Have you wondered why Pumps and Fans are such a great opportunity to save energy using variable speed drives? ABB can help you estimate your energy savings a…
>” Efficiencies of Motors and Drives
The full load efficiency of AC electric motors range from around 80% for the smallest motors to over 95% for motors over 100 HP. The efficiency of an electric motor drops significantly as the load is reduced below 40%. Good practice dictates that motors should be sized so that full load operation corresponds to 75% of the rated power of the motor. […]
The efficiency of an electric motor and drive system is the ratio of mechanical output power to electrical input power and is most often expressed as a percentage.
Motor System Efficiency =Output MechanicalInput Electrical x 100%
A VFD is very efficient. Typical efficiencies of 97% or more are available at full load. At reduced loads the efficiency drops. Typically, VFDs over 10 HP have over 90% efficiency for loads greater than 25% of full load. This is the operating range of interest for practical applications. […]
The system efficiency is lower than the product of motor efficiency and VFD efficiency because the motor efficiency varies with load and because of the effects of harmonics on the motor.
Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to know what the motor/ drive system efficiency will be, but because the power input to a variable torque system drops so remarkably with speed, an estimate of the system efficiencies is really all that is needed.
When calculating the energy consumption of a motor drive system, estimated system efficiency in the range of 80-90 % can be used with motors ranging from 10 HP and larger and loads of 25% and greater.
In general, lower efficiency ranges correspond to small motor sizes and loads and higher efficiency ranges corresponds to larger motors and loads.
b. Comparison with Conventional Control Methods
Estimating Energy Savings
Fans and pumps are designed to be capable of meeting the maximum demand of the system in which they are installed.
However, quite often the actual demand could vary and be much less than the designed capacity. These conditions are accommodated by adding outlet dampers to fans or throttling valves to pumps.
These are effective and simple controls, but severely affect the efficiency of the system.
Using a VFD to control the fan or pump is a more efficient means of flow control than simple valves or inlet or outlet dampers. The power input to fans and pumps varies with the cube of the speed, so even seemingly small changes in speed can greatly impact the power required by the load. […]
In addition to major energy savings potential, a drive also offers built-in power factor correction, better process control and motor protection. […]”<*
* Extracted from: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/products/reference/15385