At the seminar titled, ‘Driving towards industrial energy savings’, SEW Eurodrive have urged the industry to consider the total life-cycle cost of both the motor and the complete drive system. The technical seminar highlighted how correct sizing and selection of individual drive-train components can optimise system performance, increase energy savings and reduce operating costs.
Seminar presenters, Engineering Manager, Frank Cerra, and Strategic Marketing and Product Manager, Darren Klonowski, provided attendees with an in-depth analysis of electric motor application energy use and highlighted where energy saving could be made.
According to Cerra, a potential saving of up to 2.2 per cent can be realised by incorporating high-efficiency motors into the application. A further 9 per cent can be achieved by implementing accurate drive configuration and speed control matched to the application, while a 20 per cent saving can be obtained by optimising the mechanical portion of the drive system.
While Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS2006) compliance is important, it is more important to look beyond the motor and consider the drive-train as a whole. By optimising the entire drive solution from the gearbox, motor, and the drive electronics, through to the driven machine, enormous savings can be realised.
Cerra also stated that these energy savings translate into financial saving, and contribute to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Klonowski explained how a significant portion of energy wastage was a result of inefficient operation of the drive application. By configuring the drive to speed up, slow down or switch off according to throughput demand, enormous amounts of energy can be saved. Similar energy savings can be made by sizing the drive-train components correctly and reducing the use of inefficient transmission elements, such as vee-belts and pulleys.
According to Cerra, it is the energy consumption of the selected drive technology that has a decisive influence on the operational costs. During the life-cycle of a drive system, it is the energy component that constitutes the majority of the total life-cycle cost. Optimising the energy efficiency of each individual system component and combining the drive technology to match the specific application will achieve a significant economic benefit.
Klonowski pointed out that drive system purchasing decisions are made solely on capital cost, without taking the ongoing operating expenses into account. The Australian industrial sector must consider the total cost of ownership of the drive application and purchases should not be made based on capital costs.