Moving on up: The next step in industrial motor efficiency

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), is an organization responsible for preparing and publishing international standards for electrical, electronic and related technologies. Among the standards they introduce, are global standards for electric motors, which the Commission suggests account for two thirds of the energy used for industrial operations; industrial operations that supposedly account for a whopping 42% of the world’s consumption of electric energy.

The standard for energy-efficient motors used by manufacturers around the world is currently the IEC 60034-30 and is sub-divided into three levels (IE1, IE2, IE3) according to how efficiently they convert electricity into mechanical energy. The standard however, hinted at the future potential of an additional level known as IE4, reserved for super premium efficient motors. For a long time, products that met this standard were not commercially available. Now however, a number of companies are starting to branch out into a whole new level of industrial efficiency.

The appearance of IE4 compliant technologies

According to Control Engineering Europe, in November 2012 at the SPS/IPC/Drives 2012 conference in Nuremberg, the German company WEG launched the W22 Super Premium complete motor range, designed to prevent up to 40% less energy loss than other designs. Quoted in the article on Control Engineering Europe, Wilmar Henning, Managing Director of WEG in Germany talks a little bit about the announcement: “With IE3 rated motors now becoming popular across Europe, WEG wanted to be able to offer the next step – IE4 – as an option too, giving customers more choice. There is an increasing need to save energy, and motors consume over two-thirds of the energy consumed by the industrial sector today, and 40% of energy consumed in the world is linked to electric motors.”

Earlier this spring at the Hannover Messe in Germany, two companies were also seen promoting products that support the development of what will be the most energy-efficient motors in the world. Engineering News reports that Mike Hoepper, Mechanical Drives Engineering and Quality Assurance Head at Siemens IDT, announced a new range of geared motors that will be launched in South Africa in the near future. Without revealing when exactly these motors would go to market, Hoepper indicated that the new series is designed to mount induction motors and synchronous motors with high efficiencies in accordance with IE4 standards.

Meanwhile, Ferret reports NORD Drivesystems showcasing a drive solution for conveyors that combines a geared motor that meets IE4 classification with a motor-mounted frequency inverter that will deliver versatile drive control.

Why keep an eye on energy-efficient motors?

There are tons of ways to save your business thousands on energy costs, and investing in an energy-efficient motor is one of them. Purchasing the most efficient motor for your industrial business is a great way to reduce manufacturing costs and lessen the amount of carbon emissions produced by your company.

Want to know more about “greening” your industrial motor? Check out this article on how to control motor speed and save on energy with variable frequency drives.

If you want to know more about energy-savings for your business, take a look at these rebates and incentives offered by Enbridge.

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image credit: Schmalenberger Pumpentechnik