The study will give industry stakeholders a better understanding of the marketplace and help them become more globally competitive.
by Paul Sheaffer, Prakash Rao and Arian Aghajanzadeh

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) is updating the Motor System Market Assessment (MSMA) that was previously published in 1998. In the prior study, the DOE published an assessment of motors and motor-driven systems titled United States Industrial Electric Motor Systems Market Opportunities Assessment. This study led to a greater understanding of the energy consumption and efficiency opportunities for motors and motor-driven systems in the manufacturing sector. It also shed light on the market uptake of technologies designed to address these opportunities.

Information from this landmark study has been cited in hundreds of publications on efficiency opportunities in the industrial sector. It has guided motor systems policy decisions for the last 15 years and has led to a greater understanding of efficiency opportunities in motor-driven systems.

The 1998 U.S. industrial motor system assessment found:

  • In 1994, U.S. industrial motor systems consumed 747 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). The electricity these motor-driven systems consumed represented 25 percent of U.S. electricity sales. There was a 90/10 percent split between process uses and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) uses.
  • There was 11 to 18 percent in energy savings potential using the proven and cost-effective measures that were identified. More than half, about 62 percent, of the savings potential was from pumps, fans and compressed air systems.

The study showed that motors are the largest single category of electricity end use in the American economy. Pump systems accounted for about 25 percent of the motor-system energy consumption and about 20 percent of the motor-system population in the industrial sector.

Since this study was conducted, the energy efficiency of motor-driven systems has improved and markets have changed. For this reason, a new study is underway to help the industry better understand the additional opportunities for energy-efficiency enhancement.

Since 1998, motor-system energy efficiency has improved for several reasons. First, there is a greater awareness and availability of energy-efficient options. Second, there are lower costs for energy efficiency solutions, such as variable frequency drives (VFDs).

Other factors impacting the market include motor regulations, the emergence of advanced motor and drive technologies, manufacturers moving outside the U.S., increased share of electric drives over steam drives, advances in and increased adoption of automation, and an expansion in U.S. oil and gas extraction, which has led to new facilities in the chemical industry with motor-intensive operations.

This new MSMA will accomplish the following:

  • develop a detailed profile of the stock of motors and motor-driven systems in commercial and industrial facilities in the U.S. (The new study is also covering the commercial building sector, as well as water and wastewater treatment.)
  • develop a profile of commercial and industrial motor and motor-driven system purchase, operational and maintenance practices.
  • analyze opportunities by market segment for improved energy efficiency and cost savings from motors, control technologies, system optimization and new/future advanced designs.
  • evaluate the global supply chain (for example, sources, availability and the U.S. role in the supply of technologies and materials) that support the manufacture of motor and drive technologies.

The DOE AMO is overseeing the project and managing external project communications. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) is managing the project under AMO direction, managing all subcontractor relationships and conducting the analysis of the collected data.

Industry and other stakeholders are consulting to provide technical assistance and insight on strategy, content and outcomes of assessment. Industry representatives will also communicate progress and status of assessment to their respective stakeholders. Subcontractors include the Cadmus Group, which will be conducting the field assessments, and DNV GL, which will assist in developing the statistical components for the project. The site visits will be conducted until 2017, when an interim report will be produced. The final report is slated to be complete in 2018.

Motor systems to be considered in this study include those driven by a polyphase motor, 1 horsepower (hp) (0.75 kW) or greater, and large (greater than 50 hp and 37 kW) direct-current motors. All types will be considered, including pumping, fan, compressed air and HVAC.

For these purposes, a system includes drive and controller, motor, power transmission, motor-driven equipment, and distribution system.

The goal of field assessments is to develop a quantitative and qualitative understanding of a site's motor-system energy consumption characteristics and evaluate savings potential. This new assessment will employ staff interviews, visual observations and spot measurements. An assessment tool will be developed to ensure consistent information is collected across all evaluations.

Field assessments will evaluate facilities using a tiered approach. General information collected at all sites will include an understanding of the environment in which the motor system operates through collection of facility-level information, as well as data for all systems greater than 1 hp, including nameplate information, load profiles and duty factors.

Other collected general information will include the system efficiency of large systems determined using energy efficiency checklists, which will include a description of system components, evaluation of distribution systems, estimate of motor load profile and maintenance history.