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Report identifies opportunities to double the efficiency of motor-driven systems

10 March 2023

Rubix, a pan-European distributor of industrial products and services, has released a new ‘Quick wins to cut energy waste’ report, which addresses inefficiency issues in motor-driven systems.

Industrial motor-driven systems – including compressors, pumps and fans – represent more than two-thirds of electricity consumption in industry, yet they are typically only around 36% efficient.  At a time when the energy crisis threatens to slow – or even reverse – progress on environmental and financial objectives, improving the efficiency of motor driven systems is a relatively easy win as, with the right interventions, they can be optimised to hit 72%, cutting energy waste, reducing cost and limiting emissions.

More than two-thirds of motors in use today have a low energy efficiency rating, while it’s estimated that on-third of v-belts are running inefficiently due to worn pulleys, and 20-40% of electricity used by compressors is lost through air leaks.

In total, energy savings of between 20-30% can be achieved by optimising the whole motor-driven system. This is typically achieved via a combination of asset tracking, repair and replacement programmes, and ongoing condition monitoring.

The report sets out the opportunities for efficiency improvement across the system. These include retrofitting variable speed drives to existing motors to ensure they only use as much energy as they need for the job they are doing. Using the correct motor size for the application, switching to energy efficient models and correctly regulating speed will also increase efficiency. Driven applications can be improved by identifying and fixing leaks in compressed air systems, using intelligent pumps with variable speed controls and replacing the worn pulleys that can affect the efficiency of v-belts.

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