QM Power, the Missouri-based manufacturer of a high-efficiency motor technology, has now introduced a new class of energy efficient motors that might dramatically impact how future refrigeration motors are designed and used.
Known as the Q-Sync Smart Synchronous Motor, this engine reduces energy consumption by up to 80%, while featuring proportional environmental benefits.
In a September 27 press announcement, the company states this “new class of energy efficient motors…shatters the industry’s standard in fan-motor performance and reduces energy consumption up to 80%.”
The Q-Sync also appears to improve the power quality and reliability of fan motors, providing businesses and OEMs with significant new energy savings retrofit opportunities for energy efficiency at the same cost as legacy fan motors.
“Motors can consume up to 70% of all the energy used in commercial buildings, but amazingly there has been little to no innovation in motor efficiency over the past half-century,” said P. J. Piper, co-founder, president and CEO of QM Power. “With Q-Sync, we’ve reinvented the fan motor to exceed modern-day energy and environmental requirements, deliver bold new energy savings opportunities and dramatically reduce grid congestion.”
As Piper sees it, this motor can now be the next meaningful retrofit and OEM opportunity for energy savings in commercial buildings. Presently Q-Sync is available for commercial refrigeration applications. However, the motor technology will be made available to additional markets in 2016.
To date, QM Power has targeted commercial refrigeration applications. Many of the initial installations of the technology were made possible through a DOE initiative, working with QM Power, OEMs, supermarkets, service and retrofit contractors and utilities. the project involved installing and demonstrating over 10,000 Q-Sync fan motors in over 50 sites throughout the US.
According to company data, today’s commercial refrigeration industry has had two primary choices for fan motors: the induction or shaded-pole motor, developed in the 1880s, and the electronically commutated motor (ECM), which was developed in the 1960s.
More than 65% of all commercial refrigeration motors deployed today are shaded-pole motors, which are only 20% energy efficient. The ECM platform has a 35% market share and shows an efficiency of about 60%. By contrast, the Q-Sync Smart Synchronous Motor reports 75% efficiency rating. With businesses today looking seriously at energy efficiency issues, this new motor offers a viable fan-motor alternative, one priced the same as an ECM.
DOE classifies motor as a high impact, energy saving technology
Recognizing the potential for energy savings, the Department of Energy (DOE) recently named Q-Sync a High-Impact Technology. Over the course of the year, the DOE has worked with QM Power, OEMs, supermarkets, service and retrofit contractors, and utilities to install and demonstrate over 10,000 higher efficiency Q-Sync fan assemblies in over 50 grocery sites throughout the US.
The results of the first DOE demonstration have been documented in a newly released publication by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Oak Ridge report reveals a broader upgrade of the Q-Sync fan motors to applications beyond commercial refrigeration could reduce source energy consumption by as much as 300 billion kilowatt-hours or more, with proportional environmental benefits.
Smart Synchronous Motor engineering
QM Power writes this about its design: “A simpler, smarter controller with streamlined electronics is at the core of QM Power’s breakthrough design for Q-Sync.” By contrast, an ECM requires continual conversion between AC and DC power throughout its use to operate. Q-Sync’s controller eliminates the need for power conversion after the motor starts.
“Q-Sync is a permanent magnet motor, it eliminates the additional energy requirements and slip that is associated with a shaded-pole motor. The result is a motor that provides up to an 80% reduction of energy at the meter and an 80% reduction at the grid.
“Because its electric circuit runs for a fraction of the time required by an ECM motor, the Q-Sync motor is more reliable and lasts longer. Additionally, it features industry-leading water-resistant casing that prevents common wear and tear from on-site elements. As a result, QM Power offers a 2-year warranty on its Q-Sync motors, which is double the industry standard.”
Unparalleled Power Quality for the Grid
As for reducing stress on the electricity grid, common spikes in energy use and costs can be better controlled.
“The introduction of Q-Sync will lead to a significant reduction in energy consumption and CO₂ emissions,” said Dr. Bryan Becker, a professor at University of Missouri–Kansas City’s School of Computing and Engineering and former chairman of ASHRAE’s Technical Committee for Refrigeration Applications for Foods and Beverages. “Using Q-Sync technology instead of state of the art Electronically Commutated Motors would be the energy equivalent of taking one of every two motors off the grid. And, using Q-Sync technology instead of shaded-pole motors would be the equivalent of taking four of every five motors off the grid.”
Images via QM Power
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