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Energy Management Best Practices

Motor Management - Save Energy & Money

Problem: Energy prices have risen to an all time high and are expected to rise substantially in the next
12 months. As a result companies are spending millions of dollars more in electricity costs for the same
product output.

The latest Department of Energy study said that electric motors consume nearly 63 percent1 of the
electricity used by industry. Last year industry consumed 1,021 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity2 of
which 643 billion kilowatt hours were consumed by electric motors.

In 1998, the DOE said that upgrading to premium efficient motors would save 19.8 billion kWh of electricity
annually and improved methods of rewinding could save an additional 4.8 billion kWh annually. Motor
driven systems upgrades such as HVAC systems (using VFDs) could save an incredible 79 billion kWh3.

In familiar terms, the energy savings resulting from upgrading the electric motors would save either 2 .6
million short tons of coal, 11.6 million barrels of oil or 66.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually. With
today’s drastically higher energy prices doesn’t it make even more sense to upgrade your facilities motor
driven systems?

Best Practices Solutions:

1. Do a complete motor survey of the facility.

Compile a complete list of the motors that drive your machinery such as conveyors, fans, pumps and
machining centers. This will give you a benchmark to determine how much electricity your electric
motors are using.

2. Upgrade to premium efficient motors wherever possible.

Motors can last for decades and often have energy efficiency ratings that are less than current
EPact minimums. The initial price of a motor is approximately 3% of the lifetime costs of operation;
therefore it usually pays to purchase the highest efficiency possible. Premium efficient motors often
pay for themselves in energy efficiency within the first three years then continue saving energy for
years to come.

How much can you save by upgrading? A 100 HP motor operating continuously with an 85%
efficiency rating would use 768,820 kWh of electricity annually. If you upgrade to a premium
efficient motor rated at 95.4%, you could save 83,810 kWh of energy annually. At 7.5¢ per kWh
this would mean an annual energy savings of $6,285.75.

3. Use the “Right” motor size for the application.

Over time motors in older applications tend to migrate upwards to a higher horsepower rating than
is needed. Or at other times the application’s power demand increases and the motor may be
undersized for the new load. In either case, energy is wasted. The motor’s efficiency and power factor
drops off when operated outside of its design load rating of 75% to 100% of the motors rated load.
A simple calculation can illustrate the energy loses. The energy required to operate the motor is
calculated as the product of the kW rating (0.746 * horsepower), motor load and operating hours
divided by the efficiency at the rated load point. To find out how much energy “right sizing” of the
motor will save. Just do a couple of calculations comparing the current situation to a motor with the
correct horsepower rating for the load.

4. Turn off motors when they are not needed.

Motors that are turned off use no energy. In some applications, reducing motor operating time by just
10% can save as much energy as upgrading to a premium efficient motor. Motors are designed to be
started and stopped. The myth that this will reduce the life of the motor is incorrect unless it exceeds
the design-starting specification.

5. Establish a Motor Management Plan.

Motor Management is often employed as a MRO management technique. It is far better to know
which motors are critical to your operations and what to do about them if there is a failure or
impending failure before it occurs. A good Motor Management Plan also takes into consideration
the economic and reliability benefits of upgrading to premium efficient motors whenever possible.

Basic techniques have been developed to determine if the motor should be repaired or replaced if
a failure occurs. These techniques can be incorporated as rules of thumb into the plan. Often a
permanent identification tag is attached to each motor, which describes the motor, its replacement
part number and tells the technician what to do to the motor when a failure occurs.

Motor Management Rules of Thumb

Several rules of thumb are employed to establish policy standards for repairing or replacing motors
that fail or should be replaced for energy efficiency reasons. Standards and policies are best
established before a failure. Being prepared for and knowing what to do is a critical part of a Motor
Management Policy.

The following three rules are commonly used by industry when developing this policy.

• Repair/Replace Horsepower:
This is the horsepower break point where your motor management policy would say that “if
the motor’s horsepower rating is less than XXX horsepower, replace the motor” rather than
try to rewind it.

• Repair/New Cost Ratio:

This is a simple calculation that divides the repair/rewind cost by the cost of a new motor.
Motors with a 0.6 ratio or higher are often replace with new motors.
• Payback Months:
A payback month is a simple calculation that compares the investment cost of a new motor
and its energy savings potential. This calculation is primarily used with energy efficiency
upgrade and should be considered in conjunction with the other rule of thumb calculations.

All three of these rules can be incorporated into a Motor Management Plan. Baldor’s energy
management software package called BE$T uses these three rules to determine whether a motor
should be replaced now, replace at failure or rewound. This data is show on the detail printed

For additional information concerning the advantages of premium efficient motors and a Motor
Management Plan contact your local Baldor representative.

“United States Industrial Electric Motor Systems Market Opportunities Assessment”, Dec. 1998, page 37
Energy Information Administration, Table 8.9 Electricity End Use, 1949-2004
“United States Industrial Electric Motor Systems Market Opportunities Assessment”, Dec. 1998, page 2

© Baldor Electric Company Printed in U.S.A.

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