Blowers, otherwise known as centrifugal fans or squirrel cage fans are devices that draw air through enclosures. Common applications for blowers include:
- All-in-one PCs (example: iMac).
- Rack servers.
- Forcing air through the heating element in a rework station.
- Certain video cards.
The primary purpose of a blower is to generate a higher pressure than a conventional axial fan. This enables it to force air through constricted areas such as laptops or anything generating large amounts of heat. Axial fans are low-pressure fans, therefore they cannot force air through such devices effectively. Blowers are also ideal for HEPA filtration systems for PCs and air purifiers.
An axial fan requires a significant amount of space in front of its intake and exhaust in order to function currently. Laptops don’t have that.
Cooling Raspberry Pi Single-Board Computers (SBCs)
A Raspberry Pi or similar device can be cooled with either an axial fan or a blower. This is dependent on the type of case you’ll install it in. For example: A Raspberry Pi 3 in its official case only needs a tiny axial fan and heat sink to keep cool.
If you were to squeeze a Raspberry Pi 3 or Raspberry Pi 4 into a thin case with a screen or filtration system, it would benefit from a blower.
Axial fans have benefits over blowers such as lower noise levels and efficiency. This is because of the additional power required to generate a blower’s higher pressure. Axial fans are often cheaper and easier to clean than blowers.