The Advantages of EC Motors

By October 19, 2018Sustainability

With motors manufactured by ebm-papst, we believe our line of EC fans are likely to be the world’s most reliable, efficient, and effective destratification fans in the world. As the only fan company that can offer this technology across its entire range at this time, we wanted those considering our premium line of EC fans to understand the ins-and-outs of the technology to help them make the best decision about their purchase.

Motor Technologies Available at Airius

In addition to the EC motor, Airius offers shaded pole (SP) motors and permanent-split capacitor (PSC) motors, as well as specialized EC motors for wireless fan control. SP and PSC motors have been around for over a century, and while these technologies are old, they are extremely reliable. With the advent of EC motor technology, customers now have an option for a more efficient, quieter-running system that excels when run at speeds less than 100%.

EC Motor Efficiency Gains

The EC motors in use by Airius today are from the ebm-papst Greentech line of EC fans. First manufactured in 1965, ebm-papst’s EC fans were first on the market, thirty years ahead of their competitors. As a result, the efficiency gains in the motors we use have seen consistent increases in performance and reliability for decades. The advantage of the EC line of fans from ebm-papst compared to conventional motors lies in their efficiency, up to 90%, compared to 20-70% with alternating current motors. This results in a better use of energy, longer service life, and less heat generated.

Whisper-quiet Operation

In technical terms, the EC motors in our fans utilize “soft commutation.” This results in low motor noise across the entire speed range. In other motors, utilizing frequency inverters, transformers, or phase-angle control, the result is an increase in “phase noise” resonance levels. Since the ebm-papst Greentech EC technology uses a different operating principal, phase noise remains nearly linear with regards to speed, resulting in lower operating noise than phase-angle controls or frequency inverters, and similar operating noise as transformers across the speed range.

No Power Lost Internationally

Unlike shaded pole motors, which must be sized larger when importing into a country on a 50 Hz power grid, electrically commutated motors perform the same in both 50 and 60 Hz conditions. Since, in general, larger fans are more expensive, this can represent a relative cost savings in countries on a 50 Hz power grid, as a smaller EC motor can be used to achieve the same results as a larger SP or PSC motor.

Reliability and Stability in Varying Circumstances

While shaded pole and EC motor operation will be very similar in situations where the fans are always running at 100% power, EC motors begin to shine when less than full speed is required. Our EC fans offer a soft start mechanism for when fans are initially switched on, motor current limiter, radio interference filters, and thermal overload protection, preventing the motor from running when it gets too hot.

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