Put simply, EC (Electronically Commutated) technology is the only way to go if your key objectives are to reduce power consumption and extend the life of an electric fan motor in a refrigeration or ventilation application.
Conventional motors use metallic brushes within the motor to deliver current and cause rotation of the shaft. When the motor windings become energized, a temporary magnetic field is created that repels (and/or attracts) against permanent magnets. This force is converted into shaft rotation, which allows the motor to do work. As the shaft rotates, electric current is routed to different sets of windings, maintaining electromotive repulsion/attraction, forcing the rotor to continually turn.
These metallic brushes wear over time and generate internal heat, which reduces the efficiency of the motor.
This is essentially the “gap” between the Input power used by the motor, and the shaft power produced by the motor. A conventional brushed motor is likely to be around 15% efficient, meaning that 85% of the electrical power going into the motor is used to run the motor itself, leaving only 20% available at the motor shaft.
EC motors, on the other hand, use commutation electronics to sense the rotor position and electronically switch supply current, thus eliminating the need for mechanical brushes to deliver current to the motor windings. This electronic elimination of physical contact dramatically reduces internal wear within the motor and significantly increases reliability.