This article contains an in depth overview of the Caframo Ecofan, a heat circulating device that uses thermal energy to generate electricity. The below list of quick links can be used to navigate to individual sections within the article.
- Thermoelectric Technology
- Ecofan Models: Stove Type, CFM Output, Temperature Difference, Design
- The Benefits of Adding an Ecofan to Your Appliance
- A Word About Silent Operation
- University-Backed Testing
- Tips and Tricks: Get the Most Out of Your Ecofan
- Warmth, the Ecofan, and Stove Utility
- Maintenance, Warranty, General Warnings
Free standing stoves provide a nostalgic feel, classic ambiance, and a rustic touch for people and homes across the world. The extremely popular Caframo Ecofan has, similarly, become a traditional heating and decor element for many people, far and wide, capitalizing on its efficiency-boosting abilities. With models designed for wood burning, pellet, and gas stoves, uncovering the mysterious magic behind this heat-displacing tool is a goal for those interested in, but not quite aware of, the most relevant details for Ecofan use, purchase, and care; learning just how Ecofans work, the benefits of having them, and the tips and tricks for getting the most out of them will serve as an ultimate guide for both purchase and use of this reliable and well-received stove enhancement.
Caframo Ecofan Thermoelectric Technology
So, how exactly are these small, capable machines able to displace stove heat, making it felt up to 38% faster by the homeowners using it? The "magic" depends on thermoelectric technology. In the center of the Ecofan is a thermoelectric module, which creates an electron generating reaction, due to a temperature difference between the upper and lower sections of the fan body. The design is patented. And it includes hot and cold sides within it, which rely on a principle called the Seebeck effect to generate an electron flow within the module. The resulting electricity is used to operate the fan.
In addition to converting a temperature difference into electricity, the Ecofan design depends on the heat produced by the stove.
In addition to converting a temperature difference into electricity, the Ecofan design depends on the heat produced by the stove. This free heat power source costs nothing to run and is, simply, a byproduct of the heat already being produced as your stove warms your space. Because the fan operation is influenced by the operation of your stove, stove speed matters; adjusting when the temperature of your stove adjusts, the Ecofan blades will spin faster as your stove gets hotter and will slow down as your stove cools.
There are different Ecofan models for different types of stoves, temperature expectations, and varying CFM results for these models.
The airflow created by the spinning blades, as the stove warms, allows people within the stove space to feel the heat sooner and at wider distances than they otherwise would feel it. With stove temperature being such an influencing factor for Ecofan operation, the different types of stoves owned by Ecofan buyers is also important. Not surprisingly, and because of these fluctuating differences in temperature and operation, there are different Ecofan models for different types of stoves, temperature expectations, and varying CFM results for these models.
Ecofan Models: Stove Type, CFM Output, Temperature Difference, Design
The original Ecofan, Ecofan 800, is designed for use on free standing wood stoves with a surface temperature between 230°F-650°F, or 110°C-345°C. Considered the most economical Ecofan, this model is capable of pushing up to 100 CFM (cubic feet per minute). Like all Ecofan models, because the Ecofan Original 800 creates its own electricity, it is ideal for off the grid use. Similarly, it is a good fit for those looking to reduce their dependence on fuel by increasing efficiency. With a weight of 1.85 lbs. and dimensions of 3" (l) x 5.5" (w) x 8.5" (h), this light, but stable and well-made design for wood stoves, kick-starts the all-encompassing Caframo Ecofan line. Users can expect an estimated 12% fuel savings and reduced emissions. For comparison purposes, specifications for this fan and all subsequent versions can be reviewed in the summary chart labeled as Figure 1. The entire product line can be seen here.
For comparison purposes, specifications for this fan and all subsequent versions can be reviewed in the summary chart labeled as Figure 1.
For homeowners with wood burning stoves whose temperatures exist below the 230°F benchmark of the 800 model, the Ecofan UltraAir 810 model can operate on wood stoves with temperatures as low as 212°F, and those extending up to 650°F (100°C-345°C). The model weighs a bit more than the 800 model, 2.5 lbs., with product dimensions of 3" x (l) 5.5" x (w) 9" x (h). With the reduction in fuel use, users can expect 14% fuel savings and reduced emissions from reduced fuel usage.
The Ecofan BelAir 806 is a specialty stove fan, designed for use on free standing gas or pellet stoves with surface temperatures between 167°F-392°F, or 75°C-200°C. This heat-powered stove fan is nearly double the weight of the 800 model, but is still a modest 3.25 lbs. when compared with its high-utility, enduring materials. It's worth noting that consumer feedback emphasizes the sturdiness of Ecofan model designs. This model is capable of pushing up to 140 cubic feet per minute and has product dimensions of 2.5" (l) x 6.4" x (w) x 6" (h).
The Ecofan AirMax 812 has the highest output of airflow and operates over the widest range of stove temperatures of all models. The AirMax is capable of pushing up to 175CFM and can produce 18% in fuel savings and reduced emissions. Designed for wood stoves operating over the broad range of 185°F-650°F (85°C-345°C), the model has product dimensions of 3.3" x 5.5" x 10" and weighs in at 3.8 lbs.
- Figure 1
A Long List of Ecofan Benefits: Reduced Fuel, Environmental Impact, Quicker Warmth, and More
A brief overview of the operation and expectations for each model gives insight into the most notable benefits of the Ecofan: fuel savings. Boasting an impressive range of 12-18% in fuel savings (see your model type for details) and reduced emissions, the Ecofan has inherent Eco-friendly benefits and off the grid utility, as well as increased efficiency benefits for homeowners who use it. For wood burning stove owners, Ecofans are proven to reduce wood fuel usage. As a byproduct, and benefit for the environment, particulate release is reduced with Ecofan use. Caframo marketing manager, Elliot Good, is quoted sharing the following; "If every wood stove owner in North America was using an Ecofan, we are talking about the potential elimination of thousands of tons of particulate emissions."
A brief overview of the operation and expectations for each model gives insight into the most notable benefits of the Ecofan: fuel savings.
Related benefits include the stove and module powered heat generation, which uses no additional electricity and comes at no additional cost; those who opt to replace electrical ceiling fans used for heat-shifting near their stoves with Caframo Ecofans will find that, when the power is off, the Ecofan can still operate on their stove at times when their ceiling fans fall short. And, of course, the ability to feel the outflow of heat faster and at wider ranges, due to the CFM output, which can start at 100 CFM and extend all the way up to 175 cubic feet per minute, depending on the Ecofan model, is a plus that provides comfort you can feel.
Users report ease of use and unexpected durability; while the blade design is complimented for its efficiency and strength, the strong body receives similar feedback, and multiple users remain pleased with the fact that the Ecofan comes already assembled, removing additional hassle. In addition, users have the choice of neutral colors, like black, which will suit the needs of most layouts and decor, and, the colors nickel and gold, in the cases of the 806, 810, and 812 models, which are targeted toward more distinct designs and interiors.
Ecofan Silent Operation, Diverse Free Standing Stove Use
Most surprising to some users is the accuracy of the claim of silent operation; using a fan that is whistle and noise-free, customers have found, adds an element of ease that is a welcome addition to the heat-transferring effects.
And while originating for wood burning stove use, the modifications made for free standing pellet and gas-fueled stoves expands Ecofan use to a wider range of stoves and temperatures, providing more diverse availability, which is appreciated by those who would like to possess the overall benefits the Ecofan provides, teemed to their specific pellet and gas-fueled needs.
The assurance that the Caframo Ecofan claims are backed by university testing is a comforting fact for many users. Diagrams provided by Caframo on their website illustrate the user-felt results of increased heat displacement. In addition to this comfort-increasing benefit, experiments generated with the involvement of Waterloo University, validating the anecdotal feedback Caframo had been receiving from users regarding decreased fuel use, provides additional user comfort. These experiments produced the following quantifiable results, which users can rely upon when investigating their stove fan choices.
With an innovative test facility to enclose their experiment, including a mock living room enclosed within an outer room and custom ventilation to influence the inner room temperature, comparative tests were conducted.
With an innovative test facility to enclose their experiment, including a mock living room enclosed within an outer room and custom ventilation to influence the inner room temperature, comparative tests were conducted. Important to the experiment were sensors with accuracy readings of 0.2°C; these strategically placed sensors provided the measuring source for air and temperature differences. Guiding the experiment was the expertise of Professor Rick Culham and Assistant Professor Peter Teertstra, Peng, Waterloo University Associate Dean and Waterloo University Assistant Professor of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, respectively.
- Figure 2
Wood usage was compared using these essential elements: an established temperature for user comfort and the total weight of burned wood. This temperature was based on the ASHRAE 55 Standard, which communicates a human comfort level of 72.5°F (22.5°C).
Upping the utility factor all the more, a select combination of user-generated feedback, community reports, and manufacturer supplied tips provide an additional layer of expertise
Rounding out the list of necessary points regarding Ecofan mechanisms and benefits are the tips and tricks helping users get the most out of this already efficiency-boosting machine. Upping the utility factor all the more, a select combination of user-generated feedback, community reports, and manufacturer supplied tips provide an additional layer of expertise which can help the Ecofan boost your heating and efficiency.
Tips and Tricks: Get the Most Out of Your Ecofan
The original set of utility expanding tips comes directly from the manufacturer and, as you can appropriately guess, are centered on the ideal positioning of your Ecofan model upon your free standing stove. Understanding that the stove itself is producing the heat required for operation is key to understanding the importance of Ecofan placement. For the Original Ecofan, users are guided to locate the placement position that will generate the most usability, drawing cool air over the cooling fins. For this to happen, users must avoid putting the Ecofan at the front of the stove or directly in front of the stove pipe. Additional guidance warns users to consider the warranty and resulting overheating complications; if your temperature exceeds 650 °F, resulting in damage to the specialized module design, your two year warranty will be voided. By the same token, the effectiveness of the Ecofan's heat-transposing activity can be reduced as well.
Similarly, guidance for the Ecofan BelAir 806 model gives specific tips related to efficacy and efficiency. Two essential elements, as described by this literature, include the standard assurance that cool air is drawn from behind the Ecofan over the top, where the cooling fins are situated. Next on the list is the key element of heat; finding the hottest part of the stove that exists within the described limits for this model, up to 392°F, 200°C, is essential to getting the best Ecofan performance.
In addition, users are guided to find the hottest part of their stove with the following experiment. With the established knowledge that the blades spin faster as more heat is absorbed by the fan, users can simply compare the spin-speed .
In addition, users are guided to find the hottest part of their stove with the following experiment. With the established knowledge that the blades spin faster as more heat is absorbed by the fan, users can simply compare the spin-speed as they place the unit on various parts of the stove top. Where the blades spin the fastest, the stove is hottest, and better performance will follow. Additional guidance is provided for stoves with a grate at the top, including a set of optimal positions for creating ideal temperatures for Ecofan performance. Not surprisingly, it is entirely possible to utilize multiple fans atop larger stoves, as there is likely to be more than one location available to achieve optimal performance. That being said, compromises should not be made in an attempt to use multiple fans, as crowding numerous fans into unsuitable locations may lead to damage or undesired operation.
For full grate stoves, placing the Ecofan on the back corner, and ensuring that usable hot air is not forced behind the fan, is important. For stoves with only a partial grate near the front, positioning the fan away from the chimney pipe, and, at the back of the grate helps ensure proper air flow and hotter temperatures.
Understanding the effects of your internal blower on Ecofan efficiency is, also, key to getting the most out of the tool; being mindful that your internal blower may be reducing your stove top temperature is important to appreciating why Ecofan performance may slow down at the times when your blower is used.
Along the same lines, predicting the output of heat displacement is something that can be done pre-purchase. For consumers interested in knowing, but still unsure of, just how much distance they can expect to be covered by their fan use, the CFM (cubic feet per minute) metric, which describes the output of airflow, is a direct reference for this information. These numbers are provided for each model, as seen above. Since the number is based on the multiplied feet within a certain volume of space (space length X space width X space height), a user can expect that, in cases where their multiplied dimensional volume falls at or below this number, their space will be covered by the claims of increased heat displacement.
For consumers interested in knowing, but still unsure of, just how much distance they can expect to be covered by their fan use, the CFM (cubic feet per minute) metric, which describes the output of airflow, is a direct reference for this information.
In addition to manufacturer testing, consumer feedback, and community sharing have generated a host of helpful tips that users currently experiment with to get the most out of their Ecofans. While results may vary, these small guidelines could improve performance and user experience.
Warmth, the Ecofan, and Stove Utility
While users are happy to report their surprise at finding that you can feel the warmth spread, due to the heat displacing technology, rather than an incoming breeze into particular areas of the room (as you would with an electrical ceiling fan), one online couple suggests tilting the fan toward you as you sit, for an additional cozy, warm feeling.
The next set of tips are geared toward the operation of your stove itself, with the understanding that simple tweaks toward stove performance can increase your stove top temperature at a quicker rate, thereby increasing the usable energy afforded to your Ecofan at a quicker rate. Users should, again, be mindful to stay within the specified temperature limits provided with their respective models.
One of those tips involves reducing the amount of drafts and air leaks into rooms containing your stove. Stoves are known to use oxygen for the production of heat, so much so that rooms exposed to air leaks can grow colder, reducing the stove temperature, as stoves pull usable oxygen through the intermediate leaks and into the interior. For similar reasons, some stove users capitalize on the effects of passive tubing connected from the backs of their stoves to openings that lead to the exterior, which are usually covered with some sort of mesh material to protect the interior from incoming pests.
Similarly, new wood stove users would be wise to incorporate a few essential basics into their stove operation to get the most out of their Ecofans. Longtime wood burning stove users share that the way you load wood into the fan can change the levels of heat produced; by using a crisscross pattern to increase the combustible oxygen between wood pieces, stove owners may create increases in fuel efficiency, effecting Ecofan performance via increasing stove top temperatures at faster rates.
As a general tip for Ecofan expectations, multiple users suggest that within a minute or so, you can begin to see clear markers that the machine is absorbing and displacing heat produced from your stove.
- Figure 3
Caframo Ecofan Maintenance, Warranty, General Warnings
Ecofan users are informed that by taking quality care of their models, as with any appliance, they can expect to get the best performance possible. For endurance and maintenance, a general service procedure for Ecofans is an occasional oiling of the motor shaft, designed to ensure the most longevity possible. In these maintenance cases, the screw holding the fan hub to the motor shaft can be removed before the fan hub itself is removed. Then, two drops of light machine oil can be applied to the motor shaft.
Similarly, users can consider the above procedure and the following test as adequate precursors to immediately replacing the motor once problems ensue, such as a non-operable device. By testing the generator with a voltage tester on the DC setting, you can test voltage, which should read between 1/2 to 3 volts. Check at the end of the wiring harness, at the quick connect, and ensure that the generator reads more than a small difference from the bare minimum specified above. If not, the fan motor may need replacement.
The next set of tips is a guide of warranty generated cautions in connection with the experimentation of the Ecofan community. To get the most out of your Ecofan, getting the proper model for the proper stove is a simple, direct, way to stay within warranty and avoid over-heating your fan. Users are warned that in cases where they do decide to interchange models, after incorrect purchase, any resulting temperature increase that exceeds the amounts specified in their manual to the point of fan damage will void their warranty. With this in mind, users opting to experiment with a fan from one stove type to another are advised to test the stove top temperature of their stove type first, then, proceed with caution. A common stove thermometer can be used for this purpose.
Your stove's model number and temperature range play a heavy part in the operation of and ideal choice for your Ecofan. Once you know this information, further consultation with one of our experienced specialists can help.
By the same token, the following tips arise from similar community feedback regarding incorrect fan purchases. The following should be adequate measurements to determine your Ecofan needs, thereby reducing the hassle of exchange at a later period. As established above, stove type, wood burning, gas, or pellet fueled, are important considerations. From there, your stove's model number and temperature range play a heavy part in the operation of and ideal choice for your Ecofan. Once you know this information, further consultation with one of our experienced specialists can help identify whether your equipment includes components which will contribute to or detract from Ecofan performance. To learn which route to take; you can always consult one of our specialists via firstname.lastname@example.org. The experts at efireplacestore.com remain eager to help with any necessary follow-up regarding your next or current Caframo Ecofan device. Your experience and satisfaction are of up-most importance.