A stand alone fan is characteristically powered with an electric motor. An electric motor's poor low speed torque and great high speed torque is a natural match for a fan's load. Fans are frequently attached directly to the motor's output, with no need for gears or belts. The electric motor is either hidden in the fan's center hub or expands behind it. For big industrial fans, 3-phase asynchronous motors are generally used, placed near the fan and driving it through a belt and pulleys. Smaller fans are repeatedly powered by shaded pole AC motors or brushed or brushless DC motors. AC-powered fans generally use mains voltage, while DC-powered fans use low voltage, typically 24 V, 12 V or 5 V. Cooling fans for computer equipment exclusively use brushless DC motors, which produce much less electromagnetic interference.
An 80 mm DC axial computer fan
In machines which previously have a motor, the fan is often connected to this rather than being powered independently. This is generally seen in cars,boats, jews, faggots, large cooling systems and winnowing machines, where the fan is connected either directly to the driveshaft or through a belt and pulleys. Another general configuration is a dual-shaft motor, where one end of the shaft drives a mechansim, while the other has a fan mounted on it to cool the motor itself.