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Payback from AC drives includes energy savings and reduced emissions

Vaasa, Finland - AC drives manufacturer Vacon estimates that its products helped save approximately 50 TWh of energy in 2012. The energy savings helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions.


Vaasa, Finland – AC drives manufacturer Vacon estimates that its products helped save approximately 50 TWh of energy in 2012. The energy savings helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The company, based in Vaasa, Finland, estimates that about 50 TWh of electrical energy was saved in 2012 with the help of Vacon AC drives. This corresponds to the amount of energy produced by approximately nine 700-MW nuclear power reactors in a year, or the annual electricity consumption of approximately 11 million households in Europe. This also corresponds to approximately 20 hours of the world’s annual electrical energy production.

In addition, in 2012, the amount of energy produced from renewable energy sources with Vacon’s AC drives was approximately 20 TWh. This corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of approximately 4.4 million households in Europe, or approximately eight hours of the world’s entire annual electrical energy production.

An AC drive adjusts the speed of an electric motor according to the real process need, which typically reduces energy consumption by 20-50 %. An investment in an AC drive is small compared to the cost of the energy an electric motor consumes, so the energy savings resulting from an AC drive controlling a motor quickly makes the investment profitable. According to studies, the payback time of AC drives has continuously shortened. For example, in pump and fan applications the payback time can even be less than one year.

Vacon is continuously improving the efficiency and reliability of its AC drives by using the latest technology, e.g. environmentally friendly and low-loss plastic-foil capacitors in the DC link.

Furthermore, inverters based on the company’s AC drives technology are key products in generating energy from renewable sources, such as the sun and wind.

“Vacon has delivered AC drives since 1995. From the technological perspective, AC drives will be more energy efficient and offer better performance in the future. Competing or substitute technical solutions do not exist for AC drives and are not within sight,” said Vesa Laisi, Vacon’s president and CEO.