Direct Drive Blowers or Belt-Driven Blowers?

Belt driven or direct drive? That is the blower construction question. What are the advantages of belt driven blowers over direct drive blowers, if any? Let’s quickly review the difference. Direct drive blowers are blowers in which the motor that controls the rotation of fan blades is connected directly to the rotor shaft or fan axle. This means that the fan blades will spin at the same speed as the motor’s rotation. A belt driven blower features a motor that is not directly connected to whatever equipment the fan’s blades or impellers may be mounted on. Instead, one or more belts are used to connect the motor to the moving parts of the fan.
Why pick one configuration over the other? Let’s start with direct drive blowers. In a direct drive blower, there are fewer opportunities to loss of efficiency. There are a lot more opportunities for friction in belt driven blowers because they involve the interaction of belts with rollers. The expression of this added friction and reduced efficiency is higher necessary energy costs over time for a belt driven fan operating at the same RPM as a direct drive fan. Direct drive fans also don’t involve problems like belt residue left over from the wearing-down of belts. This means that they are easier to clean, which can make maintenance easier and reduce the frequency of necessary maintenance.
Are there advantages to belt driven fans over direct drive fans? Well, if there weren’t any, then no one would make them. Belt drive fans can be attractive because they offer more flexibility in terms of fan RPM speed. They can also be less expensive than similarly-sized direct drive fans.
So there is a trade-off in choosing between direct-driven blowers and belt-driven blowers. The choice should depend on the individual considerations of each machine’s intended application.