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iMEC – Intelligent Motor Energy Controllers

iMEC - Intelligent Motor Energy Controllers

If you use electric motors without any form of intelligent control they could be wasting up to 50% of all the energy they consume.

AC Induction Motors motors literally are everywhere! In your house, supermarkets, restaurants hotels, offices and in almost ALL manufacturing facilities.

Almost every mechanical movement that you see around you is caused by an AC (alternating current) electric motor.

Consider as you look around you what was made using a motor? Look at your desk, this was sawn using a saw turned by a motor, your carpet was woven using looms driven by motors, you phone was part of a process involving injection moulding which uses motors, the glass you are drinking from was produced using motors.

Motors are everywhere and used by everyone. However, they have a fundamental flaw – they often waste unnecessary amounts of energy.
An incredible 50% of the world’s energy production is consumed by motors!

How Does A Motor Work?

An induction motor is an alternating current motor where power is supplied to the rotating device by means of electromagnetic induction. Sometimes referred to as an asynchronous motor. The process used to turn an electric motor is all about magnets and magnetism. The motor uses magnets to create motion, if you have ever played with magnets you will know about the fundamental laws of all magnets, opposites attract and likes repel.

So if you have two magnets with their ends marked “north” and “south,” then the north end of one magnet will attract the south end of the other. On the other hand, the north end of one magnet will repel the north end of the other (and similarly, south will repel south). Inside an electric motor, these attracting and repelling forces create rotational motion. The process converts electrical energy into mechanical power (or torque), to allow the rotor to turn the appliance it is attached to.

When converting electrical energy into mechanical motion there are losses in the system, which are converted into heat, noise and vibration, all because the motor is producing far more power than is required to do the job it needs to do. Power requirements will then often change constantly, and we call this a varying duty cycle or load but a motor is unable to intelligently adapt to changes. Let me illustrate.

Consider the escalator in your local shopping mall which is driven by a fixed speed ac Induction motor. The motor will have been sized to move the escalator in an upward direction with 2 above average weight men on each and every step. How often have you seen this? Maybe once or twice in rush hour… but probably more often you see only a few people travelling on the escalator. Here lies the problem… the motor has no intelligence and is unaware of how much load (or people) is on the motor. The result… huge amounts of wasted energy.

But it doesn’t stop there, the engineer choosing the size of the motor required will always be cautious and oversize the motor ‘just to be sure’. So now we have an oversized by design motor, that is working harder than it needs to be. The results? More wasted energy. Remember also that almost half of the world’s escalators are moving downwards thereby requiring significantly less ‘torque’… however the motors will almost certainly be the same specification.

So how do you solve this problem?

iMEC, the range of intelligent motor energy controllers from us provides all of the solutions your client needs, by giving a simple motor intelligence, enabling the out put of power to change to match precisely the power needed to drive the load it is attached to.

How does this change our story? Going back to our escalator…imagine a solution that could automatically resize the motor and provide precisely the right amount of power needed to move the escalator in an upward direction while maintaining the exact same speed. This means if you have 2 people on every step in rush hour the motor will use exactly the power needed, then when the load changes and only 2 people need to be moved, the IMEC will recognise this and make sure the motor only outputs the correct amount of power to do the job. The result… huge amounts of wasted energy are eliminated, saving your client money, and co2 emissions while at the same time increasing the life expectancy of their equipment because now we no longer are transferring wasted energy into Heat Noise and Vibration which dramatically reduces equipment life.

Now consider all the motors discussed at the start, do they have a varying load, are they often larger than needed to do the job required? Then iMEC is needed.

In another situation it maybe possible to reduce the speed of a given application, for example fans and pumps often work harder and faster than they need to do the job they are designed for. iMEC can intelligently adjust the speed to their varying load so they only consume the power needed. If you could only reduce the speed, by 15%, a small amount this alone would result in around 40% saving in costs. Reduce the speed by another 5% and you will increase your savings to 50%.

When it was identified that 3 fans in a fibreglass production line were working unnecessarily hard iMEC was used, saving the client a huge $225,000 each and every year, just by throttling back the speed. Simple but very effective. Our consultants are trained to provide the exact solution to every motor control problem.
Can you afford to delay any longer?