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Unread 02-17-2018, 09:45 AM
Serebiiet Serebiiet is offline
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How to cool compressor

So we're pretty certain that we want to use a fan to cool the compressor unless there is a more efficient/compact way. Once we get the cooler, how should we wire it.
Thanks
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Unread 02-17-2018, 10:34 AM
rich2202 rich2202 is offline
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Re: How to cool compressor

Run it as a custom circuit so it is always on.

I have thought about piping the output of the pistons so that it blows over the compressor. Just be careful that you can't combine the outputs together.
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Unread 02-17-2018, 10:57 AM
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Re: How to cool compressor

The compressor's heatsink cools it relatively well when under the appropriate loads, on the scale of a match. Its duty cycle is 9%, although you can get away with pushing it for short periods of time. Rather than trying to actively cool the compressor, the best way to approach this problem is probably to add more air tanks so that your compressor doesn't have to run as often.
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Unread 02-17-2018, 11:09 AM
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Re: How to cool compressor

Note that the only legal fans are fans that came in a previous KOP or that came off FIRST Choice at some point. If you show up with a clear ThermalTake 120mm fan with RGB leds, don't assume it'll pass inspection. If you don't have a fan you know came from a kit, there's still several available on FIRST Choice, or you can look up one of the FIRST Choice model numbers and buy the same fan elsewhere.
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Unread 02-17-2018, 11:39 AM
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Re: How to cool compressor

OP, two victor fans are a good way to cool a compressor. Small, light, LEGAL, and enough air flow to make a good difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamcFuchs View Post
The compressor's heatsink cools it relatively well when under the appropriate loads, on the scale of a match. Its duty cycle is 9%, although you can get away with pushing it for short periods of time. Rather than trying to actively cool the compressor, the best way to approach this problem is probably to add more air tanks so that your compressor doesn't have to run as often.
While adding more storage increases the time between charges, it does not change the compressor's duty cycle. Charging for 1 minute and resting for 9 is 10% duty cycle, charging for 2 minutes and resting for 18 is, again, 10% duty cycle.

In ~2013 a team (# escapes me right now) demonstrated significantly lower compressor temperatures with even a small fan aimed at the compressor. On the order of 1/2 or 2/3 closer to ambient than without the fan. We confirmed these results with our own testing and have been using fans ever since.
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Unread 02-17-2018, 04:56 PM
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Re: How to cool compressor

Victor fan here means, I think, the fan perched on top of the old Victor 88x speed controllers. They are legal because they were KOP; they are just clipped on and pull off. Donít run that Victor without a fan, but they had a high death rate anyway. Wire its red and black leads to the PD as usual, with a 20A fuse, itís way too big but itís the smallest fuse we have. If you donít have an available PD port you might have to splice it onto an existing circuit, read the rules. The fan takes so little power itís not worth trying to turn it on and off to save power.

Worthless nostalgic comment: when these old Victors were the only speed controllers we had, in a quiet room they made a satisfying whirr when we switched the Ďbot on.
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Unread 02-17-2018, 04:58 PM
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Re: How to cool compressor

Liquid nitrogen
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Unread 02-17-2018, 05:02 PM
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Re: How to cool compressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by garyk View Post
Worthless nostalgic comment: when these old Victors were the only speed controllers we had, in a quiet room they made a satisfying whirr when we switched the Ďbot on.
Topped only by the whirr of the old fashioned rotating lights with blue and red covers.

Now that was a Robot Signal Light that left no ambiguity about the status of the robot. It was loud, bright and huge. Too bad it weighed a ton.
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Unread 02-17-2018, 06:45 PM
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Re: How to cool compressor

WARNING TO STUDENTS: we we mentors are getting nostalgic about the Old Days of FRC. Get out while you can.

My rookie year was the first year without the beacons. I scrounged one and we have the rookie electrical students wire it to a speed controller and the rookie programmers to control it with a joystick, and tell them it could not be run backwards. (They proved otherwise.)

The beacon is in the shop here at 2643, waiting for the next set of programmers.
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Unread 02-17-2018, 11:27 PM
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Re: How to cool compressor

one of these, mounted on a bracket and oriented so it blows air across the cylinder part of the compressor whenever the robot is powered on, is all you need. And if you run the robot more than two minutes at a time, you need the fan.

https://firstchoicebyandymark.com/fc18-033
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Unread 02-17-2018, 11:42 PM
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Re: How to cool compressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesCH95 View Post
While adding more storage increases the time between charges, it does not change the compressor's duty cycle. Charging for 1 minute and resting for 9 is 10% duty cycle, charging for 2 minutes and resting for 18 is, again, 10% duty cycle.

In ~2013 a team (# escapes me right now) demonstrated significantly lower compressor temperatures with even a small fan aimed at the compressor. On the order of 1/2 or 2/3 closer to ambient than without the fan. We confirmed these results with our own testing and have been using fans ever since.
I won't argue with the fact that blowing air over the compressor will cool it. However adding more storage will allow you to run the compressor less during the match, thus reducing it's duty cycle during the match.

Consider that you can charge the storage tanks at any time before the match, then allow the compressor to cool... even put an ice pack on it if you want. Starting the match with a cool compressor and charged tanks means that you have to be using a LOT of air to reheat that compressor to the point where cooling it matters.

But a cooling fan won't hurt and it's easy to do... so go for it if you think it will help. It will certainly come in handy if you pass tech inspection early and get multiple repeated practice runs on the field... one year I remember coming back to the pit on Thursday morning and asking, "Where's the drive team?" "Out on the field." was the answer. "Again?" I asked, "No, STILL! We've been taking them batteries. There's no one else ready to go." You might not have been quite able to cook an egg on the CIMs by the time I got them to check the motor temperatures... but eight practice matches in a row kind of undoes our nice little temperature estimations for a single match!

Jason

P.S. The other time the cooling fan will come in handy is for extended public demonstrations.... it always sucks to say, "Sorry, the robot has to rest." when you've got a crowd of people watching.
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Unread 02-17-2018, 11:47 PM
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Re: How to cool compressor

We did some testing and demonstrating and practice driving with our robot, just a few times, this past week, before we remembered that we needed to put a fan on the robot. The plastic line from the compressor to the first TEE was deformed from the heat, already. We were driving it continuously for five minutes or so at a time, not in two and a half minute match type use.

The fan prevents this from happening.
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Unread 02-17-2018, 11:54 PM
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Smile Re: How to cool compressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrForbes View Post
We did some testing and demonstrating and practice driving with our robot, just a few times, this past week, before we remembered that we needed to put a fan on the robot. The plastic line from the compressor to the first TEE was deformed from the heat, already. We were driving it continuously for five minutes or so at a time, not in two and a half minute match type use.

The fan prevents this from happening.
Plus it makes an interesting sound when a curious student sticks his/her finger in the spinning blades.
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Unread 02-18-2018, 06:49 AM
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Re: How to cool compressor

A 40mm x 20mm fan blowing on the top of the compressor works wonders.
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Unread 02-18-2018, 08:44 AM
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Re: How to cool compressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtengineering View Post
I won't argue with the fact that blowing air over the compressor will cool it. However adding more storage will allow you to run the compressor less during the match, thus reducing it's duty cycle during the match.

Consider that you can charge the storage tanks at any time before the match, then allow the compressor to cool... even put an ice pack on it if you want. Starting the match with a cool compressor and charged tanks means that you have to be using a LOT of air to reheat that compressor to the point where cooling it matters.

But a cooling fan won't hurt and it's easy to do... so go for it if you think it will help. It will certainly come in handy if you pass tech inspection early and get multiple repeated practice runs on the field... one year I remember coming back to the pit on Thursday morning and asking, "Where's the drive team?" "Out on the field." was the answer. "Again?" I asked, "No, STILL! We've been taking them batteries. There's no one else ready to go." You might not have been quite able to cook an egg on the CIMs by the time I got them to check the motor temperatures... but eight practice matches in a row kind of undoes our nice little temperature estimations for a single match!

Jason

P.S. The other time the cooling fan will come in handy is for extended public demonstrations.... it always sucks to say, "Sorry, the robot has to rest." when you've got a crowd of people watching.
We design for finals where you get just a few minutes between matches. Designing for anything else is pessimistic! Two muffin fans are also much lighter than additional storage tanks.

Also the whole melty tube thing. That problem has been stopped by fans for us as well.
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