19 July, 2024

MDS Conference to examine energy saving case studies

01 October, 2012

The Motor Driven Systems (MDS) Conference to be held on 8th November at St. John’s Hotel, Solihull, will be looking at real-life examples to highlight how industry can make important financial savings by taking a systems’ engineering approach to motor driven systems.

Telecoms giant Orange and British Airways will be just two of industry’s leading businesses who will share with delegates their approach to making substantial energy savings.

In Orange Telecom’s case replacing AC fans in a fan coil air conditioning unit with EC fans reduced their energy consumption by 66%.

Although large in percentage terms, this could be seen as a relatively modest saving of around 50 Watts per fan. Cumulatively however, if replicated across multiple units, there are enormous energy and carbon savings which can be made.

Looking at the UK market as a whole, ebm-papst, an MDS Event Sponsor, alone has sold around 50,000 direct drive AC fans per year to UK fancoil manufacturers for the last 20 years. This is estimated to be about 50 % of the market, the rest being mainly for less efficient fan "decks" with separate motor and impellers. So, with an estimated field population of 2 million fans, the potential power saving for the whole of the UK is 100,000 watts.

Considering that most fan coil units will run for a minimum of 10 hours per day, 5 days per week for 50 weeks of the year, the conclusion is that up to 250 MWh per year could be saved in the UK alone by converting AC fancoil units to use EC fans. This equates to saving over 136,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and a reduction in energy bills of around £25 million.
The aviation industry is under continuous pressure to reduce its operating costs and increase energy efficiency, while adhering to stringent quality and safety regulations. With the fast rate of technological evolution, operating systems need to be flexible, fully interoperable and future-proofed.

The energy management practices Schneider Electric, an MDS Event Partner, helped BA implement, resulted in total energy savings of up to 96% on its modified plant.

The British Airways flight training facility in London had several Altivar 212 VSDs installed, as well as integrated power monitoring to help control its HVAC system, which has led to significant energy savings.

The main boiler house had three centrifuge condenser water pumps to pump condenser water up to the 12 banks of dry air coolers on the roof where the heat was dissipated - two of which operated on line and the third as a standby.

Each of the electric motors operated at 90kW and was fitted with non-return valves.

One of the pumps had an inverter fitted, and the other two were star delta so if the pump with the inverter and any one of the other pumps were on line, the inverter pump had to be at full power or the non-return valve would close as the speed was decreased, eliminating any scope for energy savings.

Schneider Electric loaned British Airways and EMCOR an Altivar 61 VSD to test its performance and prove the return on investment it would deliver.

BA was so impressed that it then took the decision to install drives on the two star delta pumps, which now operate at a much more efficient 12kW each.

VSDs were also used to control the condenser fans, which provide chilled water for the flight training simulators and the building’s air conditioning system.

There are nine flatbed condensing units, each of which has ten fans which are now controlled by VSDs.

No form of drive was in place prior to the installation of the Altivar 212 VSDs and instead the system used direct-on-line starters, which caused mechanical shocks throughout the system and led to early failures on the fans and motors.

An energy audit proved that in a 12 hour period with the conventional system each conditioning unit used 127kW of power - since the drives have been installed this has reduced to 35kW.

Not only is BA saving on the energy costs of running the system, but as the speed of the motors is reduced, the pressure to the system has lowered from 6.5 bar to 2.5 bar and the noise levels have also dropped significantly.

This has helped to prolong the life of the pipework and the system, while providing a more comfortable working environment when carrying out routine maintenance and checks in the boiler house.

Pressure sensors set pre-determined flow rates and incorporate them into the site’s BMS, to ensure that the pumps maintain the flow rate and adjust automatically to the load conditions rather than always running at full power.
PM810 power meters were installed to measure the energy used on each VSD and feed back real-time information to the BMS, to help BA determine running cost and condition of the pumps and increase or reduce the flow to match demand 24/7 and pre-determine set-points.
Decision makers, financial heads, energy managers, plant engineers and facilities managers within manufacturing and processing industries in end user companies will hear much to their advantage by attending the MDS Conference 2012.

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