Smart IoT fans with BLDC motors

Manoj Meena CEO & Founder, Atomberg Technologies

gThe world is at the cusp of an energy crisis. Studies have predicted that India’s energy consumption will increase by 16 per cent every year through 2023, a growth rate almost twice the world average! Although the renewable energy sector is making big leaps in research and application, it won’t be able to meet our growing demands in isolation. To mitigate the scarcity of non-renewable sources of energy, conservation and efficiency can be encouraged by integrating smart appliances into our homes, especially in regions where the availability of renewable resources is intermittent.

Fans are an integral part of most of the Indian households, running for hours on end. India has 250 million ceiling fans installed, with more than 30 million units being sold per annum. Ceiling fans can consume much more power than lights if they’re not chosen correctly.  While a standard tube-light consumes around 55 watts on average, an old ceiling fan drains 80 to 90 watts. Their total consumption of power amounts to 6%, which is more than that of the TV and refrigerator combined. The quest for energy-efficient systems in the last decade has brought BLDC fans to the forefront, with prominent educational institutes like IIT Bombay replacing 3000 induction fans with BLDC fans. This has nudged established brands in the industry to stop slacking and start innovating.

Millennials share their major milestones with technology. In between pocket pagers giving way to mobile phones and flat screens replacing box televisions, they grew up. This places them in the unique position of being more receptive to emerging technology. Unlike most baby boomers, they are conscious about their impact on the environment and engage with those brands that are environment-friendly. Now that they have garnered enough buying power to influence economic trends, the growth of smart homes can be attributed to them. Smart homes not only provide an interactive living space by allowing them to control heating and cooling, lights, and a myriad of small home appliances remotely but also helps in conserving energy.

What’s all this noise about motors?

Motors are intermediaries that convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. It has been estimated that motors contribute to nearly half of the world’s energy consumption! Therefore, increasing motor efficiency can significantly mitigate the global energy crisis. They can be powered by alternating or direct current.

AC motors are not only power-consuming but rely on capacitor or resistor based regulators to control Revolutions per minute (RPM). Voltage fluctuations of the AC mains make RPM regulation very difficult. AC motors further result in Power Factor (PF) degradation.

There are two kinds of DC motors:  Brushed DC motors and brushless DC motors. Brushed DC motors have been around since the 19th century; meanwhile, brushless motors are a recent arrival. In a brushed DC motor, electrical current is passed through coils arranged within a fixed magnetic field, by fixed conductive brushes that make contact with the rotating commutator. The current generates a magnetic field causing the coil assembly to rotate, thus enabling a movement from the ‘like’ pole toward the ‘unlike pole’. It is necessary to continually reverse the current in order to flip the coil’s polarities, forcing them to chase the, unlike fixed poles. The Brushless DC motor, powered by a DC electric source via an integrated inverter, is a synchronous motor that produces an electric signal to drive the motor.

Pocket-friendly fans for the Indian families

Induction fans that use AC motors are at a disadvantage as compared to BLDC motor fans because its speed is controlled by resistance based or modern regulator. A BLDC fan generates the same amount of airflow with less energy consumption. Its commutation method, which uses a driving algorithm enables changing of the direction of power causing the rotational movement.

The mechanical contact in a brushed motor, the commutators can undergo wear and tear, is eliminated in BLDC Motor making the motor more rugged for long-term use. Additionally, BLDC motors also have a long backup on inverters and operate at speeds above 10,000 RPM. They are less noisy and lighter than induction fans. Furthermore, no heating occurs in a BLDC motor, making it more compatible with appliances like fans that run constantly.

A BLDC fan composes of three main components -Stator, Rotor and Electronics. Electric flux is generated the current flows through the coil depending on the arrangement of the stator. The conduction of current through the coils in rotor causes the motor to rotate. BLDC basically uses a combination of Permanent Magnets and Electronics for achieving energy efficiency and performance it delivers. Brushless motor, in fact, comes with high torque to weight ratio, more torque per watt, increased reliability, reduced noise, and longer lifetime.

A BLDC Gorilla smart fans can save up to Rs 1500-2000 per fan, every year. Induction fans consume 75-80 watts of power, whereas BLDC fans consume about 28 watts on the highest speed, which means 1/3rd of power consumption.  It helps in reducing your electricity bill by 65% every month. BLDC fans reduce power consumption by 50 per cent. BLDC motors are thus an ideal technology for areas affected by constant power cuts and voltage fluctuations.

In short, smart Gorilla IOT fans with BLDC motors are compatible with home automation systems by introducing timer and sleep modes. They are designed to automatically switch on/off or regulate speed according to changes in ambient temperature, eliminating the expense of traditional regulators. This makes them a smart investment for those consumers who are both environmentally conscious and keen on energy efficiency.

 

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