Motor efficiency software tool estimates payback

Paul Boughton

Baldor is releasing a powerful new software estimating tool that enables users to evaluate the energy-efficiency of electric motors and variable-speed drives. Known as BE$T, the Baldor Energy Savings Tool can be downloaded free of charge from the company's website. The software analyses the efficiency and annual electricity consumption of users' existing motors, and calculates the cost savings that can be achieved by replacing them with equivalent higher-efficiency models. Built-in motor performance and pricing information enables the software to suggest optimum replacements and to estimate the investment payback period.
BE$T will prove especially useful to electrical engineers and maintenance personnel wishing to implement a comprehensive site-wide motor management strategy, or to compare the costs of a motor rewind against those of a replacement motor. The software is also helpful for anyone charged with conducting an energy audit of their company.
Baldor's BE$T program runs on any standard PC and is said to be very easy to use. Data can either be input from the computer's keyboard or imported from a Microsoft Excel file; both methods employ drop-down menus and are backed by extensive built-in help. A single screen is used for setting all preferences and global project data, such as local currency, electricity costs, supply frequency, default motor load, etc. The results are available immediately. Clicking on the Instant Cost Calculation button shows the amount of energy being used by the existing motor, together with the amount that would be used by comparable Baldor Standard-E (IEC IE2 rated or NEMA Energy Efficient) and Super-E (IEC IE3 or NEMA Premium Efficient) models. The results screen also shows the purchase cost of the motors and the payback period, and provides a direct link to a full motor specification. A built-in report writer function facilitates the creation of a simple summary or detailed report, with an export feature allowing the results to be output to an Excel file for further analysis or archiving.
A powerful feature of BE$T is that it handles 'what if?' scenarios, enabling users to simplify and accelerate iterative calculations. For example, significant savings in energy and cost can often be obtained by adding a variable-speed drive to an existing electric motor, especially if its load has a variable torque demand, as is often the case with pumps, fans and blowers. BE$T provides Excel templates for various gears, pumps and fans, and allows users to ascertain the financial benefit of adding speed control to their particular application very easily and quickly.
Baldor's Mark Crocker states: "We are often asked whether it is cost-effective to invest in replacement motors. The answer depends on factors such as application lifetime, but it is usually an emphatic 'yes.' Consider a typical 90 per cent efficient motor with a nominal 30kW output capability. It will require an input of about 33.2kW to deliver 30kW out - the remaining 3.2 kW dissipates as heat. Merely raising the efficiency 4.5 percentage points - by replacing the motor with a Baldor Super-E model - will save significant costs. The motor will then only require about 31.6kW input power to deliver 30kW - in other words, the wasted energy has been cut by 1.6kW, or 50 per cent! Put another way, for every 1000 pounds sterling or euros spent on electricity to power the original motor, only 900 was being used. The rest was going 'up the chimney.' By substituting a Super-E motor in this equation, 945 of those hard-earned 1000 pounds/euros get invested in true motive power."
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