If BLDC motors are implemented in all ceiling fans sold by 2020, 70 Terawatt hours per year could be saved and25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year could be avoided, globally. ( source).
Though first ceiling fan was manufactured first ceiling fan in India in the early 1930s, it took another 8 decades for a disruption in the ceiling fan industry through the launch of BLDC fans. These fans, though expensive, reduced energy consumption drastically that Indian consumers were immediately sold. But just like every other product, they are not without disadvantages. So, let us take a look at the what they are, how they work and most importantly the pros and cons of BLDC fan.
What Are BLDC Fans and How Do They Work?
BLDC stands for BrushLess Direct Current. Usually motors have brush and a commutator to transfer electricity to the rotating part of the motor called rotor. As there is physical contact between the brush and motor, wear and tear, and energy loss due to heat is so high that they usually work at just 30% efficiency.
A BLDC, as the name states don’t have brush. Instead they have permanent magnets. When electricity flows through them, the magnets start attracting and repelling each other due to polarity change. This makes the motor spin. But, just spinning is not enough in a fan. You need to be able to adjust the speed of fan and optimize its overall performance. This is why BLDC fans have a complex software control. In addition to speed control, it helps incorporate smart features, detect and protect itself against voltage fluctuations and thus improve overall user experience.
Advantages of BLDC Fans
Lesser Energy Consumption
The most impactful advantage of using a BLDC fan is lower energy consumption. As mentioned earlier, if If BLDC motors are implemented in all ceiling fans sold by 2020, 70 Terawatt hours per year could be saved and25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year could be avoided, globally.
A regular ceiling fan typically consumes around 70-80 watts of electricity, while a BLDC fan consumes just 28-35 watts. So, if you run the fan for 10 hours a day, a normal fan would consume 75 x 10=750 watts, while a BLDC fan will consume just 28 x 10=280 watts, resulting in a saving of 470 watts or 0.47 units per day. If you consider the average electricity charge as Rs. 9 per unit, this means a saving of 4.23 Rs per day. This means a saving of Rs. 1543 per year. Fans in bedrooms are likely to be used for 10 hours a day.
As BLDCs do no mechanical contact between the rotors and the brushes, there is minimal noise generated due to its operation. This also results in lesser wear and tear and hence, better durability.
Precise Speed Control
You might have noticed that sometimes you fan runs at the same slow speed at the first, second and third level and blasts air at the highest setting. This often happens with fans that use conventional regulators for speed control. Here, by rotating the regulator knob, you adjust the resistance controlling the current flow and thus reducing fan speed.
In BLDC fans, an electronic control circuit is used for speed control. As a result, the speed control is more precise. Moreover, most BLDC fans come with a remote control which enhances its user-friendliness.
Works Better With Inverters
Due to the low electric consumption, BLDC fans run longer on inverter. This is especially helpful during summers when power shortages are frequent.
Disadvantages of BLDC Fans
Higher Initial Cost
Price of BLDC fans typically start from around Rs. 3000 onwards. A normal fan on the other hand costs from Rs. 1200 onwards. That being said, you recover the initial cost in about 2-3 years. Also, most manufacturers provide 3 years of warranty on BLDC fans and claim that it has a life of 10-15 years.
Limited Repair And Installation Options
BLDC is a comparatively newer technology. The cars from 80s and 90s could be repaired by anyone as they mostly had mechanical parts. But nowadays, thanks to electronic components and sensors, you can’t blindly trust any mechanic to repair your new car.
Similarly, BLDC fans have electronic components which makes it imperative to trust only brand service centres for repairs. Installation too should be carried out by professionals with necessary expertise. Else, your fan’s performance will not be optimal.
Other Myths About BLDC Fans
BLDC Fans Have Low Speed, Hence Lesser Air Flow
BLDC fans typically have lower RPM compared to conventional fans. Even so, it has comparable air flow of around 220CCM. This is because they have improved blade design, which maintains the air flow despite the low RPM. This in fact has an advantage as it will be less noisy.
BLDC Fans Gets Damaged Due To Power Surge
Its a known fact that electronic circuits are sensitive to power surges. And many worry if the electronic components in BLDC fans are prone to getting damaged from power surges. Fortunately, all BLDC fans have surge protection circuits as mandated by ISI standards. Options like Atomberg can withstand power surge of upto 2KV, while models from Usha, Havells and Orient withstand up to 4KV. Superfan on the other hand withstands surges up to 10 KV.
BLDC Fans Have Limited Design Options
This is true, if we were still in the early 2010s. Fortunately, almost all manufacturers are increasing their offerings of BLDC fans. As a result, you now get BLDC fans in various colors from golden yellow to turquoise. They also come with light and even chandeliers!!!
BLDC Fans We Recommend