Drives and Controls Magazine
ABB cuts SynRM losses by a further 20% to reach ‘IE5’
Published:  07 April, 2014

At the 2014 Hannover Fair, ABB has unveiled a new version of its high-efficiency synchronous reluctance (SynRM) motor technology which reduces losses by a further 20%, potentially allowing it to comply with as-yet-unpublished IE5 (“ultra premium”) efficiency norm.

ABB launched the SynRM technology in 2011, originally claiming an IE4 (“super premium”) efficiency rating. The first-generation SynRM motors did not use any magnets. The new version – called SynRM2 – includes ferrite magnets, rather than the costly rare-earth types that are normally needed in permanent magnet motors designed to achieve high efficiencies.

ABB says that the new design raises SynRM performance to almost the same level as the best rare-earth PM motors.

Even though the official IE4 standard was published only recently, ABB says there is already a demand from some sectors of industry for motors with even higher efficiencies. It bases its IE5 claim on the fact that a 20% reduction in losses is often considered to be the difference between IE classes.

ABB is offering tailored packages of its SynRM motors and compatible drives to OEMs

ABB sees the biggest market potential for the new motors being in the 1–15kW output and 1,000–4,000 rpm speed ranges. It expects the machines to appeal to OEM customers who need motor and drive packages that can be configured flexibly for optimum performance in specific applications. In many cases, OEMs will be able to change to the new motors without making costly design changes to their machinery. The motors have to be used with compatible drives.

♦  Another motor-maker showing an “IE5” machine at the Hannover Fair is the Brazilian company WEG which has a permanent magnet machine that, it claims, reaches the next level in efficiency.