Timothy Albers is the director of product management and OEM marketing for the Industrial Motor Division of Nidec Motor Corporation and is responsible for product management, marketing and quotation support. During the past 16 years, Albers has held different positions in marketing for Nidec Motor Corporation and Emerson Motor Company, including product-line manager for NEMA motors. Before joining Emerson, he was employed by General Electric Company in the marketing and sales of electric motors and drives. Albers’ career includes a stint in the U.S. Navy as an operating engineering officer. He is a senior member of IEEE.
Diesel engines remain in use today and for good reason. In some areas of the world, electricity is unavailable. Also, the diesel engines installed years ago continue to work today. Operators do not want to scrap something that works to spend more money on new motors, even if those new motors will eventually pay for themselves in reduced operating costs and improved efficiency and have less impact on the environment.
The question becomes when to make the switch. The answer is easy if and when that diesel engine fails. However, if end users’ engines are operating well, they should consider having a plan in place to switch to electric motors at some point in the future. Hopefully, they can make that switch when they want to instead of being forced to repair a broken diesel engine to complete the irrigation season.
The bottom line is this—in 2013, for many irrigation applications, operators choose electric motors, if electricity is available, to power their pumps.
- Curley, Robert G. & Gerald D. Knutson,“Cost Comparison: engines vs. electric motors for irrigation pumping,” California Agriculture, Vol. 48, Num. 5.