What is an EC Motor?

If you currently own a Cloudline duct fan and recently bought an additional unit, you may have noticed a slight change in the motor box and controller. There’s an additional cord that directly plugs into your power outlet, and there’s no longer a power port on the controller. This is because we’ve updated our inline duct fan’s internal fan motor. The Cloudline now features an EC motor that powers the fan and offers greater benefits than the previous DC motor.

You might have some questions about this upgrade that’s been applied to our entire extractor exhaust fan line like, “What even is an EC motor?” and “What does this mean for my older Cloudline fan?” We’re going to address them here to equip you with all the sweet knowledge you need.

EC Motor Overview

First off, we must address what an EC (electronically commutated) motor is. It is a direct current, external rotor type of motor in which AC voltage is converted into direct voltage by a commutator. Without getting too technical, it is a brushless motor that runs on DC voltage using an AC power supply to combine the best of both technologies. 

What are the Benefits of an EC Motor?

Starting with what you can see with your eyes, our upgraded EC motor version of fans are easier to install. With a dedicated power plug, your controller won’t be pulled between a molex connector and an AC adaptor. With fewer cables to deal with, your installation will be quicker.

EC motors are smaller than other ones and offer the same level of performance. This is because they don’t rely on carbon brushes and are controlled by external electronic circuit boards. As a result, they offer greater controllability and higher efficiency. So unlike DC or AC motors, EC motors only run as much as it’s needed with no excess use of energy.

I have an Older Cloudline. Can I Daisy Chain Them?

Because DC motors and EC motors run on different voltages, we highly recommend NOT daisy chaining an EC motor and DC motor Cloudline together. While you can physically plug the two fans’ molex connectors to the same universal controller, connecting them together may cause electrical damage.

This does not mean you cannot use two active exhaust fans together however, especially in grow tent applications. The workaround for this problem would be to keep each extractor fan dedicated to its included controllers. Let’s say you have an existing Cloudline T6 and purchased an accompanying Cloudline S6. Whether or not you control both fans with a single controller, you will still get the same CFM performance from both fans.

While you cannot control a DC motor duct fan with an EC motor version, you can however connect different sized EC motor fans together. For example, you may control a Cloudline T10 along with a Cloudline S4 or S8, if they both utilize an EC motor.