A new generation
What will drive your energy management strategy?
By John Malinowski, Senior Product Manager , AC motors, for Baldor Electric Co.
We have discussed industrial energy efficiency for many years, and it still provides an opportunity for huge electrical savings in most facilities. Electric motor driven systems represent close to 90% of electrical costs in some process industries. Efficiency upgrades represent the most cost effective method of energy conservation.
Additional help is available by partnering with various suppliers and agencies to network about successes that can be adopted in your business. The government is actually here to help you reach your goals and the assistance available is very good.
Upgraded motors mandated
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 goes into effect December 19, 2010 and will raise the minimum efficiency of 1 – 500 horsepower motors sold in the United States. We have discussed this in previous articles. Canada is adopting a similar legislation that will begin January 1, 2011.
Most general-purpose motors in the range of 1 – 200 HP will have efficiency raised to NEMA Premium efficiency levels and larger motors to Energy Efficient levels with NEMA Premium designs available as an option. This law includes motors sold as replacements and on new equipment, including imported goods.
Each company should establish a solid relationship with a preferred motor supplier through their local distributor and the motor manufacturer’s sales office. Motor manufacturers have local support available to assist with motor selection and offer solutions to technical challenges.
Set repair / replace guidelines
So, what is the next step? Replacing operating motors in today’s economy is becoming more difficult as many companies are now looking for returns on their capital in less than 12 months. Unless the motor is old or oversized, there isn’t enough savings available to pay for the upgrade in this 12 month period, even with rebates from a utility or energy program. Today most motors are replaced at time of failure, so a sound repair or replace policy is needed.
One must establish guidelines on when to replace the motor based on the efficiency of the old motor, cost of electricity, available rebate or tax incentives and the hours it operates. When repairing, there are guidelines set forth by the Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) in ANSI/EASA AR100-2006, “Recommended Practice for the Repair of Rotating Electrical Apparatus”.
Installed motors should be marked for action on failure – replace with a NEMA Premium efficient motor, a standard motor or repair. To avoid unnecessary downtime, the stockroom should have the appropriate motors available for replacement. Old inefficient motors should be scrapped.
Local EASA facilities are an integral part of any operation and can assist with failure analysis and offer solutions to improving plant uptime. A good relationship is essential to saving energy.
Get to know your utilities
Each company should have a good relationship with their electricity supplier so they are aware of any incentives and programs available. Most utilities are being mandated to offer efficiency incentives to their customers. These vary widely from assistance with surveys to rebates for upgrades. And the rebates are changing from a fixed amount per horsepower to now paying for kWh saved.
Such a program doesn’t focus on a specific efficiency solution, but it pays for total savings that might include right-sizing, NEMA Premium motors, adjustable speed drives and more efficient power transmission components. You should look beyond raising the efficiency of a motor from 88% to 92% when it is coupled to a pump that is only 50% efficient. The entire motor-driven system needs to be evaluated.
As we move forward to more comprehensive system analyses, there is help available from our government. The U.S. Department of Energy has an Industrial Technologies Program that leads the national drive to reduce energy intensity and carbon emissions by changing the way industry uses energy. ITP sponsors cost-shared R&D, and supports the use of today’s advanced technologies and energy management best practices.
ITP is split into several areas:
Technology delivery to apply proven best practices to boost efficiency and productivity in compressed air, motor-driven, process heating and steam systems by using:
Save Energy Now is a national initiative of the Industrial Technologies Program to drive a reduction of 25% or more in industrial energy intensity in 10 years.
Industrial Technologies Program provides cost-shared R&D in several key technology areas common to most energy-intensive industries. Because of the widespread application of these crosscutting technologies, even small improvements in their efficiency can yield large energy savings.
ENERGY STAR industrial partners
Besides the assistance available from the DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency has additional assistance available through ENERGY STAR. http://www.energystar.gov. Monthly Web-based presentations update partners with success stories from various industries and organizations.
Several manufacturing industries have been identified by ENERGY STAR and these focuses provide industry-specific energy management tools and resources, develop the corporate structure and systems to better manage energy, and reduce energy use within that industry.
These focus groups offer an opportunity to network with peers and include most of the major companies within that industrial sector. Present focus industries include:
- Cement manufacturing
- Corn refining
- Food processing
- Glass manufacturing
- Motor vehicle manufacturing
- Petroleum manufacturing
- Pharmaceutical manufacturing
- Pulp and paper processing
For each industry or process, a plant energy performance indicator (EPI) is designed. This software allows data to be gathered to evaluate plant energy performance and benchmark to an ideal facility and between each company’s facilities. The EPI is developed by EPA and Duke University.
Private sector help
There is also help available from many non-government agencies such as National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA- the trade organization for the motor and drive industry), American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Alliance to Save Energy, Hydraulic Institute, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) and many other groups.
These groups hold many conferences, trade shows and education on various topics.
Empower an energy advocate
Each company should have someone empowered to review energy usage and work with facilities to drive down usage. Until the recent downturn in car production, the manufacturers in Detroit didn’t think they could turn off equipment or the process would suffer.
Chrysler shut down all their plants for nine weeks and they found that equipment could be turned off when not needed, saving electricity without a sacrifice in quality. This person can also be the liaison to the utilities and assist with establishing specifications for motors, drives and repairs.
Get involved locally
Each state has a Public Service Commission that monitors the policies of the utilities and their rate structure. Directives on energy efficiency often originate at their meetings. There is often a lack of representation from the industrial sector at these meetings.
The commissioners do not get to hear enough feedback from the mainstream users, usually utilities trying to justify rate increases and lawyers trying to get assistance for low income residents. The energy advocate should attend these PSC meetings and provide input to indicate the needs and concerns of each company.
Networking to identify additional energy and productivity opportunities is essential for reaching the next step in sustainability. Moving forward to achieve real savings will be more complicated than simply swapping out simple components. But as systems are re-engineered, larger savings are possible.
There are numerous state, federal and local programs that can help manufacturers measure and improve motor and energy efficiency.
Whether running an industrial manufacturing operation or driving a process conveyor line the operation of motors in your plant should be monitored and measured to ensure optimum efficiency.