Improving Efficiency with Permanent Magnet AC Motors

Permanent Magnet AC Motors

Are you wondering where the future of motor efficiency will take us? On June 1st, the Integral Horsepower Rule, an expansion of the EISA 2010 U.S. Department of Energy rules went into effect. These rules include more motor designs and push mandated efficiencies higher. As manufacturers move closer to IEC4 efficiencies, it appears that it will be easier to achieve these goals with Permanent Magnet Alternating Current (PMAC) motors, opposed to refining slot design, fill and lamination stack length in induction motors. While these motor design changes have not yet been made, many believe that they will ultimately be executed.

Permanent Magnet Alternating Current motors were used extensively in the disc and laundry sectors in the 1980s. Use gradually expanded to the HVAC space in the 1990s and 2000s. In my opinion, it makes sense for the industrial sector to be the next logical environment for these products.

As an AC motor user, PMAC motors will achieve the following business goals:

  • Provide you with higher horsepower density (smaller motors for the rated horsepower caused by higher flux density).
  • Provide you with 15-20% less motor loss, or 15-20% better efficiency within one year.
  • More precise speed control, achieved by synchronous instead of asynchronous operation.
  • Cooler operation for improved bearing and insulation life.

It is important to note that all PMAC motors require variable frequency drives to run properly, meaning that you will have to replace your current motor starters with VFDs.

Please contact your local Kaman Representative for more information on this exciting technology, that has the potential to provide you with major efficiency savings.

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Ken DeBauche

Schneider Electric Support Specialist at Kaman Industrial Technologies
Ken has been in the industrial distribution space since 1977 and possesses strengths in mechanical and electrical power transmission. He joined Kaman in 2002 as an Electrical Specialist and currently provides technical support to Schneider Electric customers.
Ken DeBauche
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