Reducing Fan Energy Consumption in Fume Cupboards

The significant rise in the cost of energy within the last year has caused a huge strain on educational establishments, with many schools, colleges and universities facing a shocking 50% increase in energy bills. With so much uncertainty on future energy costs, it is a matter of urgency for management and technical specialists to reduce costs where possible across the facility.  Educational laboratories are one of the largest energy consuming sectors in the UK, consuming between four to six times more energy per square metre than standard offices or commercial buildings. This is predominantly down to the energy intensive ventilation systems necessary to ensure a safe environment whilst maintaining the required airflow and temperature for effective processes. Reducing energy consumption in laboratories is a significant method of reducing overall energy use. System designers face increasing pressure to ensure maximum efficiency, cost effectiveness, and reduced environmental impact. They have a duty of care to ensure the safety of the people using the equipment and, in the building, this must not be compromised when reducing costs and managing strict budgets.

Now is a good time for system designers to look at all options to reduce energy consumption within laboratories. As stated on, schools and colleges in England are due to be allocated a share of £500 million this year to spend on energy efficiency upgrades, with an extra £2 billion also being allocated between mainstream schools. Reducing the amount of energy used in any mechanical ventilation system, and the most energy hungry component, the fan itself, is a good starting point. Upgrading existing systems with energy efficient fans is a more cost-effective option than replacing a full system and will contribute towards meeting long term energy efficiency and cost reduction goals. Where laboratories use a single or multiple fume cupboard, whether recirculating with a fan installed in the cupboard, or exhausted into atmosphere, efficiency should be a part of the selection process for the manufacturer of these units. This means balancing energy consumption with overall fan performance to ensure that the fume cupboard performs as expected in all conditions. The impressive range of corrosive fume fans from Axair Fans includes an energy efficient range featuring B34 type IE5 EC motors located outside of the airstream. As the market demands more energy efficient systems, the EC range of chemical resistant exhaust fans allows fume cupboard manufacturers to reduce their fan energy consumption by up to 20% without affecting performance, ultimately enhancing the energy efficiency of the entire fume extraction system. Improving system efficiency in a laboratory can earn BREEAM credits and enhance the overall BREEAM status of the laboratory


EC Corrosion Resistant Fans & Motors        

Complementing the existing range of chemical fans, including the ATEX plastic extract range, from Axair, the IP55 polypropylene collection of EC fans and motors are available in variety of sizes in both single and three phase variants covering airflows from 20-9000m3/hr and pressures to 1500Pa. Single phase EC motors come equipped with integrated drive and IP55 protection against dust and ingress. An outdoor weatherproof cowl can be supplied for additional ingress protection if required. Three phase EC IP55 motors are supplied with a supporting IP66 inverter drive for accurate speed control of the fan motor to match the exact ventilation needs of the application. Controlling the speed of the motor further allows for energy saving by limiting the amount of energy needed to power it. As an example, slowing a fan motor by 20% saves nearly 50% in energy consumption. Energy efficiency in laboratory settings can make an enormous difference not only reducing costs but also with reducing the overall carbon footprint. The integration of EC chemical resistant exhaust fans within fume cupboards is a significantly simple step towards making this change.


The Educational Fume Extraction Fan Pack

We provide a complete fume extraction fan pack for schools, colleges and universities that require new or refurbished fume cupboard systems. The fume pack contains the fume cupboard extract fan that meets the exact requirements of the systems operating and performance duty along with the relevant accessories to ensure your system is safe and efficient.


An Example of a Custom Made Educational Fan Pack:

  • 1 Polypropylene Fume Extraction Fan
  • 1 Motor Controller
  • 1 Electrical Isolator
  • 4 Anti Vibration Mounts
  • 1 Tapered Flexible Connector
  • 1 Straight Flexible Connector
  • 1 Fan Scroll Drain
  • Optional Extras Available

Optional extras include airflow controllers and either a metal or outdoor polypropylene pedestal. With over 25 years of experience working with SEAT Ventilation, Axair supports a large network of UK fume cupboard manufacturers and those within the environmental corrosive fume market with their range of industrial fans. Our team of experts understand the key issues affecting the fume extraction market including fan energy consumption, we are here to support you with meeting the individual requirements of your project.

Download the EC Corrosion Resistant Fans Brochure here.