Reducing Electricity Cost through Use of Premium Efficiency Motors

Posted by Advanced Controls & Distribution on Dec 18, 2017 11:43:22 AM

techtop.pngOver the years, electricity has become a basic necessity, without which life as we know would simply become dysfunctional. In such conditions, the need for energy efficiency has become a top requirement across the industrial spectrum. When rising energy costs are coupled with uncertainty of available electricity, the result is increased relevance for the part of the business responsible for boosting efficiencies.

Surely, there are other perks of going down an energy-efficient path as well, which include turning over higher profits, and beating the competition, while bringing negligible change to the operating procedures. One way of ensuring an energy-efficient industrial environment is by switching towards premium, energy-efficient motors. In some instances, these motors are all that are required to recoup lost savings, that alone make up for the cost of these motors.

This practice of business is not only a wise strategic plan but also a legal requirement. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 established minimum efficiency standards for all motors that entered the market after October 1997. Nonetheless, only 10 percent of the motors in use comply with these minimum levels. To make up for these shortfalls, newer laws have implemented even more stringent standards of energy efficiency.

Factors that Determine Energy Costs

The electrical cost of a facility is determined by a number of parameters, but there are three that are most critical when it comes to reducing energy costs:

  • Kilowatt-hour consumption: The kilowatt-hour consumption rate is the amount of electricity consumed during a given billing period.
  • Fuel charge adjustments: These adjustments are part of the same billing period as kilowatt-hour and represent an adjustment cost based on the utility’s cost of producing power. The adjustment is likely to change several times a year, and depends on the cost of the fuel that varies with seasonal trends.
  • Kilowatt demand: Demand is based on the amount of power consumed within a specific period time. Measured in kilowatts, the parameter is used to determine the amount & type of equipment needed by the utility company to meet a customer’s peak energy consumption.

Reduced Lifetime Cost with NEMA Motors

The advantages of premium efficiency motors can never be fully realized without looking beyond the purchase price of these motors. Sure, premium motors cost 15 – 30% greater than standard efficiency motors of identical output but in the long-term, the former take the lead. It must be noted that a motor’s initial purchase price accounts for less than 2 percent of the total lifetime cost. The bulk of the motor’s lifetime cost comes from its electricity use, i.e. up to 97%.

This means that if a motor has a purchase price of $1600, it’s total energy costs would be over $80,000. The difference in the initial purchase price quickly becomes irrelevant when the energy savings are considered. The energy savings quickly eclipse the difference in acquisition costs, which translates to recouping of the purchase price in just a few months. The savings continue even after the motors have paid for themselves, and till the end of its life amounts for several folds of the price tag.



Increased Motor Life & Savings with NEMA Motors

There are major design differences between the two motor types. Premium efficiency motors have larger-diameter copper windings, laminations of higher steel grades and specially designed precision air gaps something that standard motors lack. As a result of these design modifications, premium motors tend to run much cooler than standard motors, requiring less amount of lubricants and insulators.

This reduced operating temperature also results in lesser amount of waste heat into the surrounding air, leading to reduced ventilation requirements for the motor, yielding in additional energy savings. Premium motors also operate with less slip than conventional motors, that leads to greater output of the shaft rotation speed. Finally, given the tighter tolerances in their design & manufacturing, Premium Motors tend to last longer than their conventional counterparts, reducing the maintenance & replacement costs as well.

Real-World Impacts

The stories of energy efficiency associated with NEMA Premium Motors aren’t mere stories, they are practicalities which have been evident in several real-world situations.

  • Crown Pacific Lumber Company: The company conducted a survey of over 300 motors in 2000 and early 2001 of over 300 motors. It was found that two standard efficiency motors that were operational as the mill’s air compressors costed over $49,000 a year. This accounted for an efficiency of 89% a year. When one of these motors was replaced by a premium efficiency one, the savings accounted for over $100,000 kWh and $3400 per year. The payback for the motor was within 1.8 years.
  • Weyerbaeuser Company: The company has over 50,000 electric motors in operation that make up for over 81% of the company’s electrical load. The $20 billion company was in dire need of an energy-efficient alternative that would reduce costs, downtime and maintenance cycles. When the company’s North American Paper Corporation facility underwent an analysis and replacement campaign, there were overwhelming cuts in the overheads, which amounted for $4 million monthly! These savings were topped up by local utility companies that offered incentives & rebates, resulting in payback within a year.
  • Hydraulic Institute: For over 85 years, HI has provided industry standards, education & information exchange to the pumping industry. Recently, the institute has been busy developing new standards for optimized pump designs that would lead to lower life cycle costs. Premium motors have played a key role in this effort as they provided unprecedented cost savings & operational advantages within the entire pump system.

Therefore, the time is right, not only for those in need of energy-efficient machinery, but also for the manufactures, to seize the moment and start production of NEMA premium motors. The competition is already quite stiff, with several companies providing added benefits on top of meeting NEMA Premium Requirements. One such company is Techtop Motors that has pioneered in the field of designing & manufacturing premium quality motors.

techtop brochure.png

The benefits associated with Techtop Premium Motors include:

  • Tough Exterior: Techtop motors are designed to prevent any early failure of the motor from contaminants & moisture. Through a system of seals, gaskets & drains, Techtop has made the sure the performance is not affected by external environmental factors.
  • Superior Performance: The adverse effects associated with non-sinusoidal voltages produced by VFDs greatly harm motors. Techtop’s efficient designs reduce temperatures while running at low speeds allowing for 15:1 torque turndowns without any hassle.
  • Energy Efficiency: Techtop’s GR3 Product Line comply with NEMA Premium efficiency requirements and provide best-in-class savings within industrial settings.

Techtop’s GR3 motors are available in three major classes:

1. General Purpose

The motors available have:

    • Horse power ranging from 1/3 – 150
    • Available in 2, 4 & 6 poles
    • Sport a TEFC & QDP design
2. Cobra Three Phase Motors

The motors available have:

    • Horse power ranging from 1/3 – 3
    • Available in 2 & 4 poles design
    • Have SS Fan Covers and Shaft Grounding Brush
3. Pump Three Phase Motors

The motors available have:

    • Horse power ranging from 1/3 – 75
    • Available in 2, 4 & 6 poles design
    • Sport TEFC design and 300 Series SS Shaft

Interested in learning more about Techtop Premium Motors?

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Topics: AC Motors, Motors

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