How an Electric Fan Cools Your Car

car electric fan

How an Electric Fan Cools Your Car

An electric fan uses an electrical motor to spin the blades. They can be controlled by sensors and ECUs to come on at optimum times and spin at the correct speed for cooling.

They consume less engine power and improve fuel economy compared to belt-driven fans. JEGS offers both pusher and puller electric fans to fit in any radiator or fan shroud configuration.

1. Increased Engine Cooling at Idle

When the vehicle is moving, air flows over the radiator and carries away the heat in the hot coolant. But when the engine is idling, no air passes over the radiator and the vehicle can quickly overheat. An electric fan system works independently from the engine and can keep the radiator cooled at idle and at low speeds, even with the engine turned off.

Unlike older mechanical fans, electric cooling systems use sensors and the vehicle’s computer to determine when the fan should turn on. They also have the ability to cycle on and off to reduce power consumption.

In fact, in a recent field study, an electric fan system on two Peterbilt 520 cab-over trucks consumed less than 1 hp for 85 percent of the operation and only 5 hp during peak usage. Fleet managers love the return on investment they’re seeing as a result of reduced maintenance time, fuel economy savings and fewer overheating incidents. Drivers comment on the increased power available to the wheels when accelerating or going uphill and love the open feel of the engine compartment with an electric fan.

2. Improved Air Conditioning Cooling at Idle

Many modern cars use electric fans in their radiators for air conditioning cooling. When the AC is turned on it sends a signal to the fan to spin up and cool the condenser as well. This helps ensure that your car is properly cooled and able to reach optimal temperatures at idle as well as during long road trips or drag races.

This is a big advantage over mechanical fans that require engine power to car electric fan operate, which can cause problems such as low cooling performance at idle or even a blown fuse from the excessive electricity being used. Electric fans also have the ability to cycle on and off, reducing their electric load when not needed.

JEGS offers several types of electric fans, including push and pull styles with various blade designs, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your classic street-use car. We also offer fan shrouds, electric fan controllers and wiring kits to complete your car cooling system upgrade. We recommend that you choose a fan with an adequate CFM rating to meet your engine and air conditioning needs, which can be determined by measuring the amount of airflow flowing through your radiator.

3. Reduced Noise

The engine cooling fan can cause a loud rattling noise when the car accelerates. This can be caused by a loose fan belt or loose or worn motor bearings. The rattling can be reduced by re-lubricating the fan and changing the fan belt to one that is compatible with the engine.

Flow-induced noise generated by automobile radiator fans is a major concern for vehicle manufacturers due to its impact on the passenger’s comfort and the perceived quality of the vehicle brand. Various solutions to reduce the fan noise have been proposed, but they are expensive. This paper proposes a simple but effective technique for car electric fan the reduction of the fan noise by introducing ridge structures to the blade shroud that effectively reduces the flow induced noise by suppressing the transition from laminar to turbulent flow near the fan.

Numerical analysis showed that the ridge structure significantly improved the unsteady flow behavior around the fan, resulting in reduced flow-induced noise. In the far-field region, the OSPL decreased by approximately 6 dB with distance doubling; however, in the near-field region, it decreased less than this value.

4. Improved Fuel Economy

Traditionally belt driven fans are slaved to the engine and use mechanical energy to turn. Electric fans don’t have to do that and can be controlled with sensors and the car computer, so they only consume power when needed. This allows for better coolant temperature control, less parasitic drag and higher fuel economy.

If you add a larger fan to your vehicle, it may require additional electrical components, and this increases the load on your battery and alternator. The increased load will make your vehicle work harder, which burns more gas. In the long run this can cost you a significant amount of money at the pump.

Adding a brushless motor to an electric fan will drop the average electrical draw from 300 watts to 100 watts. This translates into a 1 mile per gallon improvement in your fuel economy. Considering how much you spend on gasoline annually, this can be a huge savings. But, you need to be aware that if the cooling system is in good working order it will not be necessary to run the fan at all.

5. Reduced Maintenance

When a fan won’t kick on and runs continuously, it causes your engine to run hotter than it should. It also wastes fuel and increases carbon build up. If the problem continues, your radiator could overheat and require replacement. The EMP Smart Flow e-fan solves this problem by tying into your trucks dashboard to provide reversal and diagnostic capability without the need for a special data link adapter or service tool.

Typical traditional mechanical fans are either two-speed or on/off, and they draw power whenever they’re running. The EMP Smart Flow e-fan is full variable speed and only operates when required, eliminating parasitic draws from your engine.

As car electric fans continue to get installed and driven, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Owners, operators and mechanics appreciate the increased cooling efficiency of their engines and hoses. Fleet managers love the lower maintenance costs. And technicians love the openness they offer in engine compartments where space is often at a premium. You’ll find that your e-fan system also contributes to reduced thermal cycling, which means less wear and tear on your engine, transmission and hoses.

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