If you work within the HVAC industry, you have likely begun noticing many references to EC fans, or ECM fans.
What are they, and what does “EC” mean?
ECM stands for “electronically commutated motor”. EC motors are essentially DC brushless motors integrated with the electronics to run on an AC power supply. Converting, regulating and controlling the power all happen within the motor. Additionally, EC fans are always direct drive, with the impellers mounted directly to the motors. Why is this better than traditional AC motors?
EC motors are efficient:
DC motors are typically about 30% more efficient than AC motors. With EC technology, the benefits of this added efficiency can be reaped without requiring a DC power supply. EC motors are available to work with voltages ranging from 115V to 480V.
EC fans are easy to control:
The electronics in the motor act as a VFD, taking the power and throttling it to achieve the required fan speed. This means that there is no need for a VFD–it is replaced with a simple speed controller (note, Mainstream has different controllers available, but a speed controller is always included with our EC fan arrays). All the EC fan requires is power and a control signal.
EC fans require essentially zero maintenance:
EC fans will never require replacement belts, shafts, bearings to be greased, or any balancing. In the unlikely event of a fan failure, replacing the fan is as simple as removing four bolts and wiring. Replacement EC fans are available in stock, and are small enough and light enough that a replacement typically requires no more than two people for half an hour.
And much more…
There are a number of additional benefits to using EC fans; they are quieter, require less space, are extremely simple to install, etc. We highly recommend checking out Mainstream-corp.com/IntelliCUBE to learn more about Mainstream’s IntelliCUBE fan array system, or head over to our fan array product page to learn about other types of fan arrays.
As always, we welcome you to contact us (contact form below) or give us a call with any questions this article may not have answered!