ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has advised the government to transition towards DC fans and gradually phase out AC fans and conduct a thorough assessment of industry to determine market impacts caused by the move.

In its report, titled “Supporting the manufacturing in Pakistan of high-quality DC fans”, the World Bank has outlined recommendations for its involvement with the fan industry, saying that with the implementation of these recommendations, the market for DC fans will grow significantly and manufacturers will be able to capture a share of the international market for DC fans.

The report said DC space-cooling fans are widely recognised for their superior energy efficiency and better overall performance compared to AC fans.

In general, DC motors consume up to 70 per cent less power than AC alternatives, the report said, adding that the energy efficiency advantage is especially relevant for Pakistan, where electric fans are the prevalent technology for space cooling.

Since 2018, the World Bank has implemented several initiatives to improve the quality and performance of locally manufactured DC fans by engaging with the manufacturers, recommending quality standards and improving the capacity of testing facilities to provide high-quality certification for the products.

The report urged Pakistan to adopt quality and performance standards for DC fans and support the industry to transition away from AC fans.

Pakistan has adopted national standards for AC fans consistent with International Electrotechnical Commission standards. However, there are currently no similar standards applicable to DC fans.

Domestic manufacturers should engage with the government to achieve a rapid transition from AC to DC fans, invest in research and development and product development to improve energy efficiency, fulfil future requirements and seek export opportunities, the report added.

The report has also recommended the authorities to explore the potential for a commercially driven DC fan exchange or rebate programme targeting consumers.

The report, with assistance from Collaborative Labelling and Appliance Standards Programme (Clasp) and in consultation with key industry stakeholders, has recommended test procedures and minimum performance standards for DC fans.

This will provide the technical basis for the government to adopt national standards through the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority and the National Energy Efficiency and Conserva­tion Authority.

The report has forecast that in the near term, support to DC fan manufacturing would directly impact the outcomes of off-grid electrification in Pakistan, potentially incentivising the purchase of more than 200,000 DC space-cooling fans.

The report said industry specialists in Pakistan collaborated with Clasp to identify design improvements to increase efficiency and address airflow concern.

The World Bank is already financing a Sindh government project providing partial grants to 200,000 households to purchase solar home systems (SHS), for which the minimum system require­ment includes provision of a DC fan.

The KfW Development Bank and Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company are also implementing a programme to deploy high-quality SHS and other off-grid solar products in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022

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