Fan Foundation Recommendations

You’ve calculated all your specifications and worked to get just the right fan for your industrial application. You’re taking care to set up for maximized performance and safety, with minimized maintenance and cost. Make sure you mount your fan on the right foundation for optimal support & operation.

Each fan manufacturer knows how to set up their fans optimally, so the Installation & Operations Manual (IOM) is your first stop to ensure you build the right fan foundation. There are some basic guidelines that can get you started.

Build a Fan Foundation for Good, Good, Good… NO Bad Vibrations

Fan operation involves a spinning mass – the impeller/wheel. Maximum allowed vibration levels are specified for each fan design, requiring a solid fan foundation to withstand the fan’s vibration frequencies. The best material for a foundation is concrete (slab mount), usually built to the base weight and dimensions specified in the manufacturer’s IOM.

The general guidelines are:

  • Your base should extend six inches beyond the steel structure
  • The base mass should be 3-5 times the mass of the fan

Starting with the wrong foundation can dramatically reduce the life of the fan mounted to it. High vibration levels can wreak havoc on the rotating parts of the fan (impeller wheel, sheaves, belts, bearings, couplings etc.) Following the above basic guidelines and any nuanced instructions from the fan manufacturer will stave off the influences of external vibrations and extend the life of your system.

A Word about Vibration Isolation for an Alternative Fan Foundation

Unfortunately, not all applications allow for bolting/mounting the fan to a concrete fan foundation. Space constraints can be a factor, and many applications call for installation on steel structures, sometimes stories above ground. Because steel structures have their own vibration frequencies, they can affect the fan vibration levels, which can lead to disastrous results. In these cases, the application requires vibration isolators to protect the fan from the vibrations around it. Stay tuned for more on Vibration Isolators in an upcoming blog and video.

Hear it from the Application Engineer

Senior Application Engineer Fred Besasie provides an overview of what we need to know to properly help with your fan foundation in this 1-minute video.

When you’re ready to start your project, reach out and connect with one of our application engineers to discuss the details of your specification.

Related Content on Industrial Fan Applications

There are many factors to consider in every industrial fan application. We’ve seen it all. Here are two more articles that might be of interest as you think about your application:

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