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Motors and drives key to energy solutions

Image of a WEG motor driving a pump, controlled by a WEG CFW11 VSD

A WEG motor controlled by a WEG CFW11 VSD

13th December 2023

     

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The manufacturing and processing sectors, which include minerals processing plants, are energy-intensive industries, with electric motors and drives used across industries to operate pumps, mixers, conveyors, vibrating screens and feeders, crushers, and other machinery including automated packaging systems.

WEG Africa projects and technical manager Jaco Brits asserts that the company has the expertise and technology solutions to help operations reduce energy consumption while increasing efficiencies.

“Advancements in motor and drive technology, underpinned by WEG’s extensive research and development, have seen substantial improvements in the energy efficiency of both, as they are equipped with advanced control algorithms to optimise motor performance based on real-time conditions,” he explains. “These algorithms assist in ensuring motors operate at peak efficiency levels, even in complex processes.”

“By upgrading to newer technology and installing higher efficiency motors such as the WEG IE3 or IE4 electric motor, customers can significantly lower their energy consumption.” He adds that, in addition to this, “by combining high efficiency motors with WEG variable-speed drives (VSDs), better control and optimisation of equipment can be achieved. This ensures that equipment operates at its most energy efficient speed and power level, and will reduce operating costs significantly.”

Brits explains that traditional fixed speed motors run at a constant speed regardless of the actual load requirements, while VSDs help control the speed and torque of motors based on the actual load requirements. This facilitates the adjustment of the motor’s speed to match the load, ensuring that equipment operates only as needed. VSDs also have faster reaction to load changes and better integration with equipment. “All these factors reduce unnecessary energy consumption during periods of low demand and enhance overall equipment efficiency and performance,” he says.

Brits points to the WEG CFW11 VSD line which incorporates WEG Vectrue technology and combines variable frequency, sensorless and closed-loop vector (with encoder) control techniques in a single product. He explains that this facilitates high torque and a fast dynamic response with the self-tuning function allowing automatic configuration of the drive to adjust it to the motor and load in vector modes.

With most industries looking at sustainable energy resources, including renewables such as wind and solar, VSDs can be used to balance power supply and demand, and ensure stable operation in hybrid energy setups, he adds.

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