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ET23SWE0065 - Central HVAC Advanced Electric Motor Lab Evaluation

Project Name
Central HVAC Advanced Electric Motor Lab Evaluation
Project Number
Funding Entity
Market Sector
TPM Category Priority 1
Process Loads
TPM Technology Family Type 1
Advanced Motors
Distribution Report
Project Description

Implementing more efficient electric motors can greatly reduce the amount of energy used, save money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many new electric motor technologies promise higher efficiency, particularly in variable speed applications. However, end-users are reluctant to switch from their old technologies, either due to the upfront cost or they are not interested in trying a less familiar product due to potential for issues with incompatibility, controls, and unknowns such as reliability and expected life.

In recent lab dynamometer testing at the UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center the ABB Baldor-Reliance® EC Titanium™ motor had the highest efficiency across a range motor speed and torque. The Baldor EC Titanium combines synchronous reluctance and permanent magnet motor technologies (PMSynRM) and is commercially available from a widely trusted manufacturer. Our search has not been able to find any case studies for this PMSynRM advanced motor type.

  The Western Cooling Efficiency Center at UC Davis will install variable speed high efficiency PMSynRM motors in the water loop pumps that supply HVAC cooling and heating water for a UC Davis campus office building. Each advanced PMSynRM motor will be paired with the standard practice variable speed NEEMA premium rated induction motors operating in parallel. The advanced motor and standard motor will operate in parallel at the same time and same speed on the same water loop return water manifold and supply water manifold and will use the same make and model of variable frequency drive to allow for a direct comparison of efficiency. The power consumption of both the advanced motors and standard motors will be monitored to evaluate energy savings and estimate typical operating cost savings. The installation process will be documented to identify any differences from the standard motors and identify solutions to any issues that occur to inform future energy efficiency program design.