Drives registered for ECA eligibility

Rockwell Automation has registered the full range of Allen-Bradley variable speed drives on the list qualifying for Energy Capital Allowances.

Rockwell Automation has registered the full range of Allen-Bradley variable speed drives (VSD) on the list qualifying for Energy Capital Allowances. Climate change is now a global problem and the UK Government is introducing various measures to reduce energy consumption. To encourage the efficient use of electricity, VSDs that are used in certain applications will be eligible for an Energy Capital Allowance covering the cost of their supply and installation.

VSDs have to be purchased from the list of qualifying products and only drives used for gas or liquid movement applications with pumps, fans or compressors are eligible. The scheme will be funded from revenue generated from the impending Climate Change Levy.

Traditional methods for controlling the flow of gases and liquids include by-pass systems, outlet dampers or inlet vanes and all these systems have very poor energy efficiencies. For example, using an outlet damper to reduce the flow to 80% requires nearly 90% energy input; the comparable figure using an inlet vane is 80% energy input.

Compare this with a VSD where the same 80% flow requires an energy input of only 50%. If the output flow is reduced to 60% the input energy requirement is just over 20%. Many applications run at flow rates of less than 100% and it can be seen that installing a VSD provides considerable energy savings.

The cost of energy is due to rise from April 1st 2001, with the introduction by the UK Government of the Climate Change Levy. This Levy applies to all commercial and industrial users of energy and covers electricity, coal, natural gas and LPG. The levy on electricity is the highest at 0.43 p/kWh, which can represent a 10 to 20% increase in energy bills.

VSDs represent an opportunity to reduce energy consumption, and eligible installations will attract up to 100% contribution from the Government’s capital allowance fund.