Why do motor drives impact the world so dramatically regarding energy savings?
New Berlin, WI – Motor drives, which act exactly like an accelerator pedal that speeds up or slows down a vehicle in exact proportion to driving conditions, are the unsung heroes of the energy world. Because they regulate motors so precisely, and because motors are the major consumers of energy produced for industry, the installed base of drives save energy and keep CO2 emissions out of Earth’s atmosphere in dramatic proportions.
ABB just tallied what the company’s drives saved the globe in 2014, for example. In energy consumption, the installed base saved 445 TWh (terawatt-hours), which is equivalent to what 110 million households use in energy, when each home consumes, on average, 4,000 kWh annually — an average for 2005, the year for which the latest statistics are available.
If that amount of energy would have been generated by fossil-fuel-powered electricity plants, these drives would have reduced CO2 emissions by 370 million tons.
Energy reduction of 30%-50% via drives is common
Here is how the abstract on drives’ ability to reduce energy consumption by up to as much as 90% reads on an ABB youtube.com post, illustrating the point: “Intelligent motor control methods — variable speed drives — can help in solving the energy challenges we all face. Variable speed drives regulate the speed of a motor and can reduce energy consumption by as much as 30% to 50% in many applications and, in extreme cases, by as much as by 90%. Pumps are one of the most common motor applications and offer the biggest potential for saving energy because, at half the speed, only one-eighth of the power is needed.” View the video here — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq5QMEDqQWA&app=desktop
The truth is that most motors around the globe still are awaiting control via a drive, and most are controlled with mechanical braking/speed devices, rather than electronic control.
Bill RoebuckBill Roebuck is the Editor and Associate Publisher of Machinery & Equipment MRO magazine and mromagazine.com.
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