Nearly 70 percent of all industrial electrical energy use goes to powering electric motors. These motors are the workhorses of business, from pumps moving fluids to fans moving air to compressors, conveyors, and every type of machine that depends on rotational force to get its job done. More than 90 percent of industrial motors either cannot adjust their power consumption or use very crude methods to do so. Many always run at full speed, regardless of the actual output needed. In many applications, energy use can be cut to one- eighth just by reducing the motor speed by half.The most immediate, cost-effective and practical way to address the energy challenge is to grasp the opportunities for energy reduction that come from using energy more efficiently with available and proven technology. ABB energy saving solutions includes a variety of products and services. ABBs drives, motors and other technologies can help lower energy use by reducing power consumption and losses, improving productivity or through better management of equipment.
ABB energy saving solutions face today’s industry and commerce energy challenges. Pressures to reduce energy consumption, lower carbon dioxide emissions and provide secure power supplies are coming from governments, consumers, legislators and shareholders. All of these pressures are against a background of ever-rising energy prices and the dramatic effects climate change is having on the environment. As a result, industry and their consumers are demanding ever more energy-efficient products. ABB energy saving solutions consist of low voltage AC drives (variable frequency drives) and DC drives. AC and DC Drives are designed to run electric motors based on the processes current demands rather than running them at full speed and reducing output using mechanical controls like throttles, dampers or gears.
Drives reduce the output of an application, such as a pump or a fan, by controlling the speed of the motor, ensuring it runs no faster than it needs. Many motors are oversized to cope with a maximum demand that rarely or never occurs. The drive brings the motor speed down to match the actual demand needed by the application. This often cuts energy consumption by 50 percent and in extreme cases by as much as 90 percent.
When other control methods are used, such as dampers, vanes or valves, the motor runs at full speed and the flow of the output is mechanically restricted. For instance, the flow through a pipeline may be reduced by a valve. This is wasteful, because the motor keeps running at its nominal speed regardless of the demand. The pump delivers maximum output and the excess is reduced at the valve, where the surplus energy is wasted through friction.
The energy saving potential in industries and utilities is enormous just in motor-driven applications alone: hundreds of millions of electric motors driving machines, compressors, fans, pumps or conveyors in virtually every sector account for about 70 percent of all the electricity that industry uses. In addition to the energy savings, the drive delivers accurate control and less mechanical wear, reducing maintenance and extending the life expectancy of the system. ABBs product range, from 0.18 kW to 72 MW, is the widest available from any manufacturer, offering drives for every need. ABB energy saving solutions are easy to control and quantify. Many of ABBs drives have built-in energy calculators to monitor energy consumption and savings in kilowatt hours, local currencies and carbon dioxide reductions. The drives built-in energy calculators show actual results that can be used as a basis for future energy saving projects.