A great fan of golf courses — Energy-efficient fan motors keep putts perfect

Sept. 8, 2011
TurfBreeze Fans use Baldor•Reliance motors and Baldor•Dodge ball bearings and synchronous belt drives to cool putting greens and keep them in good shape.

Baldor Electric Co.

SubAir Systems LLC

Golf courses in the sultry southeast are as likely to put circulating fans on the putting greens as in the clubhouses. To make these fans more economical, SubAir Systems LLC in Graniteville, S. C., outfits its TurfBreeze Fan line with Baldor•Reliance motors and Baldor•Dodge ball bearings and synchronous belt drives.

The circulating fans help keep down the humidity and subsoil temperature of the putting green. At high temperatures, the network of grass roots begin to shrink and diminish the quality of the putting surface, and high humidity can promote turf diseases.

The fans are steel rather than aluminum, and powder-coated to help them withstand the elements. The fan shaft rides on a Baldor•Dodge D-Lok pillow-block ball bearing with a DualGuard seal, which includes a patented rubberized flinger. This highly engineered bearing keeps contaminants out and lubricant in. The bearing comes fully lubricated and seldom needs regreasing.

Older fans were prone to blown bearings caused by too-frequent greasing. The TurfBreeze models eliminate this problem in that they are basically maintenance-free. Older fans also used V-belts that needed regular attention to keep properly tensioned. In contrast, TurfBreeze fans rely on a synchronized (timing-belt) drive. Once tolerances on the belt are set at the plant, there is no field maintenance. Moreover, a synchronized drive is more energy efficient. And it uses a smaller pulley than V‑belted models, thus leaving more room for airflow.

A “green” version of the TurfBreeze fan employs a Baldor Super-E premium efficient motor that draws less current than standard motors. For example, a 5-hp premium-efficient motor draws 19.1 A compared to 23 A for standard motors. The difference is significant for golf courses that often run fans 24/7 during the summer. And the lower current draw lets the motors use smaller conductors, important when fans cool greens that are thousands of feet away from their source of electrical power.

© 2011 Penton Media, Inc.

About the Author

Leland Teschler

Lee Teschler served as Editor-in-Chief of Machine Design until 2014. He holds a B.S. Engineering from the University of Michigan; a B.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan; and an MBA from Cleveland State University. Prior to joining Penton, Lee worked as a Communications design engineer for the U.S. Government.

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