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CDA Touts the Benefits of the Copper Rotor Motor for Energy Efficiency

April 20th, 2011

By Richard deFay, Copper Development Association, Sustainable Electric Energy

The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) last month sponsored Globalcon 2011, a conference in Philadelphia where decision-makers from business, industry and government met to consider integrated energy solutions that are both effective and affordable. This gave the CDA an opportunity to showcase the highly energy efficient copper rotor motor. Richard deFay, the CDA’s Project Manager, Sustainable Electrical Energy, attended the conference and also co-taught a two-day Department of Energy- sponsored motor management best practices workshop on Guam April 6-7, 2011, in collaboration with the Washington State University Extension Energy Program.

Richard deFay, CDA Project Manager, Sustainable Electrical Energy, gives a best-practices workshop on copper rotor motors for the U.S. military on Guam, in collaboration with the Washington State University Extension Energy Program.

The Globalcon conference proved to be an excellent opportunity to convey our message of utilizing more copper by improving motor efficiency and using “Life Cycle Cost Analysis” as opposed to buying  first cost. Electric motors account for 23 percent of the total U.S. energy use, 40-50% of commercial energy use and two-thirds of energy use in industrial settings. That’s significant – especially when you’re looking at ways to be more energy efficient and save money.

Usually companies consider replacing a motor when an existing motor has failed or there’s a new process underway that requires a different piece of equipment. There are two choices when a motor fails – to buy a brand new motor or repair and rewind an older motor. It’s typically cheaper to repair an older motor over a certain horsepower threshold, which is different for every facility. But it basically will be the same efficiency or less after you repair it. There’s no real improvement of energy efficiency. We advocate buying the most efficiency motor available for the intended application, providing it is cost effective.

In fact, the purchase price of a motor is nearly insignificant compared to the cost of running one.  The electricity used by a motor represents about 98 percent of the total cost of ownership. With load cycles typical of an industrial or commercial application, the first cost of a motor may represent only two percent of the full cost of ownership. Although most people want the cheaper remedy, they don’t realize they can often pay back the initial price in savings in less than two years.

We made significant contacts at the Globalcon conference, including representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy, who asked the CDA to conduct a webinar for their contact end-users. We also serve as a valuable resource to the Association of Energy Engineers through their national speaker’s database, so chapters can contact us directly about our programs. The AEE has more than 13,000 members worldwide with 71 U.S. chapters.

CDA Presents MotorMaster+ Workshop to U.S. Military in Guam

Early this month, I had the opportunity to present a motor management best practices workshop with Gilbert MCoy, P.E. Energy Systems Engineer with Washington State University’s Extension Energy Program for the U.S. military on Guam.

Our goal was to assist the U.S. military in reducing its electric energy consumption for their industrial machinery and equipment so they could lower their costs. We introduced the MotorMaster+ software program, a database of more than 25,000 electrical motors that will enable engineers, technicians, and electricians of the Navy, Marines and Air Force, to better manage their motor inventory.

A copper rotor motor will improve energy efficiency in an industrial setting.

We believe this software will help the U.S. military make better decisions when purchasing new equipment because it helps users find motor efficiency, list prices, payback analysis and return on investment. It should help the U.S. Military see significant savings in the future energy costs. Learn more about motor management here. If you’d like to talk to me about the copper rotor motor, email me at rdefay@cda.copper.org. For a free download of the MotorMaster+ software, click here.

Consumers Can Help Save Energy, Money

You may not be buying an industrial motor anytime soon, but you still can reduce your energy consumption and save money too by monitoring your appliances.

If you’re trying to decide whether to invest in a more energy-efficient appliance or you’d like to determine your electricity loads, you may want to estimate how much energy you consume by running your appliances. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, You can use this formula to estimate an appliance’s energy use:

(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption

(1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts)

Multiply this by the number of days you use the appliance during the year for the annual consumption. You can then calculate the annual cost to run an appliance by multiplying the kWh per year by your local utility’s rate per kWh consumed.

Here’s an example:

Personal Computer and Monitor

(120 + 150 Watts × 4 hours/day × 365 days/year)  ÷ 1000
= 394 kWh × 8.5 cents/kWh
= $33.51/year

You can usually find the wattage stamped on the bottom or back of the appliance, or on its nameplate. The wattage listed is the maximum power drawn by the appliance. Since many appliances have a range of settings (for example, the volume on a radio), the actual amount of power consumed depends on the setting used at any one time. Here are some common wattages, according to the Department of Energy:

  • Clock radio = 10
  • Coffee maker = 900–1200
  • Clothes washer = 350–500
  • Clothes dryer = 1800–5000
  • Dishwasher = 1200–2400 (using the drying feature greatly increases energy consumption)
  • Hair dryer = 1200–1875
  • Clothes iron = 1000–1800
  • Microwave oven = 750–1100
  • Personal computer
    • CPU – awake / asleep = 120 / 30 or less
    • Monitor – awake / asleep = 150 / 30 or less
    • Laptop = 50
  • Radio (stereo) = 70–400
  • Refrigerator (frost-free, 16 cubic feet) = 725
  • Televisions (color)
    • 19″ = 65–110
    • 27″ = 113
    • 36″ = 133
    • 53″-61″ Projection = 170
    • Flat screen = 120
  • Toaster = 800–1400
  • Vacuum cleaner = 1000–1440
  • Water heater (40 gallon) = 4500–5500

For more information on how to shop for energy-efficient appliances and home electronics, check out the Department of Energy website.


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