Electrical Systems / Industrial Motors / Energy Management

White paper addresses the efficiency of small electric motors and gearmotors

Source: PlantServices.com

Jan 27, 2009

"Improving Gearmotor Efficiency," addresses the relatively untapped energy savings to be had with the proper application of the billions of fractional horsepower electric motors and gearmotors in use today. Most electric motor efficiency efforts and attention to date have only focused on about 10% of the total electric motor population: those motors of 1 hp (746 watts) or greater.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), electric motors consume more than two-thirds of the electricity used in domestic manufacturing and almost one-quarter of America's total electric energy consumption. To compound matters, the DOE estimates only 12% of users consider the benefits of lower energy operating costs for more efficient electric motor systems. 

Billions of fractional horsepower (less than 1 hp, or 746 watts) electric motors are used in vent fans, ice dispensers, vacuums, furnace blowers, garage door openers and thousands of other consumer applications. Millions more small motors and gearmotors are found in commercial and industrial applications involving pumping, dispensing, cooling, conveying, mixing and every facet of automation.

To operate a 50% efficient, 1/8 hp (93 watt) gearmotor in Illinois or California at a 10 cents per kilowatt hour commercial rate, the annual cost will be $164.25. By comparison, the more energy-efficient alternative at 80% efficiency would only incur $102.20 in operating expense, yielding annual savings of $62.05 to the user over the life of the machine.