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Does a fan array make more sense than a single fan? Is there any reason to upgrade to EC fans?

These may be questions you or your customers are facing when it comes time to retrofit an air handling unit with a new fan system. As technology develops at breakneck speed, how can you be sure you will be installing the best equipment, not only for efficiency, but also for dependability and operational simplicity going forward?

The answer is yes, fan arrays are nearly always the better option–for a number of reasons:

Redundancy and reliability

Having an fan array means the failure of a single fan will not mean a complete loss of airflow for your facility; in fact, in a well designed system it could mean zero loss, as n+1 redundancy can easily be included from the beginning of the engineering process. Backdraft dampers are nearly always included, which ensures that the air handling unit can continue operating without any human intervention. Additionally, with EC fans, the remaining fans can immediately be ramped up to compensate for any lost capacity (click here to learn more about EC fans).

Ease of installation

By engineering an array of fans instead of a single fan, the size of each fan and motor is greatly reduced. In fact here at Mainstream we have experience replacing fans upwards of 100 HP with arrays of fans with individual motors that are less than 10 HP each. Why? The significantly smaller fans are much easier to handle, making install much faster, easier, safer and cheaper. In fact, we typically supply the fans mounted in cubes that can be stacked and bolted together extremely quickly–learn more at

Quiet Operation

The innovative and extremely well engineered design of EC fans means they are inherently quieter than most AC fans. This is especially true when the fans and motors are reduced to fit into an array. Sound can be further reduced by lining the cube interiors with acoustic insulation, or simply reducing the fan speed, in the unlikely event sound is an issue.

And much more…

As discussed in the earlier “What are ECĀ Fans?” article, there are additional benefits to EC fans, including ease of control and efficiency. We can confidently assert that the benefits of EC fan arrays strongly outweigh any potential negatives, and are undoubtedly the future of the industry. If you are interested in learning more about the fan systems Mainstream has to offer, head over to Products > Fan Arrays, or give us a call!