Motors & Energy Saving (3)

4. Safety Issues

Electric motors are a major driving force in many industries. Their compact size and versatile application potentials make them a necessity. Motors are chosen many times because of the low vibration characteristics in driving equipment because of the potential extended life of the driven equipment. The higher rpm and small size of a motor will also make it a perfect fit for many applications.

Motors can be purchased for varying application areas such as for operating in a potentially gaseous or explosive area. When purchasing a motor, be sure to check the classification of the area, you may have a motor that does not meet the classification it is presently in! For example, a relatively new line of motors is being manufactured with special external coatings that resist the elements. These were developed because of the chemical plant setting in which highly corrosive atmospheres were deteriorating steel housings. They are, for the most part, the same motors but have an epoxy or equivalent coating.

5. Cost and Energy Efficiency
An electric motor performs efficiently only when it is maintained and used properly. Electric motor efficiencies vary with motor load; the efficiency of a constant speed motor decreases as motor load decreases. Below are some general guidelines for efficient operations of electric motors.
• Turn off unneeded motors – Locate motors that operate needlessly, even for a portion of the time they are on and turn them off. For example, there may be multiple HVAC circulation pumps operating when demand falls, cooling tower fans operating when target temperatures are met, ceiling fans on in unoccupied spaces, exhaust fans operating after ventilation needs are met, and escalators operating after closing.
• Reduce motor system usage – The efficiency of mechanical systems affects the run-time of motors. For example, reducing solar load on a building will reduce the amount of time the air handler motors would need to operate.
• Sizing motors is important – Do not assume an existing motor is properly sized for its load, especially when replacing motors. Many motors operate most efficiently at 75% to 85% of full load rating. Under-sizing or over-sizing reduces efficiency. For large motors, facility managers may want to seek professional help in determining the proper sizes and actual loadings
of existing motors. There are several ways to estimate actual motor loading: the kilowatt technique, the amperage ratio technique, and the less reliable slip technique. All three are supported in the Motor Master Plus software.
• Replacement of motors versus rewinding – Instead of rewinding small motors, consider replacement with an energy-efficient version. For larger motors, if motor rewinding offers the lowest life-cycle cost, select a rewind facility with high quality standards to ensure that motor efficiency is not adversely affected. For sizes of 10 hp or less, new motors are generally cheaper than rewinding. Most standard efficiency motors under 100 hp will be cost-effective to scrap when they fail, provided they have sufficient runtime and are replaced with energyefficient models.

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