Tata Power, which supplies power to much of Mumbai, is offering a 50% subsidy to its customers who want to buy a BLDC or ultra-low power fan.
Instead of Rs 3,500 per unit, customers will be able to get four units of the fan at Rs 1,750 each, making the remote-controlled ‘smart fans’ cheaper than many conventional competitors.
BLDC refers to ‘brushless direct current’ and is the name a new technology that uses high-quality and high-power permanent magnets instead of copper windings to generate part of the rotating power of the fan.
Typically, the rotation power of the fan is generated by creating opposing magnetic force between a magnet at the center and a surrounding coil, which also works as a magnet when power is passed through it.
In case of BLDC fans, only the core magnet is created by electric current. The surrounding part, which is what is the part that rotates, is created using permanent (regular) magnets which do not require electricity.
As a result, these fans consume between 10-32 watts, depending on the speed. Most fans available in the market consume between 60-80 watts at full speed.
The fan that is being distributed by Tata Power consumes only 28 watts and is made by Atomberg, a start-up created by alumni of IIT Bombay.
Like other BLDC fans such as the one from Surya, ‘Gorilla Fan’ too promises air delivery of 220 cubic meter per minute. This is comparable to the performance of a 75-watt model like Havells Velocity, which delivers 230 CMM.
Also like other BLDC offerings, the fan comes with a remote controller with speed control, sleep and timer functions. Sleep functions reduces the speed of the fan over time.
Atomberg’s fans have already won awards at the Global Cleantech Innovation Program at San Francisco organized by United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
The start-up, which commenced manufacturing in late 2015, claims to be selling 12,000 fans per month, including 2,000 via e-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart. On these websites, the fans continue to be rated highly by the consumers even as sales pick up.
The company said the subsidy by Tata Power is part of the power utility’s Demand-Side Management (DSM) program to improve energy efficiency. Atomberg said it has sold more than 7,000 fans through the program in Mumbai. The products are home delivered to the consumers who register for the program.
Atomberg said it has also tied-up with Reliance Power too to distribute its fans, though it didn’t specify the price for Reliance customers.