Be it DC or AC motors; they’re both equally common in industrial use. AC motors can be seen where precise controllers are needed to enhance power output and efficiency. Whereas DC motors are often used for heavy-duty applications which need compact design and high starting torque for high speed.
In any case, electric motors are of paramount importance to your business. Therefore, you must always ensure that it is in excellent shape so it can perform to its best ability. One way to do it is by maximising energy savings; this will help to reduce energy waste and lengthen the motor lifespan, even boosting uptime and reliability too.
That said, what are the measures you can take to ensure that you conserve on energy for your motor and maximise on its efficiency? Below, we’ve compiled four simple ways you can take note of.
Keep it cooled
Cooling is important in electric motors to constantly transfer the heat to a cooling medium like the air. With a couple of changes in the airflow near motors, it will help reduce the operating temperature and increase their efficiency greatly.
There are several methods you can utilise to cool your motor. Heat dissipation transfers heat from the motor via the mounting interface and enters the machine structure. The heat sink size will determine the continuous torque capability of the motor; the lesser heat dissipation means that the motor’s load capability is decreased.
Meanwhile, forced air cooling uses an electric fan to directly blow air over the motor. It helps to lower the amount of heat transferred into the equipment and let the motor function at a higher load point.
Last but not least, liquid cooling dissipates heat from a motor. Using liquid cooling ethylene glycol or any other type of liquid cooling agent, you can allow it to circulate in or around the coils or motor housing to dispel heat.
Rectify any load-related problems
In the event that a motor drives a gearbox with lubrication defects, extra energy will be needed. Generally, lubrication comes under the mechanical arm of the maintenance sector, instead of the electrical arm.
The issue here is the task is usually not carried out in the right manner (if at all). In actual fact, the gearbox’s temperature should be a little warmer compared to the ambient temperature. However, if your thermographic camera or spot temperature gun displays over a few degrees of difference, it’s time to inform your engineer that an overhaul for the lubrication program is needed.
Otherwise, the worst-case scenario of overhauling all the energy-wasting gearboxes will have to be done when they eventually fail. Likewise, you must always keep your generator in check – a piece of equipment in the workplace that is the main power supply for all your business operations. If you notice any error or a potential fault in your equipment, make sure to send it for generator rewinding or overhauling.
Align and monitor
When you have a misaligned motor, you will soon its impact in the form of excess vibration. But before we go into the consequences – vibration is where supply energy is used to move the motor instead of the load.
To get a perfect alignment, you’ll need to apply the right tools, such as a laser alignment system. Afterwards, you’ll have to keep track of motor vibration, or at the very least add manual measurement to your Performance Management (PM) system.
With regular motor alignment, you can easily avoid equipment failures and unplanned downtime for servicing or overhauling, which helps to save money. Alignment also lowers the chances of premature failure of coupling, bearings, seals, and other similar mechanical parts. There will also be a lower power usage of the motor, including destructive vibration levels.
Match the motor to the load and conditions
Temperature rating, design type, and other factors can make up to a huge difference in both how long a motor can last in a given application and the amount of energy used up.
Moreover, when you manage to match the motor its load and conditions – it helps to make better decisions of when to replace the equipment and which specific type of replacement to pick.
On the other hand, motors which have been rewound numerous times or are oversized will lead to gross inefficiencies while in operation. Whereas an undersized motor will most likely be overloaded, resulting in overheating, a drop in efficiency, and a premature failure with expensive ramifications for production. Inefficiency in motors also occurs whenever motors run below or above their design voltages.
Now that you are aware of how to maximise energy savings for your motor, you should also do the same for your other equipment. However, certain defects and faults cannot be avoided, and you will have to resort to calling your engineer for servicing. Whether it’s for switchgear, transformer or electric generator repair – do it as soon as possible so you can get your equipment back to its original condition and return to regular business operations.