E-motors are the ideal solution for better efficiency and reducing energy consumption

It is said that as much as half of the world’s electricity is consumed by motors1. Motor-driven systems in the industry sector alone consumes 64% of the electric energy, while the commercial sector consumes 20% and the residential sector consumes 13%2. There is a growing focus on improving the efficiencies of motors and reducing energy consumption to meet the carbon emission targets around the world. There is a lot of excitement around the world of motors, given the recent high profile investments in this area, validation from key governments and industry leaders to further promote the development and adoption on energy efficient motors across the various sectors.

The International Efficiency (IE) standards stipulate the energy efficiency and basically has set five levels of motor efficiency: IE1 to IE5. The highest efficiency level being IE5 the ‘Ultra-Premium Efficiency’. These IE codes serve as a reference for governments who specify the efficiency levels for their minimum energy performance standards for motors in their respective countries.

Pumps account for a large portion of this electricity consumed across the various sectors, especially in industries and commercial sectors. As a world leading manufacturer of pumps and pump equipment, Grundfos makes electrical motors of exceptional quality. Grundfos has several decades of experience in building state-of-the-art electronic controlled pumps (E-pumps) and been manufacturing its own motors with integrated frequency converters with energy-saving and speed control functionality for domestic, commercial, and industrial pump applications. In fact, the world’s first speed controlled pump with integrated frequency converter saw the light of day in its laboratories back in the late 1980s, and, ever since, Grundfos has worked intensively to optimise and extend its E-pump programme every year.

Grundfos is dedicated to keep at the forefront of the technological development, introducing truly innovative solutions for the benefit of its customers and the environment. Grundfos’ E-pumps with integrated frequency converter are designed with total control, customer convenience, and environmental sustainability in mind. Grundfos’ MGE E-motors exceeds the IE5 requirements – for example, looking at a MGE 11.0 kW 3×380-500V medium speed, the IE5 requirement for the motor efficiency is 93.2%, but the Grundfos MGE E-motor exceeds that by more than 2% by having a motor efficiency of 95.7% at 380V/2600 rpm. The PDS (Power Drive System, including Variable Frequency Drive or VFD) efficiency of a MGE 11,0 kW reaches as highs as 93.2% at 380V/2900 rpm. So even including the VFD the MGE motor matches the IE5 requirements for the motor part itself.

Commenting on the growing focus and adoption of E-Motors, Markus Brandstetter, Chief Technology Officer, Grundfos says: “Digital transformation is inevitable across the various segments and we at Grundfos are proud to pioneer in creating the products and digital solutions of the future. Our focus on developing IE5 E-motors is strategic not only for our business, but we see that it is a critical solution to alleviate the world’s energy and climate issues. E-motors are known to not only improve the efficiency of the entire system but also help in reducing energy consumption and helping us mitigate climate change. This is what we push further to the benefit of our customers and end-users in reducing cost and CO2 emissions.”

High efficiency E-pumps with IE5 motors contribute substantially to energy savings and reduced CO2 footprint. Grundfos estimates that the yearly avoided CO2 emission can be significant. In 2020 alone the avoided CO2 emissions from Grundfos E-pumps was 270,000 tons.

Further, the in-built application control in MGE E-Motors reduces not only the energy consumption of the pump itself but also optimizes the performance and efficiency of the entire system.

Grundfos is witnessing a strong market trend where more pumps are being fitted with VFDs and control units. The market for VFDs, including those applied with pumps, is witnessing a projected annual growth of around 6% in the coming years due to growing urbanization, industrialization and rising government mandates for energy efficiency3. Another growth driver is the need for manufacturers to optimize their manufacturing processes and cut operational costs, and even small reductions in speed and flow lead to significant energy cost savings.

Why choose an E-Motor?

E-motors offer increased functionality, making them easy to use in a wide-range of complex applications. These E-motors provide a range of benefits over standard motors such as:

  • The MGE E-motor provides superior energy efficiency even beyond IE5 standard

  • IE5 motor losses is at least 30% lower than the IE3, this alone reduces the energy consumption by 10% with a typical pump load profile

  • The pump, motor and frequency converter are perfectly matched for optimized pump efficiency

  • Choosing the right control mode in MGE for the application can provide even more energy savings for the entire system of up to 75% compared to uncontrolled pumps. 

Energy and cost savings with optimised efficiency

The Grundfos MGE E-motors are the most energy efficient yet. These permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) are designed especially for frequency converter operations and optimised for pump applications and high part-load efficiency. The motor PMSM also has a built-in frequency converter that enables variable-speed operation with benefits in pump applications ranging from energy savings, process control, extra functionalities, built-in motor protection, higher performance and more compact pumps, reduced water hammer due to long ramp times and low starting currents.

This results in lower energy and lifecycle costs. Adjusting the speed of the pump based on demand, rather than throttling the system flow with a valve, also results in no excess pressure causing stress in the system and noise in the valve due to cavitation and reduced power consumption due to lower pump speed.