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VSDs vs EC fans

Author : Oliver Woolley, ABB

01 December 2021

Oliver Woolley, ABB HVAC Key Account Manager, discusses the merits of variable speed drives in HVAC applications, and how they stack up against EC fan technology.

Electronically commuted (EC) fans are a motor and drive package that are integrated together as a single assembly. They’re an increasingly popular option in HVAC applications, due to their perceived efficiency, particularly at full load. From an OEM engineering perspective, EC fans can be installed at ease as one complete packaged solution. Against the backdrop of sustainability and ecodesign regulations, on paper, EC fans might sound like a compelling option. After all, why buy multiple devices (fan, VSD, motor) when you can buy one? However, in line with current EU EMC regulations, any variable speed product (AC or DC) needs to adhere to the power drive systems standard, EN61800-3 (PDS), to be compliant.

It is also key that any integrated variable speed product in the mechanical package is linked to the electrical requirements in your specification for VFDs, and that declarations of conformity are required in accordance with EN61800 for electrical safety (-5-1) and EMC (-3).

EC fans have become a de facto guarantee for efficiency, but to what extent is this really true?


Read the full article in DPA's December issue


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