The great debate regarding engine-driven or electric cooling fans has been volleyed around for years. Belt-driven fans powered by engine RPM take up a lot of space, create a parasitic horsepower draw, decrease the life of the water pump, and gobble up a lot of space in the engine compartment. Electric fans keep your car running cool and offer many benefits with their space-saving design, programmable cooling parameters, and superior efficiency.
Once you have determined an electric fan is right for your car, you are faced with other choices. Do you go with a straight or curved fan blade style? Pusher or puller type? Single or dual fan setup? To get all the answers to these questions, we reached out to DCM Manufacturing regarding their Maradyne High Performance brand fans to set the record straight. Follow along as we meet the latest in electric cooling fans and delve into a tutorial to incorporate an electric fan into your build.
Maradyne fans are world-renowned as the go-to when it comes to keeping your engine cool under the collar. With decades of design and production experience, they have channeled all their expertise into their latest product, the new Jetstreme Platinum Supreme series of fans. Not only are these fans perfect for your classic car or hot rod, but they have the power to cool down RVs, farm machinery, and heavy trucks as well.
Maradyne’s newest family of single and dual fans offers quieter performance, more airflow, increased durability, and next-level programmability. The new Jetstreme Platinum Supreme series has the same small footprint and high-quality roto molded shroud, but has been improved from top to bottom.
Let’s take a closer look. The new Jetstreme Platinum Supreme fans are 2 db quieter than older models. DCM’s product manager Jim Kahl tells us, “While that may seem incremental, when we introduced the new fans at SEMA 2021, people were amazed at how much quieter they sounded. Car guys love a good mechanical soundtrack, but a loud fan whirring away isn’t a good addition to any arrangement.”
There are two models of the new Jetstreme Platinum Supreme to choose from, a single fan (P/N:MJS12KPS) and a dual fan (P/N:MJS22KPS). The single fan comes in at a compact size of 13.5 inches wide, and 15 inches tall, with a depth of 4.02 inches. The dual fan model measures 26 inches wide, and 15 inches tall, with the same depth of 4.02 inches.
Although diminutive in size, both fans move BIG air. With Maradyne’s new ultra-efficient sickle-blade design, the new Jetsteme Platinum Supreme models are deep breathers. The new fans move 1,700 cfm of air for the single fan model, and 3400 cfm for the dual fan unit. Compare those numbers to older models that move 1,300 cfm and 3,100 cfm respectively.
DCM’s newest fans also employ a new long-life motor with a red-tab electrical connection system and a silicone O-ring gasket to reduce contaminants entering the interior of the fan’s motor. With this new long-life motor and its added protection, DCM Manufacturing is now offering a 36-month warranty, versus 12 months, for the Jetstreme Platinum Supreme fan’s predecessors utilizing the old standard-life motor. From drawing board to final packaging, Maradyne High Performance fans are conceived, engineered, built, and shipped right here in the USA.
The Jetstreme Platinum Supreme also provides for the use of relays, switches, and thermostats (sold separately) to program when the fan turns on and off. Enter parameters that tell the fan to click on and begin cooling when the engine goes over a specified temperature, say 185 degrees. You can even tell the Jetstreme Platinum Supreme that when engine temp falls, due to changing weather or cruising speeds, to turn itself off.
Now, let’s review what you should look for when selecting an electric fan for your build. It is worth covering the basics of electric fans so we’re all starting from the same knowledge base.
Almost every vintage muscle car came from the factory with belt-driven fans powered by engine RPM.
Jetstreme Platinum Supreme Dual Fan installed in Camaro.If that wasn’t enough, belt-driven fans don’t provide a lot of airflow at idle. The lower the engine speed, the slower the fan, resulting in less airflow. Ideally, the goal of a cooling fan is to consistently manage the airflow through the radiator core to maintain about a 40-degree temperature drop from radiator inlet to outlet. Maintaining a consistent airflow at low, or high-RPM is critical, and Maradyne electric cooling fans deal with this situation precisely and efficiently.
Older cars usually have plenty of room between the water pump and radiator core for a mechanical fan. Muscle cars and hot rods with huge engines transplanted in smaller frames typically have clearance problems. Electrical fans are a great solution. Many of these low-profile electric fan and shroud units fit with room to spare, move more air, and run quieter.
Push or Pull
With many different electric fan options, it can be challenging to select the right one for your build. One of the easiest decisions is determining if you need a pusher or puller-type fan. A pusher fan mounts on the front of the radiator to push air through the radiator core toward the engine.
A puller fan sits right behind the radiator and pulls the air through the core with much less impact on airflow at higher speeds than a pusher-type fan. A puller fan used with a shroud directs and focuses airflow delivering more cooling capacity than a pusher fan. That’s why most experts recommend using a puller fan whenever there is enough room between the radiator core and the front of the engine. If under hood space doesn’t allow room for a puller fan, a pusher-type cooling fan can get the job done, albeit with a bit less efficiency.
Straight Or Curved Blades?
This is a far more complicated choice than just picking a style of a fan blade. Closely related to the type of fan blade is the diameter of the fan and the fan/motor combination. All these factors are important in fan selection. Let’s dissect each of these facets to help explain how they figure into a wise cooling fan choice.
Old school theory once held the notion that straight blades were stronger and more efficient than curved fan blades, but that’s been disproven over the years. Most modern electric fan blade designs are similar to Maradyne’s curved blade fans. These are built to be lightweight, but are reinforced for strength and are quieter in operation due to the sweep of the leading edge of the blade. This aggressive angle of attack helps with the airflow, providing stronger, but quieter air movement.
In addition, Maradyne curved blade fans incorporate a concentric ring on the outside edge of the fan blades that hold the blades at the proper angle while adding even more strength. Air pressure flowing over the blades naturally tries to flatten the blades out to equalize the pressure on both the high- and low-pressure sides of the blades. The concentric ring prevents the blades from twisting and acting as a neutral airfoil at higher RPM, providing better, more consistent air movement.
“Keeping blade tip clearance to a minimum is important,” explained DCM’s product manager Jim Kahl. “The tighter the gap, the less air that can make it around the end of the blades. Air escaping around the ends of the blades reduces efficiency. Maradyne fans, with concentric rings, do an exceptional job at creating a very tight gap and improving fan performance and efficiency.”
Surface Area And Amperage
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Think of a straight fan blade having point A at the root of the blade, and point B at the tip of the fan. That gives you an idea of the surface area of a straight fan blade. A curved, sickle-shaped fan blade has several points along the leading edge of the blade and therefore has more surface area. With the proper angle of the blade and the right electric motor, the sickle blade fan will provide more air movement across a larger surface area.
“Amperage has a lot to do with how efficiently a fan works. Wind tunnel testing and airflow computational models show that the new sickle-blade designs require less current draw than straight fan blade designs,” said Kahl. In a scientifically designed sickle-blade fan, the leading edge of one blade starts working just as the root of the blade before it finishes working. This advanced design allows each blade to cut through the air with less effort reducing both noise and energy.
Speaking of surface area, another major factor when selecting an electric fan is the diameter of the fan. “When choosing a fan setup, ideally, you want one that covers as much of the radiator’s core as possible,” Kahl told us. “Maradyne offers single and dual electric fan units that cover practically any automotive cooling situation.” Many street enthusiasts will find a single fan unit will provide more than enough cooling for their application. However – if you believe bigger is better when it comes to engine size and horsepower, a dual-fan combination might be a better choice.
Air management is far more complex than picking one fan or two, straight, curved, or sickle blades, and the diameter – although size does matter – shrouding and vehicle design also play a critical role. Here’s why: Fans are circular and radiators are rectangular. Maximizing airflow and cooling effort over the entire radiator core is the goal.
No matter what type of cooling fan you select, use a shroud if possible. Fans can efficiently direct airflow without a shroud but they are less effective without them in high-performance applications. Modern electric, high-performance cooling fans usually come with some form of a shroud as a part of their construction. High-performance enthusiasts generally mount these fans to an even more elaborate shroud that covers more of the radiator core. Electric fans that attach directly to the core tend to only cool the circular section where the fan is mounted. In these cases, the cooling potential is lost over the rest of the core. If you are mounting a 16-inch fan to the core, it cools a 16-inch circular section of that core. This same fan, used in conjunction with a shroud, will cool the entire radiator core, by pulling air through the entire core surface.
When it comes to cooling, electric cooling fans with curved and sickle-shaped blades and matched motors tend to move more air due to more surface area. Shrouds dramatically improve the efficiency of a fan’s ability to cool the radiator core. A puller fan tends to be more efficient than a pusher fan that is mounted to the front of a radiator. Finally, don’t forget to use relays, switches, and thermostats that allow the builder to set the engine temperature that the fans will operate within.
For more information on the new Jetstreme Platinum Supreme or help in designing an efficient cooling system, visit Maradyne High Performance Fans.