Shown above: Various ceiling fan motors. The DC motor on the left is the motor used in the Emerson Midway Eco. Notice the additional electronic control device on top of the motor and the circuit board inside. DOWNLOAD: Emerson DC Motor Brochure (pdf)
Unlike AC motors that use electricity to create a magnetic field, DC motors have their own built-in permanent magnets, so they use 3 to 5 times less electricity. DC motors that are capable of running off standard household AC current have been around for quite some time, so you would think that ceiling fans manufacturers would have started using them a long time ago. However, there is a lot more to making a DC motor work with AC current than simply inserting it into a fan that normally uses an AC motor. There are sophisticated built-in electronics that are necessary in order to allow a brushless DC motor operate from typical household AC electricity. Until recently, these electronics were far too costly, so it did not make sense to use them in ceiling fans. But things have changed.
As one of the largest electrical induction motor manufacturers in the world, Emerson Electric worked on this technology for quite a few years before they found a way to make it happen in a price range that would be acceptable to most consumers. Ever since Emerson introduced the Midway Eco, other ceiling fan manufacturers have been scrambling to come up with something comparable and are now beginning to incorporate DC motors into some of their own fans. So Emerson created quite the buzz and will most likely revolutionize the ceiling fan industry with their Eco fans.
The grandfather of all contemporary style ceiling fans, the Stealth is probably the most highly recognized ceiling fan ever produced. I was very surprised when I found that the new DC Stealth was going to be less expensive than the standard production model. The reason being, the new DC stealth does not have the Inteli-Touch control system of the standard Stealth. Instead, Casablanca decided to use a less expensive remote control system that provides 6 speeds forward, 6 speeds in reverse and a full range light dimmer. This allowed them to produce the DC Stealth for slightly less money than the Inteli-Touch Stealth (still available). With this less sophisticated remote, there is no option to convert the fan to a wall control and it does not have all of the other features that Inteli-Touch fan owners rave about such as: Safe-Exit, Home-Safe, Fan-Minder, Light-Minder, etc. View Details Here!
Since this article was written in 2011, many more DC motor ceiling fans have come to market and you can view them using this button: