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Saving Energy without a Motor Upgrade

Saving-Energy-without-a-Motor-UpgradeWhen replacing a motor, upgrading to an energy-efficient version is a no-brainer. One reason is when you chart the cash flows you may see the equivalent of several free motors over the life of the motor based on the energy-savings alone. Another reason is the “energy efficient” part comes from making a better, more precisely-built, motor that is more reliable and will probably last well past your retirement date if properly maintained.

But making the case for an upgrade when the existing motor is perfectly fine is difficult. The economics are there but management generally dislikes replacing functional equipment. You want to improve the plant’s overall energy efficiency, but management turned down your upgrade request. What can you do?

Consider just two actions that save energy, whether the motor is energy efficient or not.

  1. Check that gearbox. If it’s using traditional paraffin based oil, get that switched out to a synthetic oil. The molecules in synthetic oils are all the same size, meaning a great deal less friction in the lubricant (note that blends defeat this advantage). Measure the running temperature before and after this upgrade; the difference should be startling.
  2. Check the power factor. If the motor does not have a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD), calculate the correct size capacitors needed to bring PF to unity at the load. If it does have a VFD but PF is low contact the VFD manufacturer.

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection