The new, electronically-commutated (EC) drive system consists of an electric motor and an electronic drive. The electric motor is built up of a laminated and over-moulded stator core, concentrated windings and an external permanent magnet rotor. The EC motor drive is specifically designed to be used as integral part of an axial fan, with the fan propeller being mounted directly on the outer rotor of the EC motor. The electronic drive is integrated in the EC motor drive housing and it takes care for converting supply voltage into a specific frequency/voltage motor supply waveform and thus enabling motor to operate at different speeds with maximum energy efficiency.
Low noise operation, long lifespan, high energy efficiency at a wide range of fan speeds, thermal stability in the temperature range from -25°C up to + 65 °C, together with compactness of the EC motor drive system are main product characteristics that were achieved by the mechanical design, use of special insulation materials and use of a brand-new sensor regulation algorithm that controls the EC drive. The newly designed EC drive is optimized for serial production. Product reliability and robustness is proven during validation process, consisting of numerous endurance, and accelerated life testing.
The R&D project is a result of cooperation between three business units of Hidria Rotomatika: Hidria Movent, Hidria Lamtec and Hidria Alutec. In addition external partners were heavily involved in R&D phase. The most important among them are Faculty of Energetics Krško, Wilsonic Design, Slovenian Institute of Quality and TECOS. Beside them external component suppliers Elrad International, Daplast, Imas and technology providers Alumann (D), Innarca (I), Schleich (D) and Ejot (A) were of great help as well. During the whole product design phase, the R&D team followed the product performance specifications as available from Gorenje as the most important domestic customer and specifications of potential EU customers from Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Belgium and Netherlands.
The investment of more than 2,6 million euro for basic machinery and tools needed for industrialization of the newly developed EC drive system will enable Hidria Rotomatika to develop and put on the market a whole new product family of energy efficient axial fans. These EC driven axial fans will form the core of the new products that will be launched on the international markets by Hidria Rotomatika after 1st January 2015, that is after the new European rules on minimum energy efficiency for fans in the range from 125 W to 500 KW will come into operation. Thus Hidria Rotomatika will increase its market share in segment of professional industrial HVAC devices.
Gained research, development and production know how of EC drives and fans is a solid base for further development of larger EC drive fan product families that will be industrialized in the 2014-2015 period. Base on Hidria Rotomatika’s further expansion of EC axial fan product portfolio, major business growth is projected. The company plans to gain by 2018 at least 5% market share of current 400 M€ valued axial fan market and up to 10% by 2023.