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Saving energy costs with high efficiency motors

Saving energy costs with high efficiency motors

Golden Acres Petfoods, based in Lancashire, makes 5,000 different premium pet food products. As part of an expansion plan, the company will raise production from the current 1,500 metric tons of dry extruded pet food a week to 2,500 metric tons and needed more capacity to extract the hot odorous gas produced during the cooking process.

The company has built an extraction plant that takes odours from the process lines as well as providing general extraction for the production buildings. Three fans have been placed in a purpose built fan house. Two of these fans handle the extraction of the process gas and are powered by two IE3 motors, one of 250kW, the other of 185kW. All the building ventilation volumes are brought together to a single fan powered by a 250kW IE3 motor.  

These two airstreams, process gas and building vent air, are brought together into a concrete transfer duct. Here a further three fans, powered by three110kW IE3 motor, blow the process gas and building vent air through the wet scrubber. When fully operational, the system will extract 500,000m3 of air from the factory every hour. Ian Barnes, project manager in charge of the development of new buildings and process plant on the site, says: "As well as being required under DEFRA regulations for the pet food industry, we are also keen to be a good neighbour to people living nearby. We proved the technology using a pilot wet scrubber and bio-filtration unit and the chosen technique is approved by the industry as the best available."

First large scale installation
All the motors were supplied by ABB, and company believes these represent the first large scale use of IE3 standard motors in the country. Up to 96% efficient, they exceed the recently introduced EU MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standard) requirements.

Jim Whittaker, Engineering Director of Golden Acres, explains how he came to recommend ABB IE3 motors for the fans: "Our fan supplier Halifax Fan originally offered standard efficiency motors. With an energy usage of 908kW, the total running cost per year would be £411,860.

"We were keen to save as much as energy as possible, so Halifax Fan requoted to include ABB IE3 motors. The higher efficiency of the IE3 motors gave a lower energy usage of 851kW, producing a total running cost per year of £386,013, a saving of nearly £26,000 a year over the standard efficiency solution. The payback is just under three years when the ECA is taken into account.

"With the high electrical demand of the new production lines, the new facilities will require a 6MVA supply," says Barnes, "so we are obviously keen to keep our electricity use as low as possible."

Graeme Mount of Halifax Fan says: "Golden Acres was keen that the fans were efficient as possible, so we provided extra high efficiency fans that provide a large air displacement at a slower speed, improving efficiency through lower frictional losses."

Halifax Fan also ensured that the process fans were sized to meet the exact need of the process, allowing the frame size of the fan motors to be kept as low as possible.


"Another factor in favour of IE3 motors is that ABB motors have a much higher build quality and therefore greater service life than standard motors, in addition to being eligible for the Enhanced Capital Allowance," says Whittaker. "The ABB motors are well suited for inverter operation. Large inverter driven motors require non-conducting bearings and insulation profiles to withstand the additional thermal loads at low speed. Other companies could not give us the same assurance."

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