We know how to move air.

Are you new to heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technology and looking for the right fan for your application? Are you looking for a product that precisely fits your needs? Then you’ve come to the right place: with many years of experience, comprehensive expertise and a versatile product range, we are experts in manufacturing custom-fit fan solutions.

This page provides you with a clear introduction. Start by finding out the basics about the function, application and types of fans so that you have an initial overview. We will of course be happy to assist you in selecting the right fan. We can also discuss this with you during the design phase of your application and work with you to develop a suitable solution.

The ebm‑papst Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of fans and motors. As a technology company, we have continually set global industry standards since we were founded in 1963. As part of this, we take time today to consider the challenges of tomorrow and keep a constant focus on sustainability. With over 20,000 products in its range, ebm‑papst offers the right, energy-efficient and intelligent solution for practically every task in ventilation, heating and drive technology. The ebm‑papst Group has its headquarters in Mulfingen and more than 15,000 employees worldwide.

We know how to move air efficiently and intelligently. And we make sure that it keeps you comfortable. From air conditioning, data centers, cleanrooms, and refrigeration technology to industrial applications, transportation, renewable energy, and residential ventilation – you come into contact with solutions and products from us every day. If you don’t notice, we’ve done our job well.

At a glace


The main purpose of fans is to move air. They are used in applications for cooling or heating air, for humidifying or dehumidifying it, and for air purification, for example. Fans from ebm‑papst are available in various sizes and performance levels for a wide range of applications.


Two different motor technologies are used to drive fans. AC motors operate using alternating current. EC motors are also supplied with alternating current, but operate internally with direct current. EC motors are particularly energy efficient because their speed is infinitely variable from 10 to 100%. This means that they do not always run at full consumption, but only as powerfully as is needed at the time. Especially in industrial applications EC motors are preferred because of their lower energy consumption.


The areas of application for fans are extremely diverse. For example, they can be used to create a pleasant and constant indoor climate or to ensure the proper functioning of industrial systems and processes. They are used in air conditioners, heating and ventilation systems, electronic devices and a wide range of industrial areas. Their function of moving air means that they are often indispensable and allow systems to operate reliably all year round.


There are several types of fans and they vary in terms of their aerodynamics, making them especially suitable for use in different fields. Axial fans, centrifugal fans, diagonal fans or tangential blowers can be selected for the specific area of use depending on the application and air volume required. All fan types are available in different sizes.


The optimum fan solution is determined on the basis of various criteria and influenced by many factors, including in particular the required air flow and the back pressure to be overcome. Knowing the most important parameters plays a crucial role in finding the most suitable fan solution for an individual system.

Fan types at a glance


Axial fans are fans in which the air flow is parallel (axial) to the fan’s axis of rotation. They are suitable for applications where a high air flow with low back pressure is required. Axial fans are available in a large number of sizes.

More about the application areas

Centrifugal fans draw air in axially (parallel) to the fan’s axis of rotation and blow it out it radially (perpendicular) to the fan’s axis of rotation. They are generally suitable for applications where a higher pressure increase with a lower air flow rate is required. Centrifugal fans are often installed in a housing that is used for purposes such as directing the air flow into an air duct. But they are also available with no housing.

More about the application areas



With tangential blowers, the air flow on the intake and outlet side runs at right angles to the axis of the fan. They are recognizable by their flat, elongated design, and are ideal for applications where it is critical to have a shallow, broad flow of air with minimal pressure losses. In tangential blowers, a flat, rotating impeller surrounded by an air baffle ensures a broad and uniform air flow.

More about the application areas

Diagonal fans are a type of fan in which the air flow is drawn in axially and flows out at an oblique angle to the side of the axis of rotation, moving partly in an axial direction and partly in a radial direction. They combine the characteristics of axial and centrifugal fans and are suitable for applications where medium pressure and medium air flow are required, such as in refrigerated display cases or for cooling electronic equipment and components.

More about the application areas




Due to their design (e.g. filters, heat exchangers, constrictions, bends, etc.), air handling units present a flow resistance that counteracts the air flow of a fan.

Depending on the level of the air flow, this causes a drop in pressure. This technical relationship is described as a system curve.

Through mechanical work, a fan produces a pressure increase that compensates for the pressure drop and conveys the desired air flow qv through the system.

A fan conveys a continuous air flow and generates a static pressure increase that compensates for the pressure losses in the system. This “static pressure increase” pfs is always dependent on the air flow conveyed qv.

If both interdependent variables are plotted in a coordinate system, a characteristic curve describing the performance of a fan over all possible operating points is generated.

The shape of the fan curve and the optimum operating range depend on the fan type. Efficiency is highest and noise performance is quietest in the optimum operating range on the fan curve. The optimum operating range varies depending on the fan type and is highlighted in the diagram by way of example.


Axial fans supply high air flow rates at low static pressure (shallow curve) and are often also used in free air operation.

Centrifugal fans are primarily used where a higher pressure drop has to be overcome. This is the case in air handling units or for cooling power electronics.

Diagonal fans lie between the two above-mentioned designs in terms of their operating characteristics. They are ideal in cases where axial fans cannot deliver sufficient pressure and centrifugal fans deliver too low an air flow rate.

Tangential blowers provide high air flow rates with small pressure drops and extremely good noise characteristics. However, tangential blowers are less efficient and are therefore generally only used at very low air performance levels.


The operating point is determined by the coordinates of the desired air flow and the resulting pressure drop.

When selecting a fan, it is important to ensure that it can supply the desired air flow with the required pressure increase.

In a diagram, the operating point is the intersection of the fan curve and the system curve.


Where are axial fans used?

Heat pump:
Heat pumps absorb energy from their surroundings and then feed it into the heating or service water system. Axial fans in heat pumps are important in ensuring that heat is exchanged and the heat pump operates efficiently.

Mobile air conditioners:
In buses and trains, axial fans ensure that the excess heat energy from air conditioners is dissipated to the outside.

V-type condenser:
In a V-type condenser, axial fans are used to create an air flow that quickly and efficiently cools gaseous refrigerants and converts them to a liquid state.

FanGrid in a data center:
A FanGrid consists of an arrangement of several fans. A FanGrid of axial fans can be used to move air out of a building. In data centers, for example, it ensures that heated air is discharged in a controlled manner. Parallel connection of the fans means that the air performance can be scaled almost at will. In addition, a high level of operational reliability is achieved, because if one fan fails, the other fans help out and balance out the air performance.

Split-system air conditioner:
A split-system air conditioner is a type of air conditioner that consists of two main components: an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. In the outdoor unit, an axial fan draws outdoor air through a radiator and releases excess heat into the environment. In the indoor unit, a tangential blower moves indoor air through a cooling coil and removes heat from the room.

Refrigerated display case:
In refrigerated display cases, cold air must be distributed evenly to ensure a constant temperature throughout the cooling area. Axial fans are particularly suitable here. Highly efficient, they run very reliably and have long service lives, even at low temperatures.

Cold store evaporator:
An axial fan in the cold store evaporator provides a large air throw to ensure efficient and uniform distribution of cool air throughout the space.

Table-top condenser:
In a table-top condenser, axial fans are used to create an air flow that quickly and efficiently cools gaseous refrigerants and converts them to a liquid state.

In greenhouses, axial fans ensure that fresh air is supplied and evenly distributed inside the greenhouse so that plants can grow healthier and faster.


Where are centrifugal fans used?

In medical equipment, centrifugal fans assist breathing by slightly increasing pressure to keep the airways clear and ensure a continuous supply of oxygen.

Air handling unit:
An air handling unit is the central component of a ventilation system that is typically used in office buildings, hospitals, shopping malls and industrial plants. Centrifugal fans ensure a constant air flow in the AHU, which is required for ventilation, air conditioning and air distribution.

Range hood:
Wherever you cook, there will be smells, steam and grease particles in the air. Centrifugal fans in range hoods ensure that the contaminated air is extracted so that it doesn’t spread throughout the living space.

Air filter unit:
In air filter units, centrifugal fans provide the pressure necessary for ambient air to flow through a fine-pore filter system and be cleaned in the process.

Fan filter units for cleanroom applications:
Filter fan units are used to supply ultra-clean air to production and filling systems for the manufacture of microchips, for example, or in the pharmaceutical industry. They are mainly employed in ceiling systems in cleanrooms in chip factories, bottle filling or plastic molding facilities, the pharmaceutical industry and semiconductor technology. A centrifugal fan ensures that the air flows through the complex filter systems.

Residential ventilation units:
To improve air quality in indoor spaces such as homes, workplaces, schools, supermarkets, and medical practices, room ventilators ensure a continuous exchange of air. Centrifugal fans are used for effective air circulation and filtration, extracting stale air from the room and transporting fresh air from the outside to the inside.

FanGrid in a data center:
A FanGrid consists of an arrangement of several fans. A FanGrid of centrifugal fans can be used to draw warm air from the server room and direct it through cooling units to dissipate the heat and prevent the IT equipment from overheating.
Parallel connection of the fans means that the air performance can be scaled almost at will. In addition, a high level of operational reliability is achieved, because if one fan fails, the other fans help out and balance out the air performance.


Where are tangential blowers used?

Underfloor convectors:
Cold drafts can occur in front of large window areas. In underfloor convectors, tangential blowers move the air through the heat exchangers. They draw in warm air from below and blow it upward along the window surface, thereby improving the transfer of heat and ensuring a more even temperature distribution throughout the room.

Stove jacket cooling:
Whether it’s a stove or an oven, using an air-cooled jacket around the hot parts protects the appliance from overheating. Tangential blowers with a shallow and broad air flow enable effective cooling over the entire surface area.

Air curtains:
An air curtain or air door establishes a barrier of air to minimize the exchange of air masses from different temperature ranges. Multiple tangential blowers arranged side-by-side create a wide and stable curtain of air.

Bottle coolers and freezers:
Tangential blowers in refrigerators and bottle coolers distribute the cold air evenly inside. This keeps the temperature at an optimum level and prevents uneven cooling.


Where are diagonal fans used?

Electronics cooling:
When cooling electronic devices and systems, diagonal fans circulate air, dissipate heat and cool components. The fans often work in combination with other components such as heat pipes and heat sinks to ensure even better heat dissipation.

In the field of telecommunications, diagonal fans assist with heat removal, circulate air, and cool various components such as servers and routers. They play a significant role in maintaining an optimum operating temperature.

Refrigerated display case:
Diagonal fans keep the temperature in the refrigerated display case stable by creating an air flow that glides over the items on display, evenly distributing the cool air. This preserves the freshness of the food and significantly reduces the risk of bacterial growth.

Switch cabinets:
Diagonal fans in switch cabinets play an important role in cooling and ventilating the electronic components they contain. Diagonal fans deliver air at the necessary pressure to maintain the internal temperature at an optimal level. This helps to extend the service life of the components and prevent failures due to overheating.

E-charging station:
To dissipate the heat generated by the high current flow in the charging cables and power electronics, axial and/or diagonal compact fans ensure that the electronics and cable remain within a certain temperature range, ensuring the output power and reliability of the charging station in all seasons.

IT/server cooling:
Compact fans are installed in server and IT housings to remove warm air from the housing and replace it with cool air from outside. This ensures that hardware components operate within the correct temperature range, increasing equipment life and performance.


Air flow

The air flow is the effective variable when it comes to ensuring an adequate supply of fresh air or dissipating heat, for example.

The air flow indicates the volume of air that the fan has to move in a given period of time. It is usually specified in cubic meters per hour (m³/h) or cubic feet per minute (cfm).


Static pressure

The static pressure describes the increase in pressure required by the fan to deliver the required air flow through the flow resistance of the system. It is usually specified in pascals (Pa) or inches of water column (in wc).


Power supply

It is important to note that the fan can be operated with the available power supply (e.g. AC or DC, 1~ or 3~ mains, voltage, frequency, etc.).



The size of the fan and the necessary clearances in the intake and outlet area must be matched to the installation situation in the room. Confined space leads to higher pressure losses and higher flow speeds, which also results in a higher noise level and higher power requirements.



The requirements for a fan differ depending on the application. In addition to the required air flow and pressure increase, other factors such as additional corrosion protection may also be required.

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You still have questions or want more info?

Are you looking for the right fan for your project? Or do you need support with the design of your system? We will be happy to help you.