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Fan Energy Upgrades

An EC Fan

Fan or motor upgrades, save energy, save money

The energy consumption of HVAC equipment can often account for more than 40% of a commercial building’s energy consumption. Simple AHU maintenance improvements to the efficiency of installed systems can offer considerable energy and CO2 savings to the application.

Many options exist to minimise energy consumption by replacing older less efficient fans and motors.  Options include:

  • Direct motor replacement with current high efficiency AC motors, which can alone provide energy savings of around 20%.
  • Replacement of older less efficient forward curved fans with high efficiency backward curved or aerofoil blade fans.
  • Modification of energy inefficient and costly maintenance belt drive fans with modern direct drive fans, either AC or EC, with suitable speed control.

Barkell Research and Development teams have conducted studies to determine which fan and motor combination can provide the most efficient solution for all applications.

In some cases installations have shown that replacing AC fans with an EC fan upgrade allows you to optimise your air handling unit for ultimate energy efficiency, potentially reducing energy usage by up to 70%.

By adding variable-speed AC or EC fans to the Air Handling Units (AHUs), we predict that you can save between 30 and 60% on annual electricity costs. There are still thousands of low efficiency AC fans installed in Air Handling Units throughout the UK.


Graph showing the energy consumption of AC and EC Fans

EC fan upgrades – the benefits

EC fans offer enhanced control and provide the most simple, but effective solution for reducing AHU energy consumption. EC fans today are focused on maximum energy-efficiency to enable equipment used in ventilation to work as economically as possible. Setting new standards with regards to reliability, service life and energy consumption. EC fans are fully compatible with most units, meaning that straight-forward, cost-effective EC fan upgrades can be carried out with minimal disruption.

  • Up to 70% potential energy saving
  • Variable speed control matched to load
  • Direct drive motors for maintenance free operation
  • 50% more efficient than previous generation fans

Why upgrade with Barkell AHU maintenance?

  • Aim for a payback period of less than 2 years
  • Free initial survey
  • Full installation service
  • Service plans available

In most cases, modern fans and motors are directly interchangeable with the predecessors, allowing for simple replacements with minimal disruption. Any voltage combination can be accommodated i.e. DC or AC single or three phase, as the electronics can be fully integrated into the motor or accommodated by controls systems modifications – carried out by our engineers.


The right fan for your application

There are many factors essential in selecting the ‘right’ fan for your application.

We will work with you to find out what your operating point is? This is the target air flow rate in cubic feet per minute and a system resistance (or impedance) in inches of water. The target flow rate is usually a known value. The system resistance or impedance is not always available. Knowing the operating point is essential in selecting the correct fan.

We will work with you to ascertain your flow path? Selecting a fan based solely on the operating point will not necessarily lead to the best results. The path that the air must take through the system must be factored into your fan selection as well. The impact that the air flow path has on a fan’s selection can be dramatic – it can make a very efficient fan perform very poorly and so we work hand in glove with you to select the optimum fan.

We will work with you to identify what your design goals are? While the operating point defines the most important variable, power consumption and dependent on application, noise reduction are huge drivers. When noise is a critical factor, the best solution is typically a larger fan running at the lowest possible speed. 

We will work with you to see what are your space constraints? Selection of the right fan must consider the available space within the application. The most efficient or quietest fan may not fit within the available space.

Fan selection can never be viewed as a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s really a compromise between variables. The key to success in finding the right fan is to identify which model results in the fewest compromises.


Contact us about a fan or motor upgrade

If you would like us to arrange for a Barkell engineer to visit your site to assess your units, offer advice and discuss the possible options available that will best suit your site and application requirements, please complete our contact us form.


Contact us about an fan or motor upgrade