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Will Ram Air Burn Up My Electric Fan?

2011 August 5
by admin

This is an interesting question that we get asked at Flex-a-lite from time to time. When you’re driving on the highway, will the ram air cause your electric fan to spin, damaging it? A lot of people argue that the fan becomes a generator when it’s spun by ram air, and they worry that this can damage the motor or electronic controller components. The answer is, no, ram air won’t burn up your fan or the electronic controller, and here’s why.

It is true that an electric fan being turned by air blowing into it acts like a generator, but it’s not a very good one. The voltage is low and the current generated is usually extremely low. The fan generating electricity won’t damage the fan motor, and the voltage and amperage is so low that it won’t damage any of the related components. In addition, what little electricity is created is blocked from flowing back into the vehicle’s electrical system by our thermostat switch. When the fan is not activated, the switch is open which keeps electricity from flowing in either direction.

That addresses the affect that ram air has on an electric fan when the fan is turned off. When the fan is turned on and you have air forced into it by driving down the road at speed, the ram air actually reduces the load on the electric fan. Because the air is already trying to come through the fan, it reduces the work that the fan has to do.

So you can remove this worry from your list of unsolved mysteries, and get back to enjoying the added power and improved fuel economy that an electric fan provides! Click here to visit www.flex-a-lite.com for a listing of our electric fans, complete with overall dimensions, airflow and amperage draw to help you find the right one of your application.