Finding an efficient way to run electric motors in your facility not only benefits the environment, but it can also greatly improve your company’s bottom line. As motor tools, technologies, and maintenance systems continue to evolve and advance, increasing the efficiency of electric motor machinery is now easier than ever, and even minor investments can allow for significant savings.
Below, the team at Renown Electric has outlined three tips on how to easily increase the efficiency of your electric motor.
1. Connect Motors to Variable Frequency Drives to Boost Efficiency
Variable frequency drives (VFDs) are a relatively untapped resource for quickly and easily improving the efficiency of electric motors. Simple and efficient, VFDs can easily shift a motor to a point at which it can reach optimal efficiency; in other words, a motor can perform the same tasks without exerting the usual effort that would be required when working without a VFD.
These drives are particularly effective in applications in which drag is a factor, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, fan systems, and centrifugal pumps. Offering the potential for savings up to 55%, many VFDs are part of environmental incentive programs, which aim to encourage companies to implement energy-efficiency programs. There are a few circumstances, however, in which VFDs will not save energy or money, so it’s critical to thoroughly understand your motor’s specific application and requirements before you invest.
2. Measure Your Needs, and Size Motors Carefully for the Best Fit
To ensure reliable cost savings on electric motors, everything must be measured and sized appropriately throughout your plant. This requires a holistic approach to evaluation, as certain motors and processes require more energy than others, and some run slower or carry less capacity; while an old full-load motor may be efficient in certain applications, its load must still be utilized to the highest degree possible. Even the latest, most advanced technology will run inefficiently with a reduced load.
Using a slightly oversized motor for any given application will offer extra capacity when needed and extend the life of the motor. However, to avoid wasting potential, it’s critical to ensure that there is little difference between a motor’s potential load and its standard operating load. Thorough evaluations — and the redistribution of motor power they may precipitate — can significantly increase facility efficiency.
3. Implement a Maintenance Program to Prevent Equipment Failure
Electric motor failure can result in added downtime, increased labor needs, and costly part replacements and repairs, but implementing regular, routine maintenance programs allows workers to identify motor problems before they cause serious issues. Any necessary repairs can then be scheduled for preplanned downtime, alleviating general stress and keeping operations running as smoothly as possibly.
Renown Electric offers i-Alert 2™ Bluetooth enabled remote motor monitoring units which capture 3 axis vibration and temperature trending for critical applications, hard to reach applications or continuous monitoring of motor systems. The software is free to download and easy to use. i-Alert 2 provides exceptional reporting software and can be added to a supervisory control system for remote monitoring throughout your system creating a motor network.
Certain routine and predictive maintenance programs can be performed easily on site to extend the life of your motor without impacting daily operations, thereby saving money and avoiding downtime. For instance, dynamic balancing, infrared thermography, laser alignment, oil analysis, motor vibration analysis, and winding analysis can all be done on site.
Partner With Renown Electric
Renown Electric has decades of experience helping facilities improve the efficiency of their electric motors. Offering continual service support, comprehensive electric motor maintenance programs, and money-saving retrofits, our expert team is committed to keeping your motors running at top efficiency.
To learn more about how to increase the energy efficiency of your motors — and thereby save on overall facility costs — download our free, comprehensive eBook, “6 Ways to Save Money on Electric Motors.”