How to Calculate CFM Output

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Engineers measure the output of an industrial fan in terms of the number of cubic feet that it moves each minute (CFM). Some devices can measure this air flow along an enclosed path such an air duct. You can also, however, calculate this output from two other values associated with the fan's function. A fan that consumes more energy produces a higher output. A fan that creates a larger pressure differential also corresponds with a greater air flow.

    Multiply the fan's energy consumption rate, measured in horsepower, by 530, a conversion constant. If, for instance, a fan works at 10 horsepower: 10 × 530 = 5,300.

    Convert the pressure the fan creates, measured in pascals, to feet of water by dividing by 2,989. Each inch of water contains 249 pascals, and each foot of water contains 2,989 pascals. If the fan adds a pressure of, for instance, 1,000 pascals: 1,000 ÷ 2,989 = 0.335.

    Divide the answer from Step 1 by the answer from Step 2: 5,300 ÷ 0.335 = 15,820. This is the fan's output in CFM.



About the Author

Ryan Menezes is a professional writer and blogger. He has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University and has written for the American Civil Liberties Union, the marketing firm InSegment and the project management service Assembla. He is also a member of Mensa and the American Parliamentary Debate Association.

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