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Reducing refrigeration energy use by 18-21%

16 October 2016

Inex is a producer of both fresh and long-life dairy products. Refrigeration is a key element in its manufacturing process so optimum operation and reliability is vital. The company recently acquired four new industrial refrigerator systems based on Sabroe SMC 106E reciprocating ammonia compressors and it used this opportunity to trial the use of permanent magnet motors in a bid to make its refrigeration equipment more energy efficient. 

To this end three of the new compressors were supplied with standard Leroy-Somer IE2 (90kW) asynchronous AC motors, and one with a Leroy-Somer IE4 (105kW) synchronous permanent magnet motor from the Dyneo range.

The refrigeration systems are used to cool water to 1°C, which in turns cools milk to around 4°C. The installation operates almost continuously, but at variable load and it was here that the company saw the benefits of permanent magnet motors as, unlike standard asynchronous motors, their performance retains almost constant partial load which generally leads to a reduction in energy consumption.

To put the theory to the test, Control Techniques and Leroy-Somer’s experts visited Inex after the installation was complete. They discovered that the refrigerator operating with the Dyneo permanent magnet motor was delivering significant energy savings.

Using a digital energy analyser, a series of power measurements were taken to compare two refrigeration units working under the same conditions. One featured the LSRPM280SC-T synchronous magnet motor (105kW) running at 1500 rpm and Leroy-Somer Powerdrive, while the other housed the standard LSES280MK-T (90kW) asynchronous motor running at 1487 rpm and a competitor drive.

It was found that energy savings were being achieved using the permanent magnet motor across a range of different load profiles. Depending on the type of measure – involving number of pistons, speed, evaporation temperature and condensation temperature – the calculated energy savings were between 18-21%, taking into account any losses from the drive and the motor.


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