The present invention relates to the field of fans for displacing air. More particularly, the invention relates to vane-axial fans for aerating, heating, or drying agricultural spaces and grain stored therein. The present invention provides an improved housing having an integral venturi for such fans. Axial fan and heater is well known in the agricultural arts. Such fans are typically mounted to the outside of a grain bin near its bottom. The outlet end of the fan housing communicates with the grain bin while the inlet end extends outside the bin. The inlet end typically includes a vertical endplate having an inlet opening. Outside air is drawn through the inlet opening then circulated through the bin to dry or aerate the grain before being vented from the bin.
Attaching a venturi to the inlet end of the fan has been found helpful in reducing fan inlet losses due to turbulance, and thus enhances air flow performance. Existing venturis for axial fans comprise a separate ring-shaped attachment mounted on the inlet endplate outwardly adjacent the intake opening. These venturi attachments protrude outwardly beyond the inlet endplate, which lengthens the overall package length of the fan and invites damage from collisions.
The present invention provides an integral venturi housing for an vane axial fan. The housing includes a main body having an outlet end and an inlet end opposite the outlet end. An inlet endplate is secured across the inlet end of the main body of the housing and has an inlet opening therein circumscribed by an adjacent venturi-shaped flange integrally formed in the inlet endplate so as to extend axially into the main body toward the outlet end. The inlet end of the main body can be fitted and secured against the inner surface of the flange to hold the inlet endplate in place.
Whereas the invention has been shown and described in connection with the preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood that modifications, substitutions, and additions may be made which are within the intended broad scope of the following claims. From the foregoing, it can be seen that the present invention accomplishes at least all of the stated objectives.