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Thread: Laser Supply Air System.

  1. #1

    Laser Supply Air System.

    Howdy Everyone,

    I'm very excited to say I've purchased and received my very first laser system from epilog. It was a long time coming but a surprisingly simple process. We ended up going with an Epilog Zing 24 and couldn't be happier.

    Now for the difficult part... I've searched the forums extensively for information about exhaust systems and set up. All in all, it seems to be a pretty simple undertaking. What I've not been able to find is any road maps on creating a closed system with exhaust AND supply air ducting. I have an idea in mind but I'd like to know if there are any better ones out there or if a successful supply is even possible. My hope is to isolate the air exhaust and allow our office to stay warm during the grueling Michigan winters. Rather than pumping it all out in a matter of minutes and reaching for my parka and bomber hat.

    My own idea is to build a table with a supply ducting system built in. The plan is to build boots to cover the supply vents on the laser itself, a box underneath to connect the boots, and a port in the back to connect to a supply duct from outside. A 3in port will supply the air and a 4in exhaust will pull the vapor (and hopefully smell) back out and away from the house. Not a fully realized concept yet I know, but I wonder if this sparks any ideas or if something similar has already been done. Any photo's, links or HVAC tips would be a huge help.

    Kind Regards,
    Kevin

  2. #2
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    Something else to consider is to use a pipe within a pipe to act as a heat exchanger. Warm up the incoming air a bit. I would be concerned about supplying the laser directly with such cold air.
    Shenhui 1440x850, 130 Watt Reci Z6

  3. #3
    Thanks Rich. I know some commercial shops use heat exchangers to temper the air a bit before it reaches the laser. I'm curious how necessary it would be. Would condensation be a real concern? Could it affect the optics to pump cold air into a room temperature machine at 600 cfm?

  4. #4
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    What Rich is talking about is a double layer pipe. Inside pipe could be the exhaust, outside of the surrounding pipe is outside the building and pulls air in as needed. You really don't need a supply air fan as the exhaust fan pushing the air outside would draw in the makeup air. I see no reason why a 6 inch double wall gas vent pipe would not serve the purpose.

    Yes condensation on the outside of the pipe, the part used to bring in outside air would be an issue, but some duct insulation wrapped around would help prevent. FYI they do make commercial air to air heat exchangers, you could look into that route.

    FYI whatever air in CFM you are exhausting has to be made up in some way. Either by the double wall method (outside air vent) or though infiltration as cracks around windows and doors will provide. You are either heating or cooling that make up air by the last method.

    Worst case, the makeup air comes out of the gas water heater or furnace vent pipe and CO kills someone.
    Last edited by Bill George; 08-26-2014 at 3:40 PM.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  5. #5
    I definitely understand the need for make up air vs. a CO leaking issue. What I don't understand is the affect of a double layer pipe on cold make-up air without some form of additional heating e.g. heated water coil, heated air, heat exchanger...

    I guess the biggest question at this point isn't table design, but rather how to supply make up air directly to a laser machine while bypassing the office environment air completely.

  6. #6
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    Do not use outside makeup air vented directly into the machine. Condensation will quickly build when/where you least expect it and you will eventually short out your machine, dirty your optics, etc. If you feel the need to recirculate air (as I do), look at my (one and only) blog post (far righthand side of the name bar above this post) for a DIY filtration system. If you have the money, purchase a pre-made system,
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

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  7. #7
    If you don't mind Dan, would you happen to be able to explain in more detail how you would bring in tempered make-up air using a double layer pipe. I don't quite understand how it would work without some additional system to heat the air.

  8. #8
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    The "hot" air is going out the inner pipe, the cold air coming in surrounds the "hot" inner pipe and thus gets warmed up while the outgoing air gets cooler. The pipe has to be a certain length for this to be effective. Too short and the incoming air will not be in contact with the "hot" pipe long enough to do much good. It is a cheap way to recover some heat that would otherwise be lost outside.
    Shenhui 1440x850, 130 Watt Reci Z6

  9. #9
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    Kevin,

    If you look at the top right corner of Dan's title bar, over where it shows his Join date and Location, you will see a line that says "Blog Entries 1"
    Click on the numeral 1 and you will be taken to a listing Dan did where he shows how to build an air filter for your laser at a reasonable cost. It would extract the smoke and fumes from your blower air and feed it back into the room. That way you are not sending your heated air outside using your blower.

    The alternative is to purchase a much more expensive commercial air filter system. Which might be worth it to you. I might try this first though.

    The other alternative is to borrow your wife's sewing machine, steal the electric blanket off the bed, and make an electric snuggy to wear in your shop in the winter. <grin>

    Dave
    900x600 80watt EFR Tube laser from Liaocheng Ray Fine Tech LTD. Also a 900x600 2.5kw spindle CNC from Ray Fine. And my main tool, a well used and loved Jet 1642 Woodlathe with an outboard toolrest that helps me work from 36 inch diameters down to reallllllly tiny stuff.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin M. Adams View Post
    If you don't mind Dan, would you happen to be able to explain in more detail how you would bring in tempered make-up air using a double layer pipe. I don't quite understand how it would work without some additional system to heat the air.
    I won't describe such a system because it is not what you want/need (not to mention it would be overly complicated, and by the time you spent all of that money on all of the double-walled piping, you'd be halfway to a professional filter system, and paid for my DIY system several times over). Pulling in air directly from the outside is dangerous to direct vent into a machine for the reasons I just mentioned. It's like taking the air filter off of your Ferrari's engine just so you don't have to change it every 6 months. You spent a lot of money on that laser, so you should treat it appropriately.
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  11. #11
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    Just to be clear, the idea of recovering some heat through a double wall pipe does not include venting directly into the laser.
    Shenhui 1440x850, 130 Watt Reci Z6

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Harman View Post
    Just to be clear, the idea of recovering some heat through a double wall pipe does not include venting directly into the laser.
    You beat me to it. We usually dropped the OA supply pipe near the intake of whatever. We usually had either drawings or a spec book, from the engineer, sometimes not.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Harman View Post
    Just to be clear, the idea of recovering some heat through a double wall pipe does not include venting directly into the laser.
    Venting would need to be in a really large room to avoid issues with high moisture levels in the air. Even in a small room there isn't ample time for the fresh air to mix with the ambient air and shed it's moisture... it will take longer, but you will slowly increase the humidity. Likely not to the point of condensation, I'll give you that, but you're just asking for trouble overall continually bringing that much moisture inside (think of what it would do to your house if you can't get rid of it immediately!). Dust/fume extractors pull a lot of CFM, so you will be continually keeping your environment nearly as saturated as the outside.

    But it's the OP's decision, so until the farmer decides, this is all fighting between the cows...
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

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  14. #14
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    I'm not understanding Dan's opposition to this. To the best of my knowledge the vast majority of us exhaust directly outside. Air must come in to replace the outgoing air, and the only place that it can come from is outside. This is what most of us do and I for one have experienced no problems with high humidity in my shop - and I am in Western Washington. The only difference in this discussion is the idea to recover some of the heat from the outgoing air - making the incoming air just a bit warmer. Whatever issues there are with the moisture content in the replacement air, heating the incoming air is not going to add to them, in fact it will lessen them.
    Shenhui 1440x850, 130 Watt Reci Z6

  15. #15
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    Rich,

    I may be misinterpreting Dan's thoughts (apologies if I am Dan), but I think he was objecting to outside air being brought directly into the laser from outside. A second 4 or 6 inch hose coming off your machine connected straight to outdoors. As your blower moves smokey air from the laser to the outside, air is replaced directly from outside through the second hose, through which you get cold, moist air brought straight into the laser. I think that was his concern. If your laser is replacing blown air from the ambient air in your shop the outside air that is seeping in to replace your blown out air has a chance to warm up some and the moisture coming in with it dissipates through the room so the impact inside the laser is much less.

    His preference was not to blow the machine's air outside at all, but instead to run it through filters and feed it right back to the shop so it was not impacting your heating bill, and not sucking colder, moister air directly into the laser.

    Does that make more sense?

    Dave
    900x600 80watt EFR Tube laser from Liaocheng Ray Fine Tech LTD. Also a 900x600 2.5kw spindle CNC from Ray Fine. And my main tool, a well used and loved Jet 1642 Woodlathe with an outboard toolrest that helps me work from 36 inch diameters down to reallllllly tiny stuff.

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