AHU retrofit in financial hub, Singapore

AC axial fan vs EC fan comparison study

Project Background

This financial hub houses more than 3,000 staff and accommodates most of the bank’s technology, operations and support functions. With its open concept workspaces and stylish facilities, such as a state-of-art cafe, 24-hour gym and dance studio, it encourages a healthy working environment. An airy and comfortable atmosphere within the building is also crucial. As the building had been operating for a decade, the conventional AC belt-driven fans in AHUs were not efficient enough. It was clear to the facility management that all the AHUs needed to have a major overhaul.

Total Number of AHUs to be retrofitted: 70

Comparison Study: ebm‑papst vs. Brand X

AHU Comparison Study AC Axial Fan vs EC fan

ebm‑papst’s EC centrifugal RadiPac fans and Brand’s X AC axial fans were selected as potential candidates for the AHU retrofits. After comparing the differences in amount of energy consumption and other factors, it was determined that ebm‑papst’s EC centrifugal fans are the better choice. ebm‑papst then retrofitted the remaining 69 AHUs, which included the unit that contained the AC axial fan.  The below table illustrates the differences between the two brands. The data in the below table was measured by a third party Energy Services Company.

AHU Comparison Study AC Axial Fan vs EC fan


ebm‑papst EC fans
– Minimal turbulence
– Aerodynamically optimised
– 2 fans, enabling operational redundancy
– Higher energy efficiency
– Reduced noise emissions
– Minimal maintenance required
– Lower capital expenditure expected

Brand X AC Axial Fans
– Increased turbulence
– Poor aerodynamics
– 1 fan, leading to no operational redundancy
– Lower energy efficiency
– Limited mounting direction, vertical air throw
– Increased noise emissions
– Regular maintenance required
– Higher capital expenditure expected

ebm‑papst’s EC fan is superior in the areas of efficiency and operational redundancy. ebm‑papst’s fans were also easier to install due to its compact size and integrated system. Hence, the customer chose ebm‑papst EC fans to replace the belt-driven fans for the remaining AHUs.