Improving DC Fan Manufacturing to Expand More Export Opportunities: World Bank

Improvements in the quality of Pakistani DC fans will increase the international competitiveness of local fan manufacturers and open up long-term export opportunities, as DC motors consume up to 70 percent less power than AC alternatives, and operate—more quietly—at a lower voltage, says the World Bank (WB).

AC is (Alternating Current) and DC (Direct Current) are two types of electricity currents. In Pakistan the electricity produced in Dams is AC and power used by UPS (uninterruptible power supply) at homes is direct current (DC). Fan industry of Pakistan is globally competitive.

The Bank in its report “Supporting The Manufacture in Pakistan of High-Quality DC Fans” stated that Pakistan has adopted national standards for AC fans consistent with IEC standards (PS:1 2010); however, there are currently no similar standards applicable to DC fans.

Test methods for the performance, durability, and safety of DC fans for off-grid applications are also needed. With the assistance of the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP) and in consultation with key industry stakeholders, minimum performance standards were recommended for DC fans and test procedures specified for the evaluation of metal-bodied DC fans made in Pakistan.

The minimum energy performance standards defined through World Bank assistance (detailed in this report) provide the technical basis for the government of Pakistan to adopt national standards for DC fans through the Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA).

The report sets out a series of recommendations and next steps to build on the World Bank Group’s engagement with the fan industry in Pakistan. With the implementation of these recommendations, the country’s market for DC fans will grow significantly and domestic manufacturers will also be able to capture a larger share of the growing international market for DC space-cooling products. These recommendations include:

For Government Entities

Conduct a thorough technical assessment of phasing out AC fans to determine market impacts and inform future strategies for transforming the space-cooling fan market, adopt national quality and performance standards for DC fans, and provide support to the industry to transition to DC fans. Explore the potential for a commercially-driven DC fan exchange or rebate program targeting consumers.

For Domestic Fan Manufacturers

Engage with the government to achieve a rapid transition from AC to DC fans, invest in R&D and product development to improve energy efficiency and satisfy future requirements, and seek out export opportunities for DC fans.

For Development Finance Institutions and Project Implementation Organizations

Implement the performance standards recommended in this report to build the market for DC fans and support government efforts to transition from AC to DC fans with a comprehensive standards and labeling (S&L) program implemented through the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA).

In the near term, a DC fan powered by a 150 W solar panel is a suitable space-cooling solution for off-grid customers and electricity consumers in areas where the grid is weak and electricity supply is unreliable. The projected growth in sales of DC fans is therefore commensurate with the expected rise in demand for solar panels of 150 to 200 W in off-grid and weak-grid areas, with both trends reinforcing each other.

 



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