Fans are powered either through alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). AC and DC currents have a wide range of voltages (V). AC currents range from 110V-240V while DC currents range below 100 like 5V and 12V.

Fans can only have one voltage and current. Some examples include 48V DC and 120V AC. Below is a chart that will help identify the proper current and voltage of AC and DC fans.

 

  AC FANS   DC FANS
     Voltage Range: Higher voltage ratings above 100.      Voltage Range: Lower voltage ratings below 100.
  AC voltages include 110, 115, 120, 220, 230, 240   Common DC voltages include 3,5,12,24,48 
       
  Construction:  Case is usually made from die cast aluminum   Construction: Case is usually made from thermoplastic
       
  Connector Type: Usually terminals [male two-pin connectors] or   Connector Type: Usually two to three wires. Black and red
  two black wires   being the color of the first two wires
       
  Power Source: Can be powered directly through an electric wall   Power Source: Typically powered by a power supply,
  outlet. Sometimes a step-down or step-up transformer is used.   converter, or transformer that is connected to an outlet. Also
  North America uses 120V while Europe uses 220V.   can be powered by batteries.

 

AC FANS

            

110V-120V: AC fans that run on 110V-120V share the same power input due to its tolerance in voltages. This means that a 110V fan can run on a 120V power source. The fan have its speed reduced by reducing its voltage reduced but speeding up the fan by increasing its voltage outside its range can damage it. Standard US electric outlets are 120V and is able to power fans that have a voltage range between 110v-120V. 

220V-240V: AC fans that run on 200-240V have the same power input as fans with voltages such as 220V-230V. This means that a fan that runs on 220V can utilize a 230V power source. Europe utilizes 230V as its standard for electricity; as a result, fans designated as 200V-240V are typically found in foreign equipment. If an individual living in the US wanted to use a 220V fan, he or she must use a step-up transformer to convert the fan for US use. 

DC FANS

            

3V, 5V, 12V, 24V, 48V: DC fans come in set standard voltages like 5V, 12V, 24V, and 48V. Since the electricity that powers buildings is AC current, DC fans must use a converter in order to be powered through an AC wall outlet. When powering DC fans into a wall outlet, please make sure that the appropriate converter is use. For example, if a 24V converter is used on a 5V fan, the voltage will damage the fan.