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Lenze’s Bluegreen concept takes a three-pronged approach to evaluate the potential and maximise the possible energy savings of electric motors and machine drives.

The first strategy, the company said, is to work with machine-building customers to use energy intelligently, with the biggest opportunity being in the dimensioning of drives.

Too often drives are oversized with safety factors being added ‘just in case’.

The result is motors running at partial loads with as much as 20 per cent lost from the running efficiency.

Here the Bluegreen approach is for Lenze to evaluate the requirement using a specialist software tool for complex cases and dimension the drive so that it runs fully loaded at optimum efficiency.

Where the demand on the motor varies, the answer is to use frequency inverters to match the demand.

This can produce 50 per cent energy savings if the speed is reduced by 20 per cent, so payback times are short, maintenance is reduced and personal comfort is increased.

The second Bluegreen strategy is to convert electric energy with a high degree of efficiency.

A starting point is to use high-efficiency motors and the change to using them is gathering momentum, with legislation requiring a minimum of IE2 high efficiency by June 2011.

Lenze has IE2 motors available, including a range of IE2 geared motors with in-line or right-angle gearboxes.

In some cases dimensions change from IE1 standard-efficiency motors and in every case the electrical characteristics are adjusted.

Catalogue data is available to readily evaluate the effects of a change and inverters can help with efficient conversion of electrical energy.

The Lenze 8400 motec inverter features VFCeco software that adjusts the magnetisation current of the motor to match the load, reducing energy consumption by up to 30 per cent.

Helical and planetary gearboxes run at around 95 to 98 per cent efficiency, depending on ratio.

Rather than offer a worm gearbox with typical efficiency in the band 50 to 70 per cent, Lenze offers an energy-efficient helical-bevel alternative that runs at 94 to 96 per cent.

A complete drive package of motor, inverter and gearbox can turn electricity into rotary motion with losses well under 20 per cent.

The third Bluegreen concept is to recover braking energy.

Not every machine is suitable for this, but typical cases are hoists, positioning and robotic drives, winding and forming.

In the past, unwanted energy was dumped to brake resistors, where it was dissipated as heat.

Lenze has three alternatives to this waste.

Where multiple drives are in use, a connection of the DC bus allows the energy to be shared, reducing demand on the mains.

Particularly for medium to high power, a mains regeneration unit may be appropriate.

This is effectively a drive that runs in reverse, turning generated DC current into AC current that goes back into the mains.

The third option is capacitor storage, an effective solution for fast-cycling drives.

Lenze Bluegreen solutions are a range of options that can be adapted to different types of machines and different user profiles.

With 40 years' experience, Lenze Ltd are specialists in drive and automation equipment for the UK market. Today Lenze employ 60 people and operate with management systems approved to ISO 9001:2008.

Experience and expertise

The engineering comes first. With almost 50 per cent of our staff being qualified engineers, the right-sized technical solution to your problem is our goal. Our vision of right sizing means to work with you in order to achieve the optimum solution in terms of cost and performance.

The complete drive system  

Our products fit together to make the complete drive and automation system. Lenze products include automation, controllers, servos, inverters and geared motors. Our Techdrives division adds essential drive components such as couplings, actuators and locking bushes to complete your design.  

Worldwide, we are there to help you

Lenze companies are in 29 countries and have sales offices in a further 24. Full product information is available on our website and the international helpline makes it easy to contact us.

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