How to make motors run more efficiently
All businesses want to run more efficiently be it for environmental reasons, to save money, or both. A large part of this is your equipment and machinery. You can improve how your motors run with these simple tips that will help you to save money and the planet.
Use timing devices
Timing devices are a hugely underused but a very cost effective way of saving energy on non-continuous applications. Often pumps and fans run constantly, even at times of day when there is no demand.
These devices can be extremely simple timers or quite sophisticated PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) and, when combined with the right sensor, can be set to respond to environmental conditions as well as just the time. If you have an inverter fitted on your application already then you may well have the capacity for timing in situ, in the form of a built in PLC. Most inverter manufacturers now offer devices of this kind but you will need to invest in more than a basic model to get it. However, there are also plenty of other devices on the market that feature built in PLCs, from display panels to robot controllers, so you may well find the capacity for timing is
Don’t be tempted by cheap alternatives
If a deal on a piece of equipment or machinery looks too good to be true then it probably is. Where possible, buy a high efficiency motor even if the initial cost seems high as you’ll save money in the long run.
Choose the right motor
Rather than spending time trying to make poor motors efficient, buy the right one in the first place.
The first step should always be to ensure you’re fitting the right size of motor for your application in the first instance. A good provider of motors, controls or inverters can provide the information to help you achieve this.
Furthermore, if you plan to add an inverter at the design stage or later as a retrofit product, ensure that the motor is inverter rated to start with. Otherwise, any retrofit project will involve replacing the motor as well.
Consider a feed in tariff
It isn’t well known that users of industrial motors can get money back from the energy provider by selling excess energy produced during braking back to the grid. This is done using a feed in tariff, exactly as it is with wind turbines and solar panels. It can be achieved using either a combination of two inverters or, much more efficiently, by using a specialist product provided by CP Automation called RevCon, which is manufactured by German electro-technology specialist, Elektrotechnishe Anlagen.
Whether you implement one of these tips or all of them, you’re likely to improve the efficiency of your running motors and save some money in the process.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.