Cooling fans can consume up to 10 pct of an engine's fuel

An engine's cooling fan can use up a lot of an engine's energy if it is not tuned properly, says Cordell Dietz, CEO of Horton, a manufacturer of engine fans.

"If you're running your fan 100% all-the-time, that takes fuel. It could take up to 10% of the fuel associated with running a diesel engine," says Dietz who spoke to MINING.com at MINExpo last month.

"The engine doesn't need that type of cooling 100% of the time. So what we do is make the drive and the fan work together and make sure that that fan is running at the speed necessary to cool off the engine properly, not at 100%."

Transcript of question and answer with Dietz edited for clarity.

MINING.COM: What does Horton do?

Cordell Dietz: We make fans and fan-drives for diesel engines. Our primary purpose is to save our customers fuel and cost.

We moderate the flow of that fan or the speed of that fan from zero to 100%. We operate worldwide across the full range of engines sizes: from mining equipment to construction equipment to over-the-road-trucks.

MINING.COM: Why would fans have a drive-down on energy and fuel consumption for a truck?

Cordell Dietz: Well, if you're running your fan 100% all-the-time, that takes fuel, It could take up to 10% of the fuel associated with running a diesel engine, and the engine doesn't need that type of cooling 100% of the time. So what we do is make the drive and the fan work together and make sure that that fan is running at the speed necessary to cool off the engine properly, not at 100%. That optimizes the speed of the fan as well as the fuel demands for that engine.

Modulator LCV40 fully variable fan drive and WindMaster Plasic LS11 Fan. Image from Horton.

MINING.COM: What is the technology that's used within a Horton's fan?

Cordell Dietz: We've got a couple different types of technologies for mining equipment and heavy construction equipment. We use a viscous technology where we are injecting a fluid into a working chamber. The more fluid we inject into the chamber, the faster the fan will spin. So we can take it from almost zero—that is almost completely off—to 100% depending upon the amount of fluid that we let in, and that fluid is let in via instructions from the ECU (electronic control unit). We are comfortable working with all matters of ECUs, and we are able to control that fan to optimize the cooling needs of your engine.

MINING.COM: What is the advantage of using the viscous technology with your fans?

Cordell Dietz: It does a couple of things: It's maintenance free and we don't have to look into the engine other than through the ECU. There isn't any after-engineering associated with getting it hooked into fluid lines and/or adding hydraulic pumps to it. It really comes ready to go.

MINING.COM: What's your latest fan technology?

Cordell Dietz: Our latest fan technology is called the HTEC. What it is is a thermostat plastic with a glass fiber embedded into it. Many fans today are thermoplastic—they'll remelt and they're a little bit brittle. In this particular case, it's got the performance characteristics of metal. We are really excited about it. We've got it out in the marketplace. It's selling well, and it's a very robust fan that can be used across the wide variety of applications.

Horton Fan Technology is a MINING.com advertiser