Maximizing Electric Motor Efficiency

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Photo credit (electric motor): Paul Wright

How to get the most from your rotating machines

BY STEPHEN MANSFIELD, TechnoWise Inc.

An area of great interest is improving the efficiency of electrical devices. More electric motor efficiency means less electrical energy consumed and thus less impact to the environment. By far, the largest consumers of electric energy are AC (alternating current) induction motors. In the United States, 50 percent of all electrical energy is consumed by electric induction motors.

Worldwide, AC induction motors consume over 70 percent of all electrical energy produced. Improving the efficiency of electric induction motors can have a dramatic impact on worldwide power consumption.

Improving electric induction motor efficiency has become the top priority of many organizations charged with developing innovative ways to reduce electric power carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

MOTOR EFFICIENCY & ENERGY LOSSES
In a perfect world, AC induction motors would operate at 100 percent efficiency—in other words, every kilowatt of power delivered to the motor terminals would be converted to useful work at the motor shaft. In reality, the motor only delivers a percentage of the AC power as rotating mechanical energy to the shaft of the motor.

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