ebm-papst Fans, Blowers and Technology

Production Tax Credit Extension - Is One Year Enough?

Posted on Fri, Jan 18, 2013
by Todd Cardillo, Market Manager - Alternative Energy

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President Obama had everyone on their toes last month regarding the Fiscal Cliff, which also included the review of the Production Tax Credit (PTC). In an apparent last minute effort, the president said White House and Senate negotiators have agreed to “extend tax credits for clean-energy companies that are creating jobs and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”

The PTC has been a major driver of wind power development over the past decade. It provides a 2.2 cent per kilowatt-hour tax credit for the first ten years of electricity production from utility-scale turbines; however, Congress has repeatedly gone back and forth between expiring and extending the PTC.

Preserving the tax credit is a major triumph for the wind power industry. Critics have argued that the industry is now mature enough to survive without the tax benefit, however, wind producing companies still feel it is important for US infrastructure, and would agree that phasing it out over the next few years would be a much better solution.

Wind companies pushed for a two-year extension, arguing that anything less would provide little certainty to investors in wind projects, but the industry later backed off and supported the extension for just one year. On a positive note, the qualification process was changed in their favor as well. The one year extension now pertains to projects “started” before December 31st, 2013, rather than like in the past, when the project needed to be “producing power” before the projected deadline.

Many projects had been put on hold in 2012 because wind developers knew the PTC was due to expire. The uncertainty caused wind developers to delay their projects, reduce their employees, and even close their doors because of lack of business. Now that the PTC has been extended, companies are dusting off their components, and pushing to get everything back up and running as quick as possible.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates that the PTC extension has protected ~37,000 jobs within this industry, however, we still need to be concerned with the jobs that have been already lost in 2012. In some aspects, the damage has been done, and introduces another important question “Is a one year extension enough”?

Tags: GreenTech, energy, PTC, wind, Energy Efficiency, Alternative Energy

ebm-papst: Efficiency Starts at Home

Posted on Mon, Jan 07, 2013

aerial shotebm-papst Inc. has recently replaced all the heating and cooling units in the main production areas at the U.S. headquarters in Farmington, CT. The units that were removed were mostly installed in 1998. Originally, we had only one gas fired central heating system in the assembly area (circa 1985) and one more gas fired central heating system in the sheet metal area (circa 1994). We added 9 separate air conditioning units in 1998.

The decision was made to replace 10 of these units with combination heating and cooling units that utilize the existing roof penetrations.  We selected the highest efficiency model available in the 20 ton size. 

The project was completed during the final two weeks of October – including all the new natural gas line piping, rigging of the old units off the roof, and installation of the new high efficiency units.  We also added an Energy Management System (EMS) that allows for direct communication, regulation, and temperature adjustment of all the units.  They are all connected in a machine network that is subsequently controlled through a single PC setup on our LAN system.

Also recently added was an emergency backup system that consists of two small generators for both buildings. These generators are hard wired into the building electric supply and sense when there is a loss of main power, then start up automatically and provide backup power to certain key systems.  They also shut back down automatically when power returns.  They also self-test themselves by starting up and running some diagnostics once a week – just to be certain that they are functioning correctly. Both generators (one outside the warehouse and one outside the factory) are fueled by natural gas. The natural gas services are hard lines coming into both buildings and flow gas under all conditions – regardless of utility power status.

The services covered by this tandem generator system are the site computer systems, phone systems, building alarm systems, and electronic building door locks.  We have also added some fork truck charging and also some lighting for the warehouse. While they are not designed to run a laser cutting machine or a punch press, the thought is that they would allow us to continue to operate at the most basic levels during an extended outage period.

Tags: heating, ebm-papst, Energy Efficiency, cooling, generators

What did that fan say? A few words from our W3GZ50 Axial fan.

Posted on Thu, Nov 08, 2012
by Lou Moffa, Market Manager - Refrigeration


Our definition of "Giant" is continually evolving here at ebm-papst.  Our new W3GZ50 series EC axial fan has a 1250mm (49.2 inch) blade diameter and is currently the world's largest diameter EC air mover with integrated electronics!

Just like the other products in our EC giant line up, this new axial fan was designed from the beginning to be energy efficient, simple to use and able to be installed in a variety of air moving applications.  It can easily be customized by the end user so that it is a perfect match for use with refrigeration condensers, chiller applications or large scale ventilation applications.  Its large size allows you to reduce the number of smaller fans used.

A complete fan assembly like the W3GZ50 series streamlines your purchasing and inventory requirements.  The complete fan assembly has a motor, blade, venturi and finger guard that have all been designed to work together for maximum efficiency and eliminates the need to work with multiple vendors and patch together a fan assembly from various manufacturers.  A complete assembly can simplify your production line by reducing wiring and installation time.  

This air mover has an impressive list of features to match its size. 

-Air performance- the direct drive motor and blade combination are able to produce over 38,000 CFM and can operate efficiently with backpressure levels of up to 0.8 inches of water.

-Factory balanced blade - the rotating motor and blades are balanced as a complete assembly on the production floor to insure a smooth operation.

-Accepts traditional control inputs - So that you can fully speed control this fan in your application, our integrated electronics will accept a variety of control inputs.   For a simple set up, this means that you can use either a 0-10VDC input, 0-100% PWM input, or a 4-20mA input from an outside controller to completely vary the speed of the fan. 

-RS485 Modbus RTU protocol ready - Many of the previously mute devices that are part of our daily lives are starting to become vocal whether we like it or not!  Our cars, heating systems and even our home refrigerators are now capable of telling us what condition they are in with texts and e mails.  Our lineup of EC Giants that are over 500 Watts are ready to be heard as well!  If you would like this fan to be a vocal participant in your assembly, it is simple to establish two-way communication using the on board RS485 Modbus RTU protocol.   Not only can you command it what RPM to run at, but you can obtain the run hours, the specific alarm status, internal motor temperature and many other bits of information that will keep you informed and up to date for critical applications.   Our ongoing partnerships with key worldwide controls manufacturers make incorporating  digital communication  easier than ever before. 

-Built in PID controller- for ultimate flexibility, our built in process controller allows you to program this unit to run independently without the need for a separate process controller to handle common field tasks.  For example, when programmed to operate in closed loop sensor mode with your supplied temperature, pressure or other sensor, the fan will maintain a process specific set point.  Simply set the sensor parameters and how quickly you want the fan to respond and the process controller will take it from there.  The set point can be either entered using software to prevent unauthorized changes or from an accessible potentiometer for simple adjustments by anyone in the field.  This powerful feature is a perfect way to reduce components in your overall assembly.  Even if you choose to not use this feature as the main process controller, it can easily be programmed and can remain dormant in the background as a back up to the main process controller.

These are just some of the advanced features that this exciting new product has to help simplify your larger air moving projects.  

We welcome you to come see this impressive fan and all of our equally advanced products on display at the AHR Expo in Dallas.

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Visit us at Booth #2967 at AHR Expo at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas on January 28-30, 2013 

Please contact us for additional information at Marketing@us.ebmpapst.com

Tags: Fan Technology, Fans, Efficiency, AHR, Energy Efficiency, Refrigeration, Axial, W3GZ50

Reflecting on the "In the Pocket" Video

Posted on Tue, Oct 09, 2012
by Bob Sobolewski, President & CEO of ebm-papst Inc.

In The Pita Group'sIn the Pocket” video interview, I had the chance to speak about trending topics that affect business in terms of customer needs and communication.   

So how has ebm-papst evolved to meet customers’ needs?  In one simple word, innovation.  Innovation can help discover what opportunities exist now, or are likely to emerge in the future. Our teams collaborate with the feedback given from our customers based on market trends, to redesign and develop new products that are the leading-edge technology, ahead of our competition.   Customers look to us for the newest solutions and know they can present new air moving challenges for us to solve.  Innovation is not only about designing a new product or service to sell, but can also focus on existing business processes and practices to improve efficiency.  Recently, ebm-papst published the philosophy of GreenTech.   This idea reflects a simple but clear philosophy that goes back to our company principle: "Each new product that we develop has to be better than its predecessor in terms of economy and ecology."  It is extremely important to us that with innovation, comes the responsibility of eco-friendly practices to preserve our environment.  Not only are we producing new efficient technology to benefit our customers, but we are also ensuring that every product carries along with it the assurance of sustainability in our production practices. In addition to various enhancements, 50kW of solar panels were installed on the roof of our engineering office in Farmington, CT, in June 2011. This past June, another 50kW array was installed to supplement the original installation.

Another evolution in the way business is done. Everyone wants things instantaneously.  So at the tip of our fingers, we have the ability to instantly communicate and search for information. We must adapt to the changing business practices and stay ahead of the curve!  

Bob Sobolewski filming the "In the Pocket" video.
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Tags: ebm-papst, GreenTech, Bob Sobolewski, Energy Efficiency

Alternative energy? Germany’s All Over It

Posted on Thu, Oct 04, 2012

Lessons in sun, wind and collaboration power

By Todd Cardillo, Market Manager, Alternative Energy

Did you know that in 40 minutes the sun spills enough energy on the earth’s surface to provide our entire planet with energy for one year? Or that it would take 250 million barrels of oil (10 billion gallons) to generate as much electricity as U.S. wind turbines will generate this year?

Mulfingen 2007 06 17 resized 600Why are we not utilizing our natural resources more effectively? What I saw during a recent trip to ebm-papst’s global headquarters in Mulfingen, Germany offers a vision for what the United States could achieve.

Face time with my German colleagues gave me new information on world market trends in air movement, as well as insight on new projects. I also completed the company’s 17th annual marathon and finished in 1 hour 57 minutes and 12 seconds - my personal best.

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However, what struck me most during this visit was how well Germany utilizes alternative energy. During the two-hour ride from Frankfurt’s airport to headquarters in Mulfingen, I saw multiple wind farms. Set back in the countryside’s rolling hills, the size and infrastructure of these huge turbines are amazing – they’re engineering marvels! It’s hard to believe that people in the United States call these an eyesore, or complain about the noise they emit. These seem like very minor issues compared to the benefits they provide.Solar power is also huge throughout Germany – the country is ranked #1 in the world for solar usage. Bloomberg reports that Germany managed to break its record for new solar installations in 2011 despite sizable reductions in subsidies for the industry.

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It is very hard to drive (or run) through the villagesin Germany without seeing solar panels – they are everywhere! Germany’s large solar farms, commercial businesses and residential homes are all harnessing the sun for electricity. They have spent a lot of time and money to build this infrastructure. Now they’re reaping the benefits of low-cost, clean power.

Incentives play a BIG role in how far Germany has come in alternative energy use. In the United States, where we’re ranked #4 for solar power usage, we have federal tax rebates and similar solar incentives. In contrast   Germany offers manufacturers a fixed amount for every kilowatt-hour of energy produced by a solar system.

While Germany has concerns with the possibility that their solar incentives could be reduced by putting a one gigawatt-per year cap on new installations, we in the U.S. face an uncertain future for our Production Tax Credit (PTC). While the credit is due to expire this year, I am hopeful that it will be renewed by Congress.

The U.S. has come a long way in alternative energy use. Following Germany’s lead, it’s essential we continue to grow our alternative energy production and markets. Our population and economy will be better for it.

Tags: Solar Power, Wind Power, ebm-papst, Energy Efficiency, Alternative Energy, Germany

Air Pear® gains a partner in ebm-papst Inc.

Posted on Fri, Jul 20, 2012

If you work in a climate controlled office cubicle with a low ceiling, the mystical term “thermal destratification” may never play a role in your comfort or productivity.

However, if you’re on a production floor or in a warehouse that swelters in the summer and freezes in the winter, shivered or sweated in an enclosed stadium or mall, or peered into a frost-covered grocer’s freezer, you may appreciate the benefits of a device that evens out temperatures by continually exchanging a building’s hot top air layer with cooler, lower layers.

Nine years ago, entrepreneur Ray Avedon, president of Longmont, Colorado-based Avedon Engineering and founder of Airius LLC, invented the turbine-shaped Air Pear Thermal Equalizer® to solve air flow problems and to save energy at his contract manufacturing facilities.

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 Ray Avedon with the AirPear

He hit upon a novel design and concept for a ceiling mounted air mover that would meet the needs of enclosed spaces – manufacturing facilities, warehouses, groceries, aircraft hangers and gymnasiums – that needed to stabilize temperature and humidity levels. 

The energy efficient air turbine, named the Air Pear® by Airius for its appealing shape, was born. Initially developed in five models offering progressive voltage and size options, the more than 30,000 Air Pear® systems that have been installed since 2004 have been saving buildings — such Siemens Transportation Systems’ rail maintenance facilities in Acton, UK — 35 percent or more on energy costs with an ROI of 12 to 36 months.

Before 2006, Airius sourced internal fan assemblies for its Air Pear systems from a low technology manufacturer. Airius had to meet specific regulations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stipulating that pharmaceutical warehouse temperatures vary by no more than two degrees from ceiling to floor. The company needed to work with a manufacturer that would be able to deliver a dependable, controllable fan that would meet FDA’s stringent requirements.


Enter ebm-papst, Inc., the North American headquarters for ebm-papst, a global manufacturer of energy efficient air moving systems.

“At our request, ebm-papst came up with a special fan motor – the EC motor – to facilitate our marketing with the pharmaceutical industry. That motor series is now the norm for our Air Pear destratification product line,” expained Avedon.

“The beauty of our axial fans’ EC motor is that everything can be remotely controlled. There are no separate motor speeds to hassle with … meaning dependable consistent ventilation and ease for the customer,” said Randy Rau, ebm-papst’s Denver-based sales engineer.

Six years later, Airius utilizes ebm-papst fans in 75 percent of its Air Pear systems. According to Rau, linked arrays of remotely controlled Air Pears that incorporate ebm-papst EC axial fans are installed in hundreds of applications.

The customers are diverse; Air Pear usage ranges from warehouses and plants to grocery stores, movie theaters, even a dairy producer that keeps its cows cool to increase milk production. Air Pear Model 45s are being used to equalize temperature and humidity in Washington D.C.’s botanical garden and soon will be installed at Hartford, Conn./Springfield, Mass.’s Bradley Airport. The larger Air Pear Model 100s are installed in aircraft hangers, large atriums, retail malls and sports stadiums.

As part of its GreenTech commitment to energy efficiency, ebm-papst Inc.’s U.S. headquarters in Farmington, Conn. recently installed 12 Air Pear units in an area that formerly served as warehouse space and now houses the company’s assembly operations. According to ebm-papst Director of Manufacturing Brian Ladegard, the units, which are wired to be controlled as one collective “node” as well as operate independently, serve three purposes.

“The Air Pear units will help keep employees in our assembly building comfortable during winter months by circulating warm air to floor level,” said Ladegard. “We anticipate saving on energy costs by equalizing temperatures in this building. And because ebm-papst’s fans and motors are at the heart of the Air Pear Thermal Equalizers, observing them operate in our facility allows us to conduct practical on-site research and development and offer new configurations to Airius that can help them reach new markets.”

“ebm-papst always has been an informative and cooperative partner in the development of motors for our Air Pear product line,” said Avedon. “We continue to have a successful working relationship, including the new ebm-papst motors currently in development for a new line of Airius products.”

Tags: EC motors, ebm-papst, GreenTech, Energy Efficiency, Airius

At ebm-papst, Every Day is a GreenDay!

Posted on Tue, Jun 19, 2012

Under rainy skies, a celebration of green

While last Wednesday’s showers prevented an outdoor celebration, the weather didn’t dampen our Every Day is a Green Day luncheon at ebm-papst’s US headquarters in Farmington, Connecticut. Employees have been preparing for this day by bringing their old and outdated electronic devices to the office for recycling.

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Just a small sampling of the many electronics collected this week!

Employees also took the opportunity to purchase energy efficient and environmentally friendly CFL lighting from TechniArt, Inc. and had the ability to shred personal documents with Cintas.

After eating locally-sourced hot dogs, burgers and strawberry shortcake, we learned what many employees do to be green at home and work with a trivia contest.

The winning answers:

“At work, I requested a filtration system for the Deburring Machine, and was granted... My house has energy efficient insulation, windows, faucets, thermostats on a timer set for occupancy times, no greater than 58°F. We grow our own vegetables, fruits, have a compost bin for the garbage. I have rain barrels to catch rain water for plants, a wood stove heats our house. Our town has, and we utilize, a transfer station, recycle bins. We have solar panels for hot water. We have CFLs throughout the house (inside & outside).” Thomas Dunbar, Facilities Maintenance.

“I supplement my transportation needs with an electric bicycle of my own design. Counting the 28 miles I put on it this weekend, I’ve logged over 12,300 miles on it. I use solar thermal panels of my own design to supplement my upstairs heating in the winter time. The panels use a re-programmed older revision ALU board and sample 5000 series fans from the previous decade. I drive a Smart car which has cut my commuting gas consumption in half. I’ve switched over to LED lighting in approximately half of my household.” Charles Blow, Design Engineer.

We also formally ‘threw the switch’ on the power inverter to begin converting energy produced by the new, additional 50 kilowatts of solar panels on the roof of our production facility into power for our facility for a total of 100 kw now installed. When that power isn’t needed, we’re sending excess power back to ‘the grid’.

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Flipping the switch!

ebm-papst President and CEO Bob Sobolowski and Vice President of Engineering Scott Beauchamin with Mark Waldo, president of Waldo Electric, with Waldo’s energy inverter in the plant’s power control room.



ebm-papst’s trash patrol hauls lots of junk

June 14

On Friday, the trash pickup team from ebm-papst donned tear proof clothing and braved weeds, thorns and wild animals to haul hidden trash from a public area next to Farmington River off of Route 4. Among the interesting items we found: tires and traffic cones! 

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Every Day is a GreenDay! Closing:

June 18

A closing newsletter was sent out to all employees, highlighting the winners of the trivia contest. A compilation of tips from all of the contest entries was included, to encourage the employees of ebm-papst to continue living a green life style.

Here are some different ways to expand your efforts:

  • Motion detector lights throughout the house

  • Wrap water tank to make it more efficient

  • Wash clothes in cold water and line dry them

  • Set heat to 65 degrees and AC to 80 degrees

  • Use a vegetable garden to supplement your meals

  • Bring all unwanted books to the library

  • Use a composte pile to recycle kitchen waste

  • Fill a bin with soapy water to wash pots and pans

  • Use rain barrels to collect water for a garden and house plants

  • Buy produce from local farm stands


Every Day is a GreenDay!

Tags: ebm-papst, GreenTech, CT, Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Solar Panels

Every Day is a Green Day at ebm-papst

Posted on Fri, Jun 08, 2012
By Bob Sobolewski

To demonstrate that everybody can do something for a more environmentally friendly world, this year employees at ebm-papst offices around the globe are organizing Every Day is a Green Day campaigns, developing unique ways to demonstrate our shared GreenTech philosophy.

Next week (June 11-16) is our time to celebrate Every Day is a Green Day with a special week at ebm-papst’s U.S. headquarters. We’ve got a full lineup of activities, including the kickoff of our Every Day is a Green Day Video Contest. Students 13-18 years of age who live in Hartford County can enter the contest by submitting a brief video showing the creative ways they incorporate green practices into their lives at home and school. Deadline to submit videos is August 11; winners will be announced on August 27.


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The student who submits the most compelling green video will receive a grand prize of an iPad 3 (16GB WiFi model). The second prizewinner will win a family trip for four to the Connecticut Science Center, including lunch for four at the museum’s Café and four tickets to a performance at the IMAX Theater. The third prizewinner will receive a ‘green’ basket of environmentally friendly products.

Check our Faceboook page regularly to view students’ ‘green’ videos!

We’ve launched a “How are You Green?” contest for employees, who are submitting their green living practices and tips, and a Green Trivia contest. Employee winners will be announced for both contests on June 15.

An adventurous team of seven ebm-papst employees will scour the fields around our facility on June 12 or 13 and remove trash wherever they find it.

During a green luncheon and employee social at our facility on June 13 we’ll be using locally sourced burgers and hot dogs from Saint’s in Southington. The Super Natural Market and Deli will deliver locally sourced ingredients for strawberry shortcake! Employees will bring their personal documents for shredding by Cintas, which will have a truck on site between 3 and 4 p.m.

Also on June 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., employees will be able to purchase energy efficient lighting from Collinsville-based TechniArt, Inc. during a Lighting Fair, with displays in our café and at the receiving/loading dock.


Here’s wishing you a summer of exploration, relaxation and green living!

Tags: ebm-papst, GreenTech, Bob Sobolewski, Energy Efficiency

ebm-papst: The Future of Data Centers

Posted on Thu, Mar 15, 2012
by Joe Landrette, Market Manager at ebm-papst.

The US consumes about 4.40 trillion kWh of electric energy (Tomorrow is Greener 10/2011). Two percent of that power consumption, or 88 billion kWh, is used by data centers, which provide us with services like Apple's iCloud or Microsoft’s SkyDrive.

Because power savings is critical for hardware manufacturers and their customers, many companies are migrating from large facility data centers to portable/modular data centers that are often set up within sea containers. This new generation of data center is often fitted to house many racks of IT equipment that have ultra efficient cooling systems inside.

Not only can modular/portable data centers be manufactured and deployed more rapidly than traditional data centers, they also employ cooling solutions that can be 30 times more efficient than facility-style cooling systems and can save up to $500,000 a year in energy costs!

Because the majority of portable and modular data centers don’t have the same heat/cooling duct losses experienced in traditional data centers, the new configurations can super-charge their energy efficiency by incorporating ebm-papst’s range of EC blowers and fans, from our small 80mm fans up to 1250mm models.

The new modular/portable data centers also provide an opportunity for ebm-papst Inc. to offer builders air flow and design management strategies and custom sheet metal assemblies. Our products and engineering support services are helping shape how data centers are joining the earth-friendly movement and changing the future of both indoor and outdoor data storage.

For more information on Data Centers, contact Joe Landrette at Joe.Landrette@us.ebmpapst.com or call ebm-papst at 860-674-1515

Tags: Fan Technology, Fans, Impellers, EC motors, ebm-papst, GreenTech, Portable Data Center, Blowers, Efficiency, Data Centers, Energy Efficiency, Modular Data Center, Containerized Data Center

You better not miss ebm-papst at AHR in Chicago!

Posted on Thu, Dec 29, 2011

The AHR Expo is the largest HVAC&R trade show we exhibit in, and it’s coming up fast. With less then a month to go, it's getting a little crazy in the Marketing department! Preparations have become a daily occurence at ebm-papst - we even dream about AHR. Along with packing extra clothes to keep warm during a visit to the Windy City in January, we'll be bringing many of our products used in the HVAC&R market.

Some featured products will include:

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This week, literature, promotional giveaways and bottled water (in case our visitors get thirsty) are being packed up and shipped to our new display company, DisplayCraft. Once they receive this last batch of supplies, the whole booth will be sent on it's journey to Chicago!

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This year's booth will be a little different from our past booths at AHR, thanks to DisplayCraft! They've helped up redesign the layout of the exhibit to make it more spacious and functional. We're very excited to see the final result at the show on January 23rd-25th!

Throughout the show, expert ebm-papst Market Management teams that represent each industry will be there to expertly solve any air moving problems you might have!

For anyone who wants to do a little homework before visiting the ebm-papst booth (#2046) at AHR, here is a selection of some of the literature that will be available.

Click here to register for the show!

We hope to see you there!

Tags: Fan Technology, EC motors, ebm-papst, GreenTech, HVAC&R, AHR, AC motors, Energy Efficiency, DC motors