Electric motors are the biggest consumers of energy in the U.S., and therefore, the biggest culprit of energy waste. Studies have found electric motors consume more than half of the electricity produced in the nation. When it comes to industrial and commercial facilities, research has found electric motors use more than 70 percent of the electricity consumed in a day.
If you were to take a quick look around your facility or think about the layout of your building, it is likely you would begin to see how motors have a strong presence in your building. Motors help keep equipment working and your operations thrive, but reducing their energy consumption and waste will help you save money on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint. Read on for our tips on how to reduce power consumption of motors.
Track energy usage.
Analyze and track how much power you use from each motor. From there you can calculate where you are using the most energy and where you should cut and regulate use.
The simplest and most accurate way to do this is through a power monitoring system. A power monitoring system gives you real-time granular energy intelligence. The system consists of wireless sensors that track the energy use of each and every device you want to regulate.
With a power monitoring system, you will have an in-depth look at how much power each motor is using during every moment of the workday.
Find out more about power monitoring by watching this video:
Turn it off.
This is a simple way of reducing energy consumption that is often neglected. When possible, turn your motors off when they’re not in use. Doing this easy task eliminates a substantial amount of unnecessary energy consumption. In addition, the more often you operate a motor, the sooner it will run its course, which means the less time you run a motor, the longer you extend its life.
You may also want to consider load shedding. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) publication Energy Management Guide for Selection and Use of Fixed Frequency Medium AC Squirrel-Cage Polyphase Induction Motors provides load shedding guidelines, which include topics such as the maximum number of on and off cycles per hour and the maximum amount of time between those cycles.
Reduce motor speed.
A motor running at high speeds uses more power than it should. Reducing the speed of your motors can help save energy and money by decreasing the amount of heat that is produced from a motor.
Choose the right size.
Motors are the most energy efficient when they operate at or near full load conditions, that’s why you should opt for using a slightly oversized motor when possible. Choosing to go a little bit bigger allows you to reduce energy consumption and gives you some wiggle room.
Reduce wear and tear.
Don’t push motors unnecessarily. Consider investing in devices that can slowly start your motor or provide a lighter load. These devices help reduce wear and tear.
Replace outdated, wasteful motors with energy-efficient motors.
Consider a smart motor equipped with switched reluctance technology, which is reliable and energy-efficient. Unlike conventional motors – those pesky motors that constantly drain energy – switched reluctance motors only use electricity when it is needed.
The ideal way to save energy is to ensure the switched reluctance motor you choose is also a smart motor, meaning it can tell you how it is performing. This smart feature can provide you with predictive maintenance opportunities and energy-saving options. The feature can also help you decrease your motor maintenance costs and prevent faults and failures.
A switched reluctance smart motor has a long motor life and a more robust motor when compared to other high-efficiency motors. Each phase is individually controlled. This makes it so electrical faults are quickly identified, isolated, and compensated to resume operations.
A switched reluctance smart motor can dramatically reduce your power consumption in all applications where you would normally use an induction motor.
Here is a table that shows how a switched reluctance smart motor compares with other motors, including a standard induction motor with no variable frequency drive, a standard induction motor with variable frequency drive, a permanent magnet motor, and an asynchronous reluctance motor with variable frequency drive:
If you’re interested in learning more about power monitoring or a switched reluctance smart motor, we’re here to answer any questions you may have and connect you to the right solutions for your facility. Please reach out: (800) 834-8737 or connect with us here.