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FEATURE DRIVES, CONTROLS &#38; TRANSMISSIONS

ENERGY EFFICIENCY IS KEY TO LOWER OPERATING COSTS

Do we need to consider a completely new business model to drive more rational behaviour when it comes to selecting electric drives? Magnomatics believes that both capital and operational cost should be taken into consideration when investing in motor and drive technology

D

espite many initiatives encouraging consideration of total cost of

ownership, most electric drives are still purchased mainly by reference to acquisition costs. This behaviour is often driven by having different parties buying the drive from those who will then operate it.

OPERATING COSTS However, there is consensus that the cost of buying an electric motor is less than three per cent of the total operating costs. By far the biggest cost of ownership relates to the cost of the electricity, and will be something between 70 per cent and 95 per cent. if we make a simple worked example we can see it makes a great deal of sense to pay more for a more efficient motor. Let’s take the case of an electric drive

where 100kW is required for 100 hours per week, all year round. So we require 100kW x 100hrs x 52wks = 520MWhr of power per annum. If our motor lasts 20 years, that’s a total of 10.4GWHr. An induction motor has an efficiency of

around 90 per cent, but a good permenant magnet (PM) motor should be &#62;95 per cent. So our induction motor will consume

11.56GWhr whilst our PM machine will need just 10.95GWhr with an electricity cost of £0.13 per kWhr that equates to about £80,000 over the life of the motor or £4,000 per annum. This would easily justify the premium of buying a PM motor, but how often does that happen? Rarely.

REGENERATIONS If we then turn to the demand for regeneration about 45 per cent of electricity producted is used by electric motors. In the UK we have about 80,000 MW of electricity generation capacity. If we could switch over-night to more efficient motors that would mean an annual reduction of 4GW, that’s more than the planned Hinckley Point C power station which is just 3.2GW. Switching to

8 APRIL 2018 | FACTORY EQUIPMENT

more efficient motors is more cost effective for users and would have a significant saving on our national electricity consumption. One way to influence this change is to

local at the levelised cost of ownership, taking into account the capital and operational costs. an example of where this does work is in wind generation. Contracts are assessed on the basis of levelised cost of energy, you don’t win a bit with the lowest wind turbine supply and installation cost, you win it by bidding for the actual price you are going to charge for electricity. Of course that is not just a matter of

efficiency, reliability is also critical. In a recent project funded by the European Union called INNWIND the benefits of many technlogies were assessed in terms of their effect on levelised cost of energy. Various 10MW and 20MW generators were benchmarked against eachother, including gearbox driven machines, direct drive permanent magnet generators, a super conducting

machine and Magnomatics’ Pseudo Direct Drive (PDD) generator. The PDD resulted in the lowest cost of energy, about two per cent better than the next best technology. This has surged market interest for the technology. This approach to selling technology is not new, but remains very sector specific. Rolls-Royce for example, has been selling its aircraft engines based on operating costs via its ‘power by the hour’ for more than 50 years. Similar businesses models are being deployed for marine applications.

PURCHASING DECISIONS Sadly in many cases the acquisition costs continue to dominate purchasing decisions. The adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles remains very low. In the UK sales of hybrids is less than two per cent of the total annual sales, despite having lower operating costs. This is supported by the fact that hybrid

vehicles are commonly used as taxis where the driver is concerned about operating costs. Sadly many car buyers still focus on the price of the vehicle. Perhaps it is time for car manufacturers to switch to a wet lease type agreement that will better align everyone with reducing fuel and lowering emmissions.

Magnomatics www.magnomatics.com

Craft brewers achieve improved product consistency

Twisted Vine Brewery is a three- man craft brewery located in Iowa, with a passion for creating the best possible beer. To achieve this goal, the team was searching for a robust and reliable controller that would enable them to brew with meticulous attention to

detail for a consistent, delicious end result. No one at twisted Vine had experience using programmable controllers, so they were looking for a platform that was easy to learn and use. They needed to be able to monitor and control the fermentation temperature, to implement tools like the timers for tracking hop additions, and to monitors trends and outputs remotely. They also wanted a control system that they could expand easily as their business grows. Space was also a big factor as they needed a compact PLC to be mounted next to the mash tun. Their mash tun is kept at 150 degrees Fahrenheit during the brewing process and the mash is rinsed in water as hot as 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Any PLC Twisted Vine installed needed to be robust enough

to be exposed to high temperatures and large amounts of steam and condensation without failing. The Twisted Vine team selected a Unitronics Vision1040 programmable logic controller+HMI because it was reliable and robust, capable of running in the steamy brewing conditions and the programming software was easy to use and quick to set up. They also rely on Unitronics’ complimentary data-logging and remote access software utilities; they monitor temperature trends remotely, turning temperature loops on and off as needed from anywhere with internet access. Not only did Unitronics provide a powerful PLC, according to co-owner Steven Becker, the all-in-one design and single-environment software made the Vision1040 an intuitive and cost-effective choice for their operations. “The free software and many online tutorials made it easy to learn and it was a low cost and powerful solution,” explains Becker. In fact, Twisted Vine Brewery is already planning to expand its control system with the help of Unitronics.

Unitronics www.unitronicsPLC.com / FACTORYEQUIPMENT

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