4. Variable speed starters and variable frequency drives

Increasing the efficiency of a system is always a combination of improving the energy efficiency of the individual components and a holistic view of the overall system.

For many years, mechanical methods were used to control the flow rate. This meant that the motor continuously ran at the speed required for the maximum flow rate, which caused losses due to the mechanical control valves and throttles. Today, drive speeds can be controlled directly, so that the flow rate of a liquid or gas can be adjusted to the current demand. Despite their own heat loss, variable speed starters and variable frequency drives thus usually improve the average efficiency of drive systems across the entire operating range. Eaton’s variable speed starters and variable frequency drives correspond to IE2, the highest efficiency class for CDMs (complete drive modules) in accordance with the EN 50598-2 / EN 61800-9-2 standard. They can therefore make an important contribution to the efficiency of the overall system.


5. Energy-efficient motors

As a result of the revision of the ErP guidelines for electric motors, energy-efficient motors are becoming increasingly common. Eaton offers motor starters and variable frequency drives for all current regulations and guidelines. We have extensive experience across board, whether your need to control fans, pumps, conveyors, hydraulics or other industrial applications. The specific application requirements will determine which drive technology offers the most energy-efficient solution. IE3 motors are now the standard and IE4 motors are increasingly common.

For large flow rates, for example in a waterworks, systems with several motors are often used. In such cases, it is often advisable to handle standard loads at constant speed and to use flexible speed for peak loads, which necessitates a combination of motor starters and variable frequency drives in order to deliver the most energy-efficient solution possible.


1. Drive technology solutions: Data-based control, analytics and optimization

Data are essential for every modern application. In motor applications, the focus is usually on energy consumption and optimization. Whether it’s our PKE motor-protective circuit breakers, NZM circuit breakers or variable frequency drives, Eaton products collect a wide range of data. These data are transmitted via bus systems. Process data from smart devices and central control systems are transmitted via NubisNet gateways, and they can then be stored and processed on different servers/IT infrastructures. Even in its standard configuration, the NubisNet cloud offers many useful functions.


2. Motor starters

In the vast majority of applications, electrical motors operate at a fixed speed. Motor starters are the most efficient solution for controlling motors in applications where the speed is fixed, and the loads are variable. Motor starters determine power consumption based on the load and ensure that the application works with maximum efficiency. Due to their low power consumption, motor starters are the ideal solution for applications with constant speed. The PKE motor-protective circuit breaker, the EMS2 electronic motor starter and the new NZM digital circuit breaker all provide comprehensive application and analytical data.


3. Soft starters

Soft starters provide for smooth and low-noise motor starting and enable a targeted reduction in the starting current. Whether you want to avoid pressure surges in pump systems, reduce starting currents in the case of large centrifugal masses, or ensure jerk-free starting in material handling systems, soft starters offer a smooth option for starting motors that is also gentle on the mains. The functioning of a soft starter is similar to that of a star-delta combination; after starting, both types of devices will activate a bypass to compensate for the losses of the thyristors.