Electric fan industry moves towards energy-saving inverter technology

Published June 6, 2022
GUJRAT: Coils of wire are being wrapped around the central rotating  hub, known as impeller, a vital part of an electric fan.—Dawn
GUJRAT: Coils of wire are being wrapped around the central rotating hub, known as impeller, a vital part of an electric fan.—Dawn

GUJRAT: The electric fan industry is gradually shifting towards inverter technology by manufacturing fans that can also function at low voltage and solar energy.

The manufacturing of inverter fans was started by only a couple of manufacturing units around nine years back amidst the energy crisis in the country at that time but with the passage of time, more fan companies started manufacturing them.

The resurgence of power loadshedding, once again, in the country has underlined the need for inverter fans which consume less energy. Though the main national brands of electric fans are still relying on the previous infrared technology (IR), such units have also started manufacturing inverter fans at a limited scale.

An inverter fan usually requires 50 to 60 watts of electricity per hour to function at full speed and it has the capacity to function on both the AC and DC current, says a faculty member of the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Gujrat. He says the performance of these fans has been tremendous and the industry should rapidly shift to this energy-saving technology that can bring relief to the people affected by the hiked rates of electricity and help the country in energy conservation. He says there has been a difference in power consumption of pedestal and ceiling fans as the latter consume less energy. However, he adds, the price of an inverter fan is a bit higher than the fans of older technology but that’s compensated by electricity saving.

The export market is not ready yet to buy the new technology fans, the local manufacturers tell Dawn. They say the electrical components, such as kits, remote controls and magnets, are being imported from China for the solar fans but all other materials to manufacture these fans are being prepared locally.

On the other hand, they add, the efforts are being made to manufacture the electrical components locally to get rid of the imported Chinese material. The local companies have got some engineers trained from China who are now able to at least repair these fans in Pakistan.

Currently, small and medium scale manufacturing units are producing the inverter fans and the major markets of the product have been the rural Sindh, Balochistan and far-flung areas of Pakistan where the electricity is either not available or its voltage is very low.

A fan manufacturer says when the government had disconnected the power supply to the areas known for power theft back in 2014-15 the demand for inverter fans had surfaced, especially from those areas. Now the country is, once again, on the brink of yet another energy crisis, evident from the power outages in harsh summer weather, and the demand is likely to increase once again, he says, asking the industry to prepare itself for the increased demand and enhance production of inverter fans.

Some of the manufacturers who introduced inverter fans at the initial stages are of the opinion that the government should launch a scheme to gradually replace the existing fan technology with inverter fans by providing some subsidy to the consumers. They say the inverter fans have yet only 10pc share of the total national production of the electric fans, which may increase further in the coming years after export of new technology fans and more sales in the domestic market.

At least 150 to 200 small and medium scaled fan manufacturing units are operating in Gujrat and Gujranwala cities that are considered as the hub of the sector in the country.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2022

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