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High potential for energy savings with B+R servo technology

17 March 2011

If the motors and drives of a motion control system are generally working with a level of efficiency approaching 100% when operating at the rated load, it makes sense to discover how much more energy can be saved from the drive system as a whole. Significant gains can be made with relatively little effort. Optimising the size of the drive, for example, is fundamental to reducing system energy consumption.

B&R Industrial Automation ensures that its drives are sized in a targeted manner using ControlEng's SERVOsoft tool. The masses to be moved and the drives needed to achieve the movement can be perfectly matched, which reduces energy consumption to a minimum.

For complex machines, where movements are executed consecutively, kinetic energy is often released via braking resistors in the form of heat. By connecting ACOPOSmulti servo drives over the dc bus, up to 30% of the energy used for movements can be saved. Brake energy is stored in capacitors and made available later when acceleration is required. The user profits not only from efficient use of energy, but also from a cooler control cabinet because the heat dissipation from the resistors is greatly reduced.
In cases where braking and acceleration within an axis group do not often take place simultaneously, a further increase in energy efficiency can be achieved through active energy regeneration. While all of the brake energy is put to use, unavoidable friction remains as the sole source of loss. With the use of modern ACOPOSmulti drive systems, it is possible to regenerate up to 80% of the energy previously lost as heat in the resistors.

Energy-saving measures are supported by B&R through cold-plate control cabinet installation. This enables heat generated by the servo drives to be transferred to a place where it is needed via a heat exchanger. The big advantage of cold-plate technology is that a separate cooling device is no longer needed for the control cabinet, providing savings of up to 23%.

A further energy-saving effect of using the ACOPOSmulti family of products is correcting the total power factor (TPF) to 1.0. While conventional inverters with a small TPF exhibit considerably higher effective power consumption, which leads to unnecessary loss in the supply lines and transformers, the active power supply of the ACOPOSmulti ensures that the energy is used efficiently, saving up to 50% of infrastructure costs by reducing the size of cables, feed components and fuses.

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