In today’s energy-conscious era, more people, including cannabis cultivators, are looking for ways to save. Most people are familiar with AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) motors. Now, a relatively new type of motor is beginning to replace these models, especially when there’s a need to achieve energy-efficiency regulations. These are EC motors, which stands for electronically commutated motors.
About EC Motors
You’ve probably heard of DC brushless motors, used in today’s power tools and Dyson vacuum cleaners. Brushless DC motors have been around for years; however, they’ve always required a separate DC power supply. However, with today’s EC technology, DC brushless motors can be controlled by external electronics. Instead of needing a separate DC supply, an electronic circuit board uses permanent magnets embedded in the rotor to create a magnetic field. The stator has a set of fixed windings, and the circuit board switches phases in the windings in order to keep the motor plugging along. The result? Peak efficiency, accurate speed and torque control.
How does this translate to the ventilation industry, you ask?
Fantech’s EC inline fans utilize a DC brushless motor with an EC board. This means they can be speed-controlled via a computer chip on the actual fan. Speed controlling the EC motor allows for versatility and power that is unprecedented in the AC world. Think of it this way: AC fans are like incandescent lightbulbs; EC fans are LEDs.
What Fantech does is demand-controlled ventilation. Indoor growers rarely need the full output that a particular fan needs. Therefore, you’ll want a speed controller that tricks the fan into running slower. But you can’t run a fan below 30 percent because such speeds won’t allow the air flowing over the motor to cool it down sufficiently as the windings are heating up. Basically, you’ll damage traditional fans at lower speeds, and could create a fire danger in doing so. The increased vibration also adds to the noise level in your room.
EC motors are quite the opposite. Because they’re DC fans, growers can control it down to 10 percent, or all the way up to 100 percent without damage. In fact, as you speed control a Fantech EC inline fan, you’re actually saving energy exponentially.
Energy Savings Explained
A non-EC fan is regulated with a controller you buy at the grow store that has a differential, usually about seven degrees. So, if you set your temperature controller to come on when your room reaches 75 degrees, it’ll trigger the relay once you hit 82 degrees and stay on until the room reaches 68 degrees –leaving a 14-degree fluctuation in temperature. When it turns on, that fan is using twice the amperage than it does when running and always using 100 percent power. With an EC-driven motor and EC compatible temperature controller (we love Fantech’s Aeolus), you’re eliminating the power spikes in the amperage. Since your fan will gently ramp up, and gently ramp down when needed, you’ll no longer have a shift in temperature – your room will stay at 75 degrees if you tell it to. The EC fan will increase and decrease the RMPs of the motor, but your room temp will remain steady.
Even better, all Fantech EC fans come with a built-in potentiometer speed control chip that enables growers to reduce their fan speed to 50 percent and only use 50 percent of the energy. This is a huge savings when you consider slowing another type of fan to 50 percent – it still uses 100 percent of its energy, but the controller is doing the work and slowing the fan to half its power. The fire danger comes into play here, since all your power that’s not being used is held in the speed controller with the relay switch.
Additional Benefits of EC Fans and Controllers
Since EC motors produce less heat, these fans inherently run cooler. Not only does this improve energy efficiency, it also extends the lifespan of all the motor parts including the windings and bearings, leading to less lifetime maintenance than traditional ventilation options.
These fans are also quieter. Because EC motors do not require TRIACs or frequency inverters, you won’t hear any high-pitched droning sounds.
Fantech’s EC fans utilize the Aeolus controller to digitally control these inline fans, slowing down power via the RMP instead of the knob-style dimmer switch. Growers would use a 0-10-volt signal with the Aeolus to drive the speed control. This advanced controller maintains an accurate and stable temperature in your grow space and can operate one or multiple fans in up to two independently controlled spaces. (Fantech EC Fans are compatible with all environment controllers that have a 0-10v signal)
If you’re ready to save energy costs and take advantage of the quietest, most energy-efficient, and reliable ventilation system on the market, you’re ready for Fantech’s EC inline fans. Reach out to Garden Rebels today to learn how you can get started!