Ask Rick: Why aren’t direct drive fans used on more applications?

Direct Drive Fan - Ziehl Abegg

Q.  Why aren’t direct drive fans used on more applications?

A.  In Europe, 80% of commercial ventilation units sold today are equipped with direct drive fans.  In The US, the industrial and heavy commercial fields have already recognized the benefits of direct drive fans.  Reduction in maintenance has been the primary motivation.

In HVAC applications direct drive fans have not been used for the following reasons:

  • Habit –  It takes our industry a long time to change.  We are late adopters.  If it’s on the plans, it gets cut and pasted over and over.
  • Cost – Up until now direct drives had been more expensive than belt drive fans.
  • Space – The direct drive arrangement adds length to an AHU.  Sometimes that won’t work for a design.

At DAC Sales, we now use direct drive fans wherever we can.  They make up 90% of what we specify.  For Annexair and Strobic Air,  direct drive fans are all we use.

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