EVALUATION OF VARIABLE SPEED DRIVES TO IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND REDUCE GAS EMISSIONS: CASE STUDY Scientific paper
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Variable speed drives are the most promising technique for reducing electric motors' energy consumption. This paper discusses energy savings by installing variable speed drives to control rotating equipment motors such as pumps, compressors, blowers, and fans in oil processing facilities. In addition to energy savings, variable speed drives will improve overall equipment efficiency, increase reliability, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. An energy audit was performed on a case study to investigate energy consumption for all electric motors. Technical and operational constraints for installing and operating variable speed drives were discussed. Installation requires adjustments in operation schedules and parameters to allow reducing energy consumption. The case study has illustrated how to calculate energy savings for pipelines, air coolers, air blowers for furnaces, pumps with variable flow rates, and reciprocating compressing systems. Variable speed drives were technically and economically accepted in air blowers, fans, and pumps. Energy consumption and GHG emission were reduced by 67%. The payback period for the whole project was less than one year. Meanwhile, it was not valid for reciprocating compressors as the payback period was 6.2 years.
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