The Guide To TerraBloom EC Fan Speed Controllers
TerraBloom EC inline duct fans are used in a wide range of commercial and residential applications such as:
- climate management in indoor and vertical farms (heat, humidity, uniform climate)
- improvement of airflow delivery to remote rooms in existing HVAC systems
- air filtration in conjunction with Carbon, UV, HEPA, and MERV filters
- ventilation of areas not connected to central AC systems
- agricultural product finishing
- wind simulation in VR/AR simulators
- art installations
We understand that the flexibility of the fan's motor’s speed is one of the most important features of a duct fan and the key decision-making factor when selecting a ventilation fan for their application. At TerraBloom, our goal is to provide our customers with some of the most versatile speed controller options on the market. This is why, by default, we currently include 2 wired speed controllers with every EC duct fan and also offer several optional devices, such as wireless and thermostat fan speed controllers. Our EC duct fans also support the most popular programmable hardware controllers on the market such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino, which enable our customers to write custom code for their fan controlling devices.
Before we do a deep dive into the speed controllers offered for TerraBloom EC duct fans, let us mention a couple of important factors about why you want your EC duct fan to be speed controllable.
Why are speed controllers essential to EC fans?
Commercial clients can generate huge savings in power costs when using EC fans at lower speeds
Unlike AC motor-based fans which get very inefficient and lose a lot of energy through heat and noise at lower speeds, EC motors used in TerraBloom duct fans are extremely efficient at all speeds including medium and low range RPMs. To illustrate this, an AC motor-based fan slowed down by 50% through a rheostat controller will still consume the same amount of energy as at full speed. It will also produce noticeable hum and excess heat due to the excess electricity which will be purged by the fan’s motor and the rheostat speed controller used to slow it down. On the other hand, slowing down an EC motor by 50% will cause the fan to use 50% less energy than at full speed. In other words, the EC motor will only use the amount of energy that is proportional to the speed that it is being operated. It will also not cause any additional noise or hum in the process. To sum it up, one of the most important benefits of using your EC fan at lower speeds is the savings in energy costs. This is a major factor for commercial clients such as traditional and vertical indoor farms who operate multiple large size EC ducts fans in their facilities, which can save thousands of dollars in cost per month depending on the quantity and the size of equipment used.
Residential clients can significantly improve airflow in their home HVAC systems and keep noise low when using EC fans at an appropriate speed.
When used to improve airflow in residential HVAC applications TerraBloom duct fans may be deemed too powerful if operated at full speed. Our ECMF fans exhaust air with a speed of 10-12 meters per second, which is equivalent to very strong wind, which is also 3-4 times faster than the speed of the air exhaust that you’d get from an average duct register connected to a central HVAC system. To maintain a comfortable level of noise in the living premises our fans should be slowed down to the range of 30-65% of the max output when used in HVAC airflow booster applications. The precise speed that you want to choose depends on the key parameters such as:
- How long is the duct that the fan is installed in?
- How close to the register vent is the installation location of the fan?
- How much airflow is required to achieve a comfortable level of air exchange in the ventilated living premises?
When it comes to residential ventilation applications more airflow is not always better, too much airflow will not add more comfort to the environment and will cause undesired wind noise. Just the right amount of airflow needed to achieve the ideal climate should be the goal as it will ensure that your living space is well ventilated without the uncomfortable noise and excessive electricity bills.
Indoor growers can automate their garden ventilation system to operate according to the changes in the environment.
When ventilating grow tents, the goal of the grower is to maintain an optimal environment for plant and flower development. This requires regular air exchange to replenish CO2 inside the tent, the exhaust of excessive heat and humidity, and scrubbing of unwanted odors through a carbon filter. Since the changes in temperature and humidity will naturally occur throughout the day/night and veg/flower cycles, the speed at which you’d want to operate your fan will also change depending on these cycles.
Lower fan speeds are appropriate for when the plants are rooting and in the early vegetative cycle when the plants are growing in size. Medium speed is better suited for the daylight portion of the growing cycle when the lights are on before flowing begins. It helps to ensure regular air exchange and exhaust excess heat. Max speed when the light goes out at night and plants release excessive precipitation and during the peak of the flowering stage when the risk of mildew and botrytis is the highest due to the risk of moisture being trapped in the cannabis flower.
So what are the speed controller options which TerraBloom EC fans are compatible with?
TerraBloom Potentiometer EC Fan Speed Controller
A granular analog speed controller with a potentiometer dial knob. This speed controller is best suited for applications that require fine-tuning the fan's motor to any speed between 10-100% of motor output. This is an original speed controller which has been included with each TerraBloom EC fan for the past 5 years at no cost.
TerraBloom 8 Speed Digital PWM EC Fan Speed Controller
A digital speed controller with a numeric screen provides a visual indication of the currently selected speed. This controller offers 8-speed presets with each step increasing the speed by 12.5%. This versatile speed controller is the go-to module for many applications and the best part is that it is now included with each of our ECMF series fans at no cost.
TerraBloom Wireless Remote Speed Controller Add-On
A wireless remote add-on speed controller is ideal for installations in hard-to-reach places. The remote comes with an antenna module that connects to the fan and enables fan speed adjustment from up to 50 ft away. This is a perfect solution for controlling fans installed in attics, crawl spaces, garages, and other areas where the customer would not have easy access. The remote signal works through walls, floors, and ceilings
TerraBloom Programmable Smart Thermostat Speed Controller
For growing tent applications where automated fan speed controls might be desirable, we offer a programmable thermostat speed controller. Our thermostat monitors for changes in the temperature of the surrounding environment and accelerates or decelerates the speed of the fan according to the user's preferences. This is a perfect controller for indoor growers who want the environment in their grow room to be automatically maintained in the desired temperature range without their constant involvement.
Unlimited custom options with Arduino and Raspberry Pi microcontrollers
For advanced users with knowledge of microcontroller use, TerraBloom EC Fans provide an endless list of possibilities of custom made speed controllers. Our ECMF fans support both PWM and 0-10V signals which both Arduino and Raspberry PI controllers are capable of sending. To learn more about how to use these microcontrollers with TerraBloom EC fans, please refer to the video guides below: