Guide

Saving money with energy efficient motors

Monitoring and management of electric motors

It's very important to introduce monitoring and management systems for your motors to maximise your energy saving initiatives.

Monitoring electric motors

Without accurate monitoring to detect wastage it's difficult to make long-term energy savings. When you introduce motor monitoring, it is a good idea to take the following steps:

  • make an inventory of your motor systems - this will provide a clear framework for identifying and prioritising actions and also give a history of each motor, which is useful for deciding whether to repair or replace when problems occur
  • measure the power consumed by each motor using an 'hours-run' meter, a clamp-on ammeter and a portable power logging device, as well as permanent kilowatt-hour metering
  • analyse and monitor the condition of each component to predict the risk of failure by using vibration analysis, oil analysis and thermographic surveys

Modern monitoring systems can carry out the analysis automatically and flag up any problems by sending an email or text message to the relevant operative. More advanced systems will automatically shut down a process if a fault is detected.

Electric motor management policies

By following a well-designed motor management policy you can make cost savings on every motor in your business. The policy will provide a structured approach to repair and maintenance, resulting in reduced system down-time.

Your motor management policy will generally include a:

  • schedule and procedure for motor maintenance
  • plan for repairing, or replacing, failed motors
  • plan for purchasing new and more efficient motors