Making the most of premium efficiency motors

Posted by AuCom on 08/06/16 09:18

We are quite possibly witnessing the beginning of an electric motor market boom as stricter energy efficiency regulations are being rolled out around the world. The higher energy efficient standards were predicted to cause worldwide overhauls of newer motor technology, resulting in significant market growth over the coming years.

According to a market report published by Credence Research “Electric Motors Market – Growth, Share, Opportunities, Competitive Analysis, and Forecast 2015 – 2022,” the global electric motors market is expected surpass US$ 135 Bn by 2022.

IE3 motors are now mandatory in Europe for new installations between 7.5 kW and 375 kW, in line with many other jurisdictions in the world.

At the recent energy efficiency in motor-driven systems (Eemods) conference in Finland the new regulations were presented as necessary to help meet the EC’s 2030 target of cutting greenhouse gas emission levels by 40% compared to 1990 levels, as well as cutting energy consumption by 27% by that date. These proposed changes could affect up to 89 million motors and more than four million variable-speed drives sold in the EU every year.

The new EC regulations are expected to increase growth for the replacement market. The rise of industrialisation and the construction industry is predicted to contribute to an increase in the growth of premium efficiency motors.

Responding to premium efficiency motors

For industrial motor control this growth in the use of IE3 motors requires selecting the right kind of control technology to leverage the efficiency benefits. If an industrial application process does not benefit from varying the speed, then fixed speed motor control is the most energy efficient solution.

Around 80% of motor applications are most effective with fixed speed. Selecting the correct control mode for the application (fixed speed or variable speed) is critical for true energy efficiency.

IE3 motors are more efficient than IE2 motors. The improved efficiency results in lower lifetime energy usage and energy costs, which has obvious value. However, other IE3 motor characteristics are affected by the changes made to achieve this efficiency.

These new motors pose some motor starting issues. Key among these are: higher inrush and starting currents that stress electrical supply circuits + “spiky” pullout torque curves that can make smooth control of acceleration and deceleration control more difficult.

Soft starters like AuCom’s new EMX4 can make a difference by:

  • limiting inrush and starting current to the minimum necessary to start load. Using the right amount of energy for motor starting enables design of efficient distribution circuits and prevents breaker trip due to motor starting.
  • precise control of the starting and stopping of IE3 motors. The EMX4 can control acceleration and deceleration to cater for motors with the tough torque curves.

To find out more about how you can take make the most of premium efficiency motors, download the AuCom brochure, ‘EMX4: redefining soft starters’.

Topics: Energy Efficiency, IE3 Motors, System Design, Soft Start Control

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