As more data becomes available about climate change and the influence of carbon emissions means all aspects of industry are being encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint.
From the power generation sector to end users, everyone can make a contribution and Association of Electrical and Mechanical Trades (AEMT) Service Centres are well-placed to offer both advice and solutions that will help meet national targets.
In 2017 Great Britain achieved its first ever working day without using power created from coal since the industrial revolution and for the first time, wind, nuclear and solar sources produced more than coal and gas.
The rapid introduction of low carbon energy sources is a major step forward, but more can be done by reducing the actual demand for electricity.
Industrial applications of electric motors account for roughly 50% of all electrical demand, making them an excellent place to start reducing energy demands. This has two advantages for the end user, it reduces operational costs as well as contributing to the carbon reduction initiative.
Electric motor manufacturers and repairers have an opportunity to make improvements for end users by explaining the savings that can be achieved by implementing more efficient technology.
Older motors will often benefit from the addition of a variable speed drive, while upgrading to higher efficiency motors will reduce running costs and extend service life.
Further reductions in energy usage can be achieved through energy audits, which highlight areas for improvement.
Many industrial motors can be oversized for their application or poorly matched to the equipment they are powering. In some cases, motors can be reassigned to a new task and without proper assessment, this can lead to energy wastage.
With average lifetimes around 20 years, electric motors represent a considerable investment on the part of the end user. Furthermore, the fact that almost all of the total costs associated with each motor are determined by energy usage, means that selecting the most efficient product for the application will pay dividends for years to come.
However, it is important to understand that the electric motor is only half of the solution. Although it is responsible for converting electrical energy to mechanical energy, the efficiency of the pump, fan, gearbox or other equipment is equally important.
Pumps offer a unique challenge and their design and suitability for an application have a considerable influence on their efficiency.
Similarly, gearbox designs have advanced considerably and with a similar service life to the motors, legacy assets can be improved when the time comes for repair or renewal. Improved machining accuracy, gear designs and bearing durability can all contribute to more efficient components, which in turn, help to reduce energy consumption.
By offering end users the option to adopt more advanced solutions and implement modern technology, AEMT Service Centres can help in reducing carbon emissions as well as cutting operating costs for their customers.