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Reduce Induction Motor Footprints whilst Cutting Back on Energy Bills 16/10/08

SAVING energy costs and reducing your carbon footprint is an admirable aim but not always achievable in the food industry.

ECO Solutions has a device that reduces the energy needed on constantly running single speed induction motors on refrigerator units and vacuum pumps.

photo by Jennifer MacKenzie

However, business energy consultants ECO Solutions are aiming to do just that with a device that reduces the energy needed on constantly running single speed induction motors on refrigerator units and vacuum pumps.

ECO Solutions  commercial director, Mark Argent, said: "Induction motors cannot regulate the amount of electricity they consume for the work they do.

"When they operate under less than full load, substantial power is wasted. However the motor can be made more efficient by being made to operate at different levels.

"An induction motor creates huge spikes of energy when switching on and off which is incredibly wasteful. It also uses maximum energy to power the rotor whether or not it is needed.

"Typically, a fridge will switch on and off all day long and will use four amps of energy to power the motor when running. Also a vacuum pump on a milking machine will run at full power all the time it is running when in reality it is only needed to do so during the wash cycle or if all the milking units were kicked off.

ECO Solutions' answer is to fit a control on the motor which eliminates the spikes by providing a soft-start and soft-stop option. At the same time, the control continually checks the actual amperage required by the motor to operate and reduces it to that, without affecting its output.

The control leads to immediate improved reliability and increased productivity. If the motor need the full amperage then it allows it the full four amps."

ECO Solutions claim that this small feature can implement a 40% saving in electricity bills for an adapter that can be fitted to all sizes of motor, single or three-phase and is transferable when the motor is replaced.

"With energy costs rising and margins getting tighter, a saving such as this can make a huge impact on the bottom line of any business as well as its carbon footprint," said Mark Argent.

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