Electronically Commutated (EC) Fans

Electronically Commutated (EC) Fans

Alternating Current (AC) vs Electronically Commutated (EC) Technology

EC motors consume on average about 30% less electricity than conventional AC motors. This figure will differ greatly depending on the project and application. For example, retrofitting the AC fan in Fan Coil Units to EC fans can garner up to 80% in energy savings. But what is an EC fan and what makes it more efficient? A conventional fan system is usually made up of several components (e.g. belts, pulleys, motors and etc). It is inefficient in moving air due to the inherent losses within each component.

ac vs ec technology

In contrast, the ebm-papst EC direct drive FanGrid solution is provided as a complete assembly. There is minimal power loss with the integrated system.

ac vs ec technology
EC fan and parts

The three critical components that make up a good fan are the (a) impeller, (b) motor and (c) electronics. Various enhancements made to each of these components pave the way to an incredibly efficient ventilation solution.

Impeller

Improved aerodynamics imply reduced turbulence and noise production.

EC fan impeller

Motor

High efficiency of motor (including electronics) of up to 90%; Permanent Magnet Motor, which is more efficient than an induction motor.

EC fan motor

Electronics

0 – 100% continuous speed control: In AC motors, there are limited speed settings. This results in energy wastage. In contrast, EC motors can regulate energy use based on the conditions of the environment, resulting in high energy efficiency.

Soft-Start: When switching an AC motor on, it reaches its peak power rating before tapering off to the desired power level. In contrast, for EC motors, a soft-start occurs before it elevates to the desired power level.

EC fans have high efficiency over a wide operating point because the integrated components are optimised for each other. AC fans are not able to replicate this.

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