Evaporator Fan Retrofits Do More Than Save Energy

By Jonathan Tan, VP Energy Services
The AMS Group, Hillphoenix

Electronically commutated (EC) motors have been an alternative to induction (shaded pole and permanent split capacitor) motors in evaporator fans for the past decade. Although EC motors can reduce energy consumption by as much as 65 percent compared with its predecessors, the higher cost of the technology – and longer payback period – has hindered significant adoption in the supermarket space. But as with most new technologies it’s only a matter of time until the price comes down, and EC motors are now essentially standard on evaporator fans in new refrigerator and freezer cases.

Fortunately, you don’t have to spring for new cases to reap the benefits.

A single drop-in retrofit is the perfect fit for every case.

With evaporator fan retrofits from the Hillphoenix AMS Group, the benefits go beyond energy savings. Our fan retrofits feature an EC motor and fiberglass-reinforced plastic blades, orifice, and fan basket in one durable, pre-constructed unit that’s optimized for noise reduction and airflow.

A difference shoppers will notice

If yours is an older store with older equipment, the next time you’re in a service department, stop a moment and listen to what customers hear. Racket, clatter, vibration. That’s the noise of out-of-balance evaporator fans with bent, dinged-up aluminum blades. It’s easy to get used to the noise and tune it out when it’s a regular part of your environment. But that’s not the case for shoppers.

Our fiberglass-reinforced engineered plastic blades are designed and tested for durability. In lab tests, blades were subjected to impact from ice cubes and 2-inch steel balls with no damage. They will be as quiet years down the road as on the first day of operation, for a difference shoppers will appreciate.

Better airflow

Better design and durability also means better airflow than traditional aluminum blades. When aluminum blades become deformed they no longer move air the way they were designed to. Along with resisting deformation that compromises airflow, our blades feature winglets that maximize air movement while reducing noise.

Designed for demanding applications and easy installation and programming

Each unit is protected from the wet environment of freezer and refrigerator cases with a hermetically sealed stator assembly, formed-in-place gasketing and fully coated electronics. Full ball bearing assemblies enable mounting the unit in any position and provide exceptional life of nearly 7 years. And you can expect the retrofit project to go smoothly. With the push of a few buttons, a hand-held digital programmer sets the optimal fan speed without needing to replicate the blade pitch of the fans you’re replacing.

A 2-year warranty and a much quicker payback

Our evaporator fan retrofits integrate the energy efficiency of the EC motor with the durability and quiet performance of reinforced engineered plastic for a solution that comes with a long warranty period and a short payback period. With utility incentives for energy efficiency, you can typically expect to further reduce payback from well under 2 years to less than 1 year.

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