Variable Speed Drives Offer Verified Energy Savings

Industrial facilities and plants are among the highest energy users in the world. Making even the smallest changes in their energy consumption can result in significant savings and a reduction of energy usage. One of our primary goals at APenergy is optimal energy efficiency for your facility.

This mission requires expertise in federal funding incentives and all the various opportunities available for smarter technology. It’s also critical to us that we only make a positive impact on your performance. A solution that shrinks energy consumption while negatively impacting quality or productivity is not good enough for us. Thanks to our extensive knowledge base and available technology, there are often ways to cut energy costs and enhance performance at the same time.

What Are Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)?

Often in industrial plants and facilities, many motors or pumps are oversized so they can handle times of peak demands. This is not necessarily a bad method, but it can result in your energy costs being higher than they need to be. A variable frequency drive, or VFD, gives you a higher degree of control over your motors or pumps. The technology has been around for many years, but it’s gotten smarter, smaller, and less expensive over time.

A VFD takes AC power and converts it to direct current. It works to clean up and control the voltage, then converts the direct current back to AC before sending it on. It sends the AC power at a much more controlled rate. These stages allow the VFD to precisely adjust the speed of your motor or pump.

This device means you won’t have to run your system at peak demand all the time. The startup phase of your system will also be smoother and softer, which translates into a longer performance life for your equipment with less stress put on the system.

Energy Audits Identify Opportunities

We’ve performed hundreds of energy audits on various types of industrial facilities. The purpose of these energy audits is to identify potential projects, or Energy Conservation Measures (ECM), where energy, resources, and costs show potential for being reduced, thus lowering costs. ECMs are proposals for individual projects, and each one requires its own engineering and project development.

These audits also find opportunities to make immediate positive changes with little to no implementation costs. At one particular facility, there were three coolant pumps. The facility only operates two of the pumps at any given time, and the third is kept as a redundancy.

The coolant pumps are mechanically throttled with bypass valves. Each application has two valves synchronized together. One valve opens and closes to the process and one valve opens and closes to the bypass.

By the Numbers

Based on our verification study, the plant operated these pumps for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, totaling 8,760 hours annually. We proposed replacing these pumps with variable frequency drives. The total costs of the project was $95,000 with a simple payback period of 1.93 years or 23 months.

The VFD controls the flow to a higher degree by providing variable speed pump operation. This resulted in reduced system pressure and overall operation. The project achieved a total annual energy reduction of 704,044 kWh/year and shrunk future maintenance costs down the line. The annual energy savings in dollars came to $49,283 each year.

What Makes APenergy Different?

We’re experts in energy management, and we find opportunities like this for industrial facilities—but what sets us apart?

Independent and Brand Neutral
We’ve chosen to remain brand neutral and independent. We only recommend the best and most efficient solution for you. We are not swayed by one brand over another.

Network of Trade Allies
Thanks to over 35 years in industrial assessment and energy management, we’ve been able to foster relationships with implementers all over the continental U.S. We can provide access to vendors to fill the gaps in your needs.

Custom Solutions
No facility is the same as another. We don’t supply pre-packaged solutions. We approach every facility with a clean slate and open mind. We start by becoming an extension of your internal technical staff and go from there.

We have active clients in over 47 states. We’ve completed over 1,200 system reviews and installations. There’s no other industry leader with the breadth of expertise that we bring to every project. To learn more, reach out to APenergy today.