasonic/NMB-MAT also make one such fan:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_f...ndition=3%7C10

    It uses a ball bearing. Some US websites sell it brand new,but I haven't seen it for sale on major UK suppliers.

    Edit!!

    Digikey has a decent choice of fans in both 12V and 24V versions using 2 pins:
    https://www.digikey.co.uk/products/e...=1&pageSize=25


    However,I can only find IP55/IP57 protected fans in 60MM sizes:
    https://www.digikey.co.uk/products/e...=1&pageSize=25

    I would check the data sheets of the 70MM fans listed on the websites to see if they are IP44/IP55/IP57 rated.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 22-05-2021 at 12:20 PM.
    https://t6.rbxcdn.com/8d3e07528aae38af2cb81bdfa2a712e3

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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    Quote Originally Posted by spacein_vader View Post
    I hear there's a very popular specialist website called Only Fans...
    oh yeah, sadly I think they focus more on sales rather installation and after sales support.
    Plus there are too many specialists there, so I'd need a recommendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Standard sleeve bearings are quieter only initially. They tend to wear out quicker,and will get noisier and noiser over time,and are more vulnerable to getting dust into the bearings.
    I wouldn't be too worried as it's unlikely to get too many cycles, but dust would be a problem - hence the IP44 rating on the current ones. Sleeve bearing was just an example - I am not very up to speed on bearing technology, maybe there is something else out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    The 70X15MM size is not so common nowadays.

    However,looking at Farnell and RS Components there are a few choices in that size range:

    Panasonic/NMB-MAT also make one such fan

    It uses a ball bearing. Some US websites sell it brand new,but I haven't seen it for sale on major UK suppliers.

    Edit!!

    Digikey has a decent choice of fans in both 12V and 24V versions using 2 pins

    However,I can only find IP55/IP57 protected fans in 60MM sizes

    I would check the data sheets of the 70MM fans listed on the websites to see if they are IP44/IP55/IP57 rated.
    Yes, that's what I found as well, there isn't too much choice in this size, and what is there doesn't seem to offer any IP protection (not mentioned on data sheets)

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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    Quote Originally Posted by 4004 View Post
    The tech is early-2000's vintage, so I am thinking there are efficiency gains to be had.
    And there's me thinking that's quite modern

    What does this thing actually *do*?? Solar panels and supercapacitors all sound fun, but there may just be a whole better way of doing whatever this thing does now. Odd to see axial fans used in cars as well, you almost always get snail blowers to get enough air moved.

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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Odd to see axial fans used in cars as well, you almost always get snail blowers to get enough air moved.
    Don't know about cars but fan attributes generally;
    • Axial, higher airflow, lower pressure, lower input power.
    • Centrifugal (blower), lower airflow, higher pressure, higher input power.

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    Re: Fan specialist needed

    Quote Originally Posted by matts-uk View Post
    Don't know about cars but fan attributes generally;
    • Axial, higher airflow, lower pressure, lower input power.
    • Centrifugal (blower), lower airflow, higher pressure, higher input power.
    I guess all that ducting to the vents has some backpressure to it. My kit car has a large axial fan in the heater matrix box. It doesn't work, so if the car isn't moving the screen starts to mist up in some conditions. All the other fans I've come across in cars (other than LED lightbulb cooling) are big blowers.

    Edit: OFC I'm forgetting those big fans strapped to the engine radiator.
    Last edited by DanceswithUnix; 24-05-2021 at 03:36 PM.

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