Drives and Controls Magazine
44MW synchronous motor ‘breaks world efficiency record’
Published:  06 July, 2017

ABB claims that to have set a new world record for motor efficiency. It says that tests carried out on a newly-built 44MW six-pole synchronous motor shortly before it was delivered to a customer recorded an efficiency that was 0.25% higher than the 98.8% stipulated in the contract. This improvement could save around $500,000 in electrical energy costs over the expected 20-year lifetime of the motor.

The 99.05% efficient motor, which measures 5 x 4 x 4m, will be used to drive a compressor at an air separation plant that produces industrial gases.

The record efficiency was reached by optimising the motor’s electrical and mechanical design. Typical efficiencies for synchronous motor of this type are in the range 98.2–98.8%. If the new motor is run continuously, the 0.25% improvement in efficiency will save about 1,000MWh energy per year ­– equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 240 typical European households.

“With electricity costs being, by far, the largest component in the total cost of ownership of such a motor, savings like these have a significant impact on profits,” says Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s Robotics and Motion division. “In addition to extremely high efficiency, synchronous motors are renowned for their proven quality and reliability. Their robust design ensures reliability through cool operation temperatures and low vibration.”

ABB claims that its 44MW synchronous motor is the most efficient ever built

Synchronous AC motors are typically used to drive fans, pumps, rolling mills, mine hoists and compressors.