Environment – Product Innovations
World's smallest fan motor greatly reduces the environmental impact of housing
"minimo" is energy efficient and eco-compatible
Motors in pipe fans used to ventilate living rooms, bathrooms and other rooms are installed in the airflow channel. So a smaller motor provides less wind resistance and greater airflow. However, as the size of the motor is reduced, the power efficiency declines, as does the ventilator's performance.
Mitsubishi Electric solved this problem with minimo, a substantially smaller yet high-performance motor. minimo's outer diameter is 43 millimeters, making it the world's smallest motor of its kind. Compared with similar conventional motors, the compact minimo has 68% less volume and is 73% lighter. Pipe fans that employ a minimo use around 22% less power yet still provide 25% more airflow than typical models. Being compact, minimo saves valuable limited resources by substantially reducing the plastic, iron, copper and other raw materials needed to produce it.
Higher airflow and less energy consumption
In conventional motors with a diameter of 67.5 millimeters, including the flange, part of the motor blocks the airflow. This part takes up 56% of the cross-sectional area, compared to only 28% for fans equipped with the minimo. Moreover, mimimo fans reduce air resistance (boosting airflow by 25%), yet at the same time lower power consumption by 22%.
Environmental Vision 2021 and minimo
Environmental Vision 2021 sets targets to be achieved by the year Mitsubishi Electric celebrates its 100th anniversary. Major objectives include reducing CO2 emissions from production and product usage to prevent global warming, and actively promoting 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) initiatives to bring about a recycling-based society. The innovative minimo, which is energy efficient and eco-compatible, contributes to these objectives. minimo is a model for Mitsubishi Electric's product development efforts.
Excellent environmental performance possible because ventilators generally not seen
Customers are not usually aware of the performance of the pipe fans preinstalled in the homes they purchase. However, the energy they consume is significant.
Pipe fans account for about 30% of the ventilators used in Japan, according to a 2007 survey by the Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association. Following revisions to the Japanese building code in 2003, full-time ventilation has become a requirement for most new dwellings, and pipe fan installations are expected to increase.
Pipe fans are used in most houses, but they are seldom chosen directly by consumers. For this reason, Mitsubishi Electric has accepted responsibility for providing products with exceptional environmental performance. Our minimo-equipped pipe fan received the 2007 Energy Conservation Grand Prize from the Director-General of the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy.
How much does minimo benefit the environment?
If all the pipe fans sold by Mitsubishi Electric were equipped with minimo, the energy saving would equal some 370 tons of CO2 a year. Using minimos would also reduce resource usage: plastics by 77 tons, aluminum by 21.7 tons, iron by 2.8 tons and copper by 1.4 tons. These savings by minimo would make a significant contribution to preserving the environment.
- Assuming half of the pipe fans sold by Mitsubishi Electric are run 24 hours a day and the other half five hours a day.