Innovations in drive technology for sustainable and economical production

Hayley Everett
The new feature of the Analyze MyDrives Edge a[[ ensures transparency regarding the energy consumption of the entire drive system. Image via Siemens.

Global automation firm Siemens will showcase two new innovations in the field of energy-efficient and sustainable drive technology at this year's Smart Production Solutions (SPS) trade show in Nuremberg. 

The first development relates to the firm's already established Analyze MyDrives Edge application, which is now equipped with a new feature that ensures transparency regarding the energy consumption of the entire drive system. The second innovation is the firm's new Compact DC-DC Converter, the Sinamics DCP 250kW, with which output voltages of up to 1200V can be realised. 

Greater transparency for Analyze MyDrives Edge

The AI-based feature of Siemen's Edge app calculates all data without the need for additional sensors and special measuring devices. As such, the app shows how efficiently a drive runs, how high energy consumption and operating costs are, and what carbon footprint the drive leaves behind. This allows drive settings to be further optimised in line with customer needs.

Electric motors are responsible for over 70% of industrial energy requirements, Siemens said, and improving sustainability within the drives market is the intention behind the new feature. The firm states its SD IE4 motors are already considerably energy-efficient with an efficiency of up to over 96% and are "optimally designed" for operation directly on the grid. By using its IE4 and IE5 motors, savings of up to 6% of electrical energy are possible, while using perfectly matched motor and converter systems for variable-speed operation of pumps, fans and compressors can yield energy savings of up to 30%. 

However, the real key to greater energy efficiency lies in the system as a whole, the company believes. The interaction of all individual measures, from more efficient motors with variable-speed control and digital system components and tools to the use of electrically buffered energy in the motor network, can achieve savings of up to 60%. As a result, digitalisation is cited to make a "major contribution" to increasing the energy efficiency of motor-driven applications in the future. 

New Compact DC-DC Converter

The second innovation Siemens will display at SPS 2022 concerns the hardware area. The firm is introducing another Compact DC-DC Converter to market in time for the trade fair, the Sinamics DCP 250kW. The latest addition takes the total number of Compact DC-DC Converters capable of connecting batteries or ultracaps to an industrial drive system offered by the company to three.

Output voltages of up to 1200V can be realised with the Sinamics DCP 250kW, with the device meeting the increased requirements of the automotive industry and offering an optimal basis for the realisation of test benches for electric vehicles (EVs). 

In terms of efficient energy use, DC converters offer additional advantages, Siemens said. In the system network, the use of energy storage devices such as batteries can be used to smooth the load absorption from the grid, eliminating load peaks. Braking energy can also be made available in the DC system, and with suitable system design DC converters also require fewer conversion steps. Meanwhile, simplified feed-in from renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics is facilitated. 

Siemens markets the DCP as a compact DC-DC converter that is ready for immediate use without additional engineering, facilitating easy implementation of power expansion by connecting several Sinamics DCPs in parallel. 

Recent Issues