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Service identifies motors that could save most energy

11 May, 2022

ABB has launched a digital service that will help industrial operators to maximise their energy efficiency and boost their sustainability by identifying motor-driven equipment in their facilities with the biggest energy-saving potential. The ABB Ability Digital Powertrain Energy Appraisal service will draw data from fleets of digitally-connected electric motors and VSDs (variable-speed drives) to show where – and how much – energy can be saved by upgrading to the latest high-efficiency technologies. The users can then make data-driven decisions to prioritise their investments.

ABB says that upgrading to high-efficiency technologies is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to cut energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. If the world’s 300 million industrial motor-driven systems were converted to high-efficiency systems, global electricity demand could be cut by up to 10%.

“The challenge for an industrial operator is knowing where to start in a fleet of hundreds of electrical motors,” points out Adrian Guggisberg, president of ABB’s Motion Services division. “ABB developed the new Digital Powertrain Energy Appraisal service to provide clarity by analysing motor data and identifying where businesses should focus investment to maximise energy efficiency gains that reduce operating costs and CO2 emissions.”

One operator that is already benefitting from the service is Waggeryd Cell, a mill in southern Sweden which produces about 190,000 tonnes of pulp per year. It wanted to further improve the efficiency of its energy-intensive processes by building on an existing ABB Ability condition-monitoring system which collects data from motors used in refiners, process pumps, fans and conveyor belts at the site. The system includes 92 smart sensors attached to motors, 42 on bearings, ten on gearboxes and 11 on other process pumps. These sensors measure power consumption, speed, vibration frequencies and temperatures.

Under the new energy appraisal service, ABB experts took data from these sensors and used it to identify ten motors at the Waggeryd site with the biggest potential for further improving energy efficiency. The company has now prioritised the replacement of six of these motors to cut its energy consumption, as well as lowering its greenhouse gas emissions.

ABB has helped the Waggeryd pulp mill in Sweden to identify ten motors at its site with the biggest energy-saving potential

Traditionally, energy efficiency appraisals require time-consuming manual collection and evaluation of data, and they cover only the largest motor-driven systems on a site because these are typically seen as having the biggest potential for saving energy. However, this approach can overlook significant energy-saving opportunities for electric powertrains that are smaller, less accessible or where energy-saving potential is not obvious.

The new appraisal service uses a plug-and-play approach to simplify energy efficiency assessments by pulling operational data remotely from across an entire fleet of digitally-connected motors. This provides much deeper insights into the business case and carbon footprint benefits of upgrading to high-efficiency motor-driven systems, while also being safer and faster.

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