Energy Management/Energy Efficiency

How motor protection can help in optimal power management

The idea behind electric motors is straightforward – supply electricity at one end and an axle or the metal rod rotate at the other end giving you the power to drive a machine. This traditional form of generating electricity has been transformed over a span of 200 years and is now an advanced technical breakthrough in the power generation and industrial automation sector.

The manufacturing industry dominates today’s market and the industrial sphere. In this sector, a significant chunk of power is consumed to convert raw materials into finished goods. It is a necessary resource as over 50% of the work completed in today’s manufacturing plant is achieved by electric motors or the new age servo motors. As per a study conducted to understand the electricity consumption trends, it has been estimated that this percentage will continue to increase to sustain the production rate in the future.

As the production and manufacturing sector immensely relies on electric motors, it is essential to ensure that motors and motor starters are adequately protected. Doing this will provide maximum operating time and cut down on the chances of outages. In today’s highly complex industrial setups, improperly protected motors/circuits can result in unexpected production downtime, losses and breakdowns in the machinery. Apart from this, the business the cost of in-process material that can be destroyed. Over the last few decades, a significant amount of resources have been deployed to make the operating systems sound and efficient. The control manufacturers have mainly been involved in in the development of improved and cost-effective short-circuit protection and motor protection devices.

To ensure motor protection, overload relays are used in circuits to protect motors and motor conductors.  It saves the system from damages caused by prolonged periods of overcurrent circuit conditions. The function of these relays are:

  • Allow harmless temporary overloads (such as motor starters) without disrupting the circuit
  • Will trip and open a circuit if current is high enough to cause motor damage over a period of time
  • Can be reset once the overload is removed If motors are exposed to increased levels of continuous current and prolonged periods at locked rotor condition, damage to the motor and motor circuit conductors can occur.

Motors can be damaged or destroyed under any of the following conditions:

  • Low or high supply voltage
  • Phase unbalance
  • Continuous excessive loading
  • Single-phasing
  • Jam or stall conditions
  • Ground/earth faults
  • Mechanical failures such as seized motor bearing or binding mechanical linkages

Thus, the integration of proper servo motors can go a long way in ensuring that the system of power management can be optimised to a substantial extent. Doing so will ensure that little to no problems are experienced by businesses further down the line, ultimately leading to a situation where the goal of proper power management can be accomplished with the greatest of ease.


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