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ENERDES BV SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS

EC-Fans
A general supportive document on the workings and advantages of EC-Fans
February

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This report is intended to clarify the benefits of EC-Fans and deliver a background on the workings of electrical motors. The advantages of the used techniques will extend the strengths of the Ultra Clima systems and deliver an insightful overview.

Content
General .................................................................................................................................................... 3 Electro motors ..................................................................................................................................... 3 AC vs. DC .......................................................................................................................................... 3 Synchrone ........................................................................................................................................ 5 Commutating ................................................................................................................................... 5 Fans ..................................................................................................................................................... 6 Radial vs. Axial ................................................................................................................................. 6 EC-Fans .................................................................................................................................................... 7 Positioning components .................................................................................................................. 8 Electronics ....................................................................................................................................... 8 Overview.......................................................................................................................................... 8

General
With the introduction of the Ultra Clima systems, a carefully selected set of components forms an highly efficient product for the greenhouse industry. The combination of the patent-pending air hose distribution system of Ultra Clima and the much acclaimed high efficiency fans from EBM-Papst have proven to create a stable semi-closed climate leaving its competitors far behind. The fans are chosen due to their extensive development and provide the demanded air flow needed.

Electro motors
The commonly used 'Bigger is better'-phrase is a phrase emphasizing the truth for electro motors. When an electro motor increases in size, the more efficient it can become in the usage. Any motor will lose efficiency as it nears its max output level. By choosing a larger motor, one can remain longer at the ideal ratio and efficiency as illustrated. In addition the losses in the control components don't upscale at the same pace when up scaling the motor as well as having more physical room for improving and optimising the motor. This overall increases its efficiencies even more. With this, the overall result brings a scenario where 1 larger motor will outperform several smaller motors. In addition the motor is running at a lower level increasing its lifetime. With the development from EBM-Papst and the close cooperation in integrating their largest motor in the Ultra Clima system, the chosen fans can maintain an IE3 level of efficiency and provide the desired specifications for the Ultra Clima Greenhouse concept. Understandably there are a variety of electro motors, fans and combinations. To clarify these different aspects and provide an insight and overview on the chosen fans, the information from http://www.animations.physics.unsw.edu.au/ is used to summarise the principles and explain the workings. AC vs. DC Electro motors come in different editions, however to begin from an users perspective we start with explaining the difference between direct (DC) and alternating current (AC). To explain the difference between these two forms of transporting electrical energy, we are going to use an analogy with water. Despite the grand conflicts occurring between water and electricity, both share similar behaviour and can be used to explain each other principles. The difference between DC and AC can be best explained using a wave-analogy. Explaining how AC is transferring its energy can be hard to imagine without understanding the difference in "movement" of the energy itself. For this, AC is behaving as a wave, it rises and declines in a rhythmic pattern. With electricity this is commonly known as the 50 or 60Hz frequency on which the local network is operating. As the energy consumption grows, the wave transporting the energy will need to transport more energy. As the energy particles (compared to water particles, the values in coulomb should be considered) themselves stay at one place until they are consumed, the wave can maintain 3

its energetic value over a longer distance. When consuming however, just like with DC, the energy starts to flow. Whenever this flow exceeds the channels maximum capacity it won't overflow, it will force itself through the cable and start to heat up due to friction with the channels walls. Where a channel with water can overflow, power cables will melt when exceeding the maximum capacity. DC in comparison has a flat surface, no wave but only a single movement towards the product consuming the energy. With this the advantages of AC are explained as the influences from the channels wall are the same. The movement causes friction and either heat up the cable or slow down the movement. On short distances, these effects can be managed, but for large distances the friction prevents the possibility to transport the energy. For this reason all networks have AC to transport the energy to the products. Although both forms can be transformed into the other, as users we usually experience the convergence of AC to DC. This is done with a rectifier and can be explained with an overflow on the channel. The wave exceeds the barrier and starts to flow down the overflow channel. Whenever the wave exceeds from the 0 position or centreline it can use the overflow and flow directly down a different channel. The illustration shows two waves, a green and red. As electricity knows no up or down, both waves can use the overflow and form a DC flow. With additional components the remaining elements from the wave can be smoothened out. In the illustrations below, the overflow is demonstrated in the right representation by commutating during the power creation. As the mechanical energy provides an electrical DC current through the loop, the position and rotation will create an AC flow without commutation and DC with commutation. With an electrical motor we use the energy to deliver mechanical energy, but this principle is reversible hence the illustration represents both motors and alternators. In theory each motor can function as an alternator and vice versa. The main difference is the efficiency at which they can perform each other's functions.

As illustrated it's possible to create an electro motor with a handful of components when steering the motor with AC and letting it run on the AC frequency (in common household products usually a multiplication of this frequency is used). A DC electro motor, unlike an AC motor, first needs to create an alternation in the magnetic fields in order to have the components rotate and follow the field. As explained the advantages are different for each form of motor. Where an AC motor can be easily build for a steady rpm and load with small number of components, it's the fact it's locked to these frequencies that prevent it being used on different settings. A normal fan as illustrated uses this principle and merely changes the multiplication of the frequency for a higher rpm. When using a DC motor, the rpm is free to alter and a precise load balancing control can maintain an optimal performance. Synchrone As explained electro motors can operate on two different forms of current. The way they perform their rotation has another two versions. The electro motor can be either asynchronous or synchronous. The difference between these two forms can be easily explained due to them being counters. Synchronous motors have an axle rotating equally with the rotation of the magnetic field and vice versa asynchronous motors do not follow the field on the same pace. As electro motors use a magnetic field from a current, it's the rotation of this field that forms the basis for the rotation of the axle. While the motor alters the position of the North and South poles of the magnetic field, thus creating a rotation in the position, the axle will follow this rotation. Depending on the design, the axle either follows this rotation with an equal speed or merely attempts to follow the rotation. Commutating As there are different configurations for the electro motor the method for altering the magnetic fields position also alters. With the more common used configuration, the coils creating the magnetic field are located in the centre. With this configuration by means of commutating the current is altered to a position in which the axle will desire itself to rotate and form a balance with the magnetic field surrounding it. The outer field is usually created by magnets, however a second set of coils could also perform. By means of carbon brushes the current is transferred to the correct coils and ensure the magnetic field being slightly off from the balanced situation, ensuring a small rotation each time the brushes select a new set of coils. This system is commonly used and delivers the sparks and "smell" that can be detected with new electro motors (hand drills are well known for these effects). This combination of parts ensure a simple but sturdy design delivering the altering magnetic field without additional driving components. The carbon brushes do suffer wear and tear as well as provide an efficiency loss in the form of physical resistance and electronic resistance. 5

Within the electro motor the components are placed among the stator and rotor. The stator is considered the fixed part of the motor and it can have the rotor rotating inside itself as an axle or outside as illustrated in the illustration. With the illustrated setup the stator with copper coils require no carbon brushes to commutate the correct fields. Instead, the use of an Hall sensor detects the position of the rotor and its magnetic field. With electronic commutation the fields in the copper coils are adjusted and a custom current and timing allow the exact required magnetic field being generated to maintain the desired rotation. This combination eliminates the carbon brushes' negative effects and allows for a precisely timed control over the rotation and applied current. In contradiction with a carbon brush commutation, the current is timed and measured by the electronics instead of merely timed by the position of the commutator. Due to the additional electronic components required to control this configuration, the less efficient carbon brush method is applied more often.

Fans
As fans are intended to move air and realize an airflow, this straightforward definition still leaves room for a variety of configurations. The choices among electro motors continues with the fan configurations. The choice for a fan is depending on the type of desired result as well as the desired level of efficiency. A fan implemented in an improper application will prove to be highly inefficient and undesirable. Radial vs. Axial For the more standard applications, the use of either radial or axial configurations need to be considered. With radial fans, the fan blades are turning around the axle of the motor. To clarify, they are not directly extending from the axle, but constructed parallel with the axle and they force the air away from the axle. The air is drawn on axis of the axle and combined with an housing blown out under a 90 degree angle. The construction can direct and force the air under a great pressure to a specified exit. The main disadvantages are the need to draw air through a central point and the requirements on the motor side.

The axial fans require in comparison smaller motors allowing them to become more compact. The blades extend from the axle and move the air alongside the axle. This configuration allows for a greater amount of air being moved and leaves more room for alterations as the replacement of the fan blades is easier performed.

EC-Fans
The EC-Fans used in the Ultra Clima systems are the largest in the series. They were chosen due to their specifications and integrated into the Ultra Clima system. Next to the development from EBMPapst, who was chosen based upon their quality and care for their products, the cooperation between Enerdes and EBM-Papst follows a close interaction aimed towards delivering an optimized product on performance and efficiency. These fans share a selection of differentiating specifications by which they can perform on a continuous setup while exceeding the competition. The choice for using a DC motor, after rectifying the AC input, allows for a wide input capability. With a range of 380~480V, 1 or 3 phases, the fan can be deployed world-wide. In addition the fans are Electronically Commutated (hence the name ECFans) which delivers a lower resistance and allows for a precise control of the fan. With the detection of the position through a Hall-sensor and the synchronous setup of the motor, the fan is controlled to maintain the ideal and optimal position and control the required energy to perform on the most efficient level. Resources are balanced to deliver a stable rpm and reserved when there is no load to compensate. It's this precise resource handling that has eliminated the start-up power peak common in electronics. In this EC-fan, the start-up peak has been reduced to a fraction of the maximum power consumption, reversing the normal peak curves of other products. Due to the detection of no load, the allocated resources for starting the fan are consistent with spinning up in contradiction to the average AC fan that will stabilize after a large peak drainage at start-up.
C.: Zoom Motor Start Mains Current I(L1) 2 sec / DIV 1A / DIV

Starting current ebm AC motor


In = 3A

EC

2s / DIV

Mains Current I(L1) 2 sec / DIV 5 A=/ DIV I 4A


n

Is = 9A

AC

2s / DIV Example: AC 6-pole outside motor versus EC


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All electronics suffer from the start-up power peak, but with the clever design of using electronic components to buffer and handle the power consumption, the power peak in the EC-fans has been reduced to a fraction of their maximum consumption. This benefit reduces the need to build in large buffers in order to compensate for the power peaks when starting the products. In addition, all products can be started simultaneous without endangering an overload on the electrical scheme. This reduction on both consumption and need for the backbone components delivers additional benefits for the end-user. Positioning components Each component separately has been the result of an intensive development process and their combination delivers additional value on the sum of all parts. The combination of a highly efficient motor delivering a balanced and stable performance on a fan with specific fan blades developed for each size and type, creates a product far ahead of the competitors. With the extension on the EC technology, the usage of configuring the motor with an exterior rotor delivered the opportunity to place the motor in the center of the fan and use the air to cool the electronic components and guide the air more efficiently through the housing. The total combination allows for a long lifetime and intensive use phase while maintaining an efficiency of the highest world standards currently upheld. With the active development from EBM-Papst on the product, the components are not only supported with a large supplier delivering spare parts, they provide improved parts and leave the option to optimize the product even after its release. With developments on new fan blades and airflow guidance, the product can throughout its lifetime increase in efficiency.. Electronics The last element providing an unique argument is the level on which the product can be controlled. Although as explained the electronic components form an essential part in the efficiency, the accessibility of the software allows to control the product by remote and deliver the actual values for monitoring the output. The software can be integrated to control the overall system with a centralized control and provide a stable and controllable solution. Overview - Electronic Commutation for accurate control - IE3 efficiency due to design and size - Net independent design, world-wide deployable - No start-up power peak, balanced power consumption - High volume output with Ultra Clima desired pressures - Continued development to improve efficiency on current and future models