When it comes to saving energy, most of us generally overlook ceiling fans. We see big appliances like air conditioners or heaters with suspicion for surreptitiously piling up the electricity bill. What we fail to understand though is that the ceiling fans are all-weather appliance—which keeps running all through the day (and even night)—thus cumulatively consume more electricity than we assume it to be.
For years, ceiling fans used to come with the same hardware of induction motor which typically consumed 70-80 watts for a standard ceiling fan. But in the last few years, a new technology called BLDC is being used to make fans consume a lesser amount of energy, without compromising much on the air delivery. BLDC stands for brush-less direct-current motor, a special type of motor which has permanent magnet instead of electromagnets found in a conventional induction motor. BLDC motor has important advantages over induction motor like low electricity consumption, lesser noise generation and better lifespan. You can read more about BLDC technology here.
Super-Efficient Equipment Program (SEEP) and The Rise of BLDC Fans
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is the government agency that promotes, develops and monitors various programs for improving energy efficiency. They are the ones who give energy star ratings which you typically see on electronic appliances like ACs, refrigerators, washing machines etc. BEE has started a program called Super-Efficient Equipment Program (SEEP) in February 2012 with the intent to rate appliance on its energy consumption parameter and promote energy-efficient consumer appliances. Ceiling fans were the first target of this program. Since the launch of this program, many startups have come with the idea of ‘BLDC fans’ which are usually 5-star rated and thus are highly energy efficient.
Efficiency is all about achieving the same results while using lesser electricity. Typical ceiling fans made with the conventional design are made of single-phase induction electric motor. Most of the prevailing fan manufacturers used aluminium than copper in the fan, as it is cheaper. But aluminium is less energy efficient. The end result is that most of the traditional technology fans consumed about 70-80 watts of electricity. The air delivery of these fan ranges between 210 to 250 m3/min
After the BEE launched the SEEP program, these manufacturers had to increase copper content and also improved blade designs in a bid to enhance energy efficiency. The result was BEE 5 star rated fans that would consume about 25-40 watts of electricity which were also called super-efficient fans.
The super-efficient 5-star rated BLDC fans that are available in the market generally use a different type of motor (BLDC motor) which further facilitates efficient blade designs, making ceiling fans far more efficient. Most of the BLDC ceiling fans are 5-star rated consuming 25-40 watts of energy, which is about 40-70% less than the regular old fans. Also, BLDC fans do not require installation of an additional regulator which saves 200-500 rupees upfront. Instead, they are controlled wirelessly with the help of remote just like air conditioners.
When BLDC fans were newly launched the air delivery used to be 210-230 m3/min but with the advancement in the technology, manufacturers have able to amp up the air delivery and you can now find BLDC model air delivery between 230-270 m3/min from reputed brands like Atomberg and Versa Drives.
BLDC technology, in general, has been in the market for a couple of decades and it is widely implemented in industries needing high torque motors. What was missing so long is its application in the ceiling fans. That start was done by startups like Versa Drives who offer Superfan and Atomberg which offers Gorilla fans. They are the pioneers of using BLDC motor in the ceiling fans in India. The traditional fan uses an induction motor and typically consumes 70-90 watts. But BLDC fan, on the other hand, can reduce power consumption by up to 65%. The latest line up of Gorilla fans consumes just 28 watts of energy.
Advantages of BLDC Motor Used in BLDC Fan
Prominent advantages of BLDC motor over induction motor is summarized as:
- Lower Electricity Consumption (65% savings)
- Longer backup on Inverters (even on Solar)
- Improved reliability
- Noise reduction
- Longer lifetime
Energy Consumption: Ordinary Fans Vs BLDC Fans
Now let us mathematically calculate how much electricity would be consumed, how much money would be saved using BLDC technology and how long it would take to recover the price of a BLDC fan through the energy-saving it gives over time.
The typical induction-based fan would consume around 75 watts whereas a BLDC fan would consume about 30 watts. Unlike lights which are only used during nights, a fan is an appliance which runs most of the time if the ambient temperature is high with no regular airflow of cool air. So, assuming they run regularly for 15 hours for 365 days calculation would be:
Hourly Electricity Consumption
Daily Electricity Consumption
Yearly Electricity Consumption
Yearly Costs (assuming Rs 6 per unit)
Typical price per unit of electricity in India is assumed to be around 6 Rs for residential users. Though the pricing per unit varies greatly between regions, power companies, slab it is in, and whether the usage is commercial or residential. For metros, it is better to assume tariffs around 10 Rs/unit but for India as a whole 6 Rs is more practical.
With BLDC fans you can save approximately 1500 rupees per year. 1500 rupees is usually the price differential when buying a BLDC fan i.e BLDC fans starts with the pricing of around 3,000 Rs while ordinary fans are rough prices around 1,500 Rs. So, in short, if you run your fans for more than 15 hours daily and per unit electricity cost exceeds 6 Rs you can expect to recover the complete cost of the fan in less than 2 years in the form of energy savings which BLDC fans give.
Now lets us look into the BLDC fan market based on the manufacturers and take a detailed look into the features they come with.
BLDC Fan Market Analysis: BLDC Ceiling Top Fans Brands and Their Features
Superfan by Versa Drives
Versa Drives is the pioneer of BLDC fans in India. They launched the first BLDC fan in 2012 under the brand name ‘Superfan’. That marked the beginning of an era of energy-efficient BLDC fans in India.
Versa Drives is a company based in Coimbatore that has been in existence since 2010. Versa Drives offers a variety of BLDC fans in blade sizes ranging from 900mm to 1400mm. Superfan comes in attractive 10 colours. It comes with a 5-years warranty which is higher than 2-3 years warranty typically offered in other fans.
They have 4 main models (with few subvariants) whose technical specifications are given below:
The key thing which differentiates Versa Drives from other BLDC fan brands is the variety. They offer BLDC fan in various sizes ranging from 900 mm up to 1400 mm. Also, you can choose between 10 different colour combinations. Another good thing is that they offer good protection against voltage variations. Due to the fluctuations in the supplied voltage speed of ordinary fans generally varies too. But Superfans are able to run at a constant RPM even if the supplied voltage fluctuates between 160V-260V.
Atomberg Gorilla BLDC Fans
Atomberg Technologies is another BLDC fan start-up company, emerged in 2013 right after the launch of Superfans by a group of young enthusiastic IIT’ians. Atomberg offers ceiling fans under the brand name of Gorilla fans.
Gorilla is the most popular BLDC fan brand in the online space with their products receiving 4+ star rating consistently. In the BLDC fan segment, Atomberg has one of the most reliable service networks, ready to troubleshoot customer’s problems related to the fan promptly. Gorilla fans come with 3 years of warranty.
Gorilla fans typically come in 2 main variants: Renesa, and Efficio. There is also Renesa+ and Efficio+ subvariant which have aesthetically more pleasing designs. Renesa comes in only 1200 mm blade size whereas Efficio models come with blade size between 900 mm to 1400 mm. Renesa also comes in a SMART variant which can be operated using an app or using smart home devices like Alexa or Google Home.
The technical specifications for different Gorilla fan variants are summarised in the table below:
Atomberg has won awards from WWF and the United Nations for its innovation. Founders of Atomberg have garnered accolades from Forbes and Government of India. After receiving a tremendous response on ceiling fans, they have recently launched energy-efficient wall and pedestal fans as well.
Jupiter Tricopter and Quadcopter BLDC Fans
Jupiter is another BLDC-only fan manufacturer like Atomberg and Superfan. They launched BLDC fans in 2015. They offer BLDC fans in four flavours: Tricopter, Quadcopter, Kaira and Maharaja.
Tricopter is 1200 mm usual 3-blade BLDC fan. Quadcopter, on the other hand, is a 4-blade 1200 mm BLDC fan. Jupiter is the only established known BLDC fan brand offering 4-blade fans. Also, they are one of the rare ceiling fan brands which offer BLDC fans that can change its revolving direction. Reversing the direction of the fan provides warmer air during winters. Wondering how? Let’s try to understand the science behind it.
Warm air is lighter while the cold air is heavier. So, usually warm air flows upwards and remains closer to the ceiling. Cold air being heavy generally stays near the floor. Now, when the fan moves in the opposite direction it starts pulling colder air from the bottom and pushes the warmer air towards the wall and floor. So, in a way when it runs in the reverse direction, it does not create usual air draft on you (which is what when it runs normally) but rather pushes hot air away from the ceiling (towards the floor). This way it creates a warmer feel of air useful for winters or cold weather. This method would work best when there is direct sunlight on the fan.
Tricopter model coming with 1200 mm blade span consumes just 25 watts which are lowest for this size. Thus, it effectively consumes three times lesser energy than ordinary fans. Also, Jupiter models are designed to handle voltage fluctuations between 140V-300V and can work without hassles in this voltage range. But on the downside air delivery is 210 m3/min for the 3-blade model. Jupiter BLDC fans generally come with a 3-year warranty.
Technical specification of Tricopter and Quadcopter models by Jupiter are as follows:
Orient Electric Eco BLDC Fans
After seeing the success of Gorillafans and Superfans, Orient Electric was one of the first conventional ceiling fan behemoths to offer BLDC fans besides the usual portfolio of induction motor based ceiling fans. They launched their first BLDC fan in 2015.
It presently offers BLDC fans only in 1200 mm blade size with power consumption between 32 watts to 50 watts. We have noticed that air delivery offered by Orient is on the lower side of averaging around 220 m3/min. Most of the BLDC models come with 2 years warranty which we feel is on a lower side. But the good thing about Orient BLDC fans was that they work with full speed even under low voltages of 140 volts. Just for the perspective normal supplied voltage of electricity at our homes is 240 volts.
Orient has launched Eco series of BLDC fans in 2015. Recently they have added a more efficient Aeroquite series of BLDC fans in the market. Their technical specifications are summarized in the table below:
Crompton Energion BLDC fans
Crompton is another established player in the ceiling fan segment. For a long period, Crompton desisted from venturing into the manufacturing of BLDC fans. But recently it launched the Energion series of BLDC fans (in 2019).
Crompton Energion is a fully packed BLDC fan that comes with a robust 5 years warranty. The thing which we liked most about Crompton BLDC fan is that they can work in the widest range of voltages between 90V-300V. Cons of Crompton BLDC fans are their availability only in the sweep size of 1200 mm and lower air delivery of 220 m3/min.
Technical Specification Energion Crompton BLDC fan is given below:
Havells Efficiencia BLDC Fans
Havells is a trusted FMEG (fast-moving electrical goods) Indian company. Like Crompton, Havells also had a laggardly attitude towards manufacturing energy-efficient BLDC fans. But finally, in 2019 they launched Efficiencia Neo BLDC fan model in 1200 mm sweep size. Havells consumes the least energy amongst established ceiling fans brand for 1200 mm blade size. It consumes only 25 watts which three times less than ordinary induction motor-based ceiling fans. But air delivery at 220 m3/min is on a lower side. Also, this fan is rated to work in the voltage range of 220V-240V which is quite less compared to what is offered by Superfan or Crompton. Crompton offers 2 years of warranty on BLDC fans.
Technical specification of Havells Efficiencia Neo BLDC fan is summarised below:
Panasonic Anchor BLDC Fans
Panasonic is the only known international brand that offers BLDC ceiling fans in India. Panasonic is a trusted Japanese electrical manufacturer that launched BLDC fans in 2018. It sells BLDC fan F-12XDA under the sub-brand Anchor—a company it acquired some years ago. The feature which we liked most about the Panasonic Anchor F-12XDA BLDC fan is the ability to handle voltages between 100V-300V. But the warranty offered is on the lower side: just 2 years.
Technical specification Panasonic Anchor ABS F-12XDA BLDC fan is as follows:
So, we have done the market analysis and review of BLDC fans offered by reliable brands in this post. Besides the brands covered in this article, there are other 20+ players offering 5-star rated BLDC fans. These brands include names like Eveready, Luminous, Venus, Surya etc. In our research, we have found that Gorilla and Superfan to come with the best service value rating i.e., the ratio of air delivery to power. Or in other words, they give out maximum air while using minimum power. When it comes to warranty, Superfan and Crompton give 5 years warranty which is best amongst established BLDC manufacturing brands.
Now, the price of the BLDC fans is on a higher side, but if we take into consideration the electricity costs which is bound to increase with time, opting for a super-efficient 5-star rated BLDC fan makes a lot of sense. With the BEE making norms for obtaining 5-star energy rating harder, the models which are newly rated by BEE are extremely energy efficient consuming just around 25-35 watts of power. We at BijliBachao have always advocated for BLDC fans right since its inception and we are happy to know that over the last few years people are increasingly opting for BLDC fans over ordinary fans. We hope that this analysis would help you select a right BLDC fan and you would make a small contribution towards energy saving and conserving the environment by opting for a BLDC fan the next time you decide to purchase a ceiling fan.
About the Author:
Hussain Kanchwala is an Electronics Engineer from University of Mumbai. As an Analyst at BijliBachao he keeps a tab on latest technologies in gadgets and appliances, tracks businesses of white goods companies and monitors the consumer behavior. With a background in engineering, penchant for detail, and flair for writing he regularly write reviews about brands and their products. More from this author.