End-to-end system efficiency can be improved with VSDs and magnet-assisted synchronous reluctance motor technology
Many of the motors in use in industry today have been in service for over a decade. For example, it is estimated that more than 60% of industrial motors in the US are over 10 years old. However, even if these are still in good working condition, they are likely to be less efficient more modern equivalents. Because motors are an essential part of many industrial applications, their efficiency impacts the efficiency of the system overall. As a result, many businesses could reduce their energy use and their energy costs by upgrading to newer, more efficient motor systems.
In practice, motors that are over ten years old are likely to have IE3 or even IE2 efficiency classes. In contrast, the most efficient modern motor systems can now achieve an IE5 efficiency class – in NEMA terminology these are known as “ultra-premium efficiency motors”. These more efficient motors can significantly reduce energy use throughout the system. For example, when paired with a variable speed drive, an IE5 motor, like a magnet-assisted synchronous reluctance motor, has 40% lower losses than an IE3 motor.
Clearly, there are measurable benefits to modernizing motors, however, despite the potential for system-wide cost and energy savings, the initial cost of investment still deters many companies. As a result, in many markets there are there are also financial incentives available to encourage businesses to update to more energy efficient technology.
This white paper discusses two proven methods of improving motor system efficiency: replacing an older motor with an IE5 motor with an integrated drive, and adding a variable speed drive to control the motor.
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