Although electricity costs may fall over the next couple of years, they will never return to the price levels we enjoyed. This makes saving energy and the adoption of sustainable technologies of vital importance to business. ABB’s online energy saving calculator is a tool that helps justify the business case for installing variable speed drives (VSDs).
Research indicates that electric motors are a main consumer of electricity. Estimates are that they account for almost half the energy used in Europe and almost two-thirds of the energy used in industry.
The design of most modern machines includes energy saving optimisation, but most legacy plants and machines do not. This means significant energy saving opportunities exist, but where are they and can we estimate the savings from installing VSDs?
Certainly, most engineers know that the largest savings come from motor applications involving controlling the flow of liquids and gasses. These include centrifugal fans, pumps, agitators, turbine pumps and axial compressors.
By adjusting the fan rotation speed, the fan produces the required gas flow. Additionally, a variable speed control can replace the current control mechanisms like output dampers, inlet vanes or slip couplings.
By adjusting the speed of rotation of the pump, the pump can maintain the required flow rate of fluid. In addition, variable speed control can replace the current control mechanism, such as a throttling valve or hydraulic control.
Air compressor applications
By adjusting the compressor air supply with a variable speed control will achieve the required amount of compressed air. The duty cycle or load profile are adjustable to deliver the yield requirement by the speed control.
Online energy saving calculator
Depending on the specific duty, installing variable speed drives will reduce motor running costs by between 20% and 50%. Furthermore, the recent doubling of electricity costs has halved the payback times for installing ABB VSDs.
Moreover, to help engineers justify the capital expenditure of buying and installing VSDs, ABB Drives developed an online energy saving calculator. EnergySave is a practical online energy saving calculator for making accurate comparisons of AC drive control methods. It give engineers a good probability of the energy savings available from adding a VSD to an application.
Finally, the Basic mode lets engineers see potential savings, and does not need a lot of technical input. The Advanced mode gives them the prospect to include the technical details for a more specific calculation.
Go here to use the ABB EnergySave calculator at the ABB Drives website.