ACS550 from ABB Drives UK reduces plant extraction costs by 50%
Heron Brothers, based in Northern Ireland, sells its products to public sector bodies, large private building contractors and builders’ merchants in the UK and Ireland. The factory uses an extraction fan system to remove potentially harmful wood dust from the machinery to a large extraction unit with a filter and a rotary vane feeding a hopper.
There are three 37 kW and an 18.5 kW extraction fans and one 15 kW transfer fan, all of which run continuously when the production machinery is switched on. The fans also had to be started in a set sequence to avoid overloading the supply on start-up.
Damien O’Callaghan is the Executive Manager for the plant: “From a review of the appliances that were using most electricity, it was found that circulation fans, extraction fans and the extraction system were consuming the most and they were operating inefficiently.
Local integrator Advantage Control carried out an initial survey of the supply to the extraction panel using a data logger and recording the detail of the weekly running. A survey was also undertaken on the main supply to see how much power was being consumed on site.
Following the evaluation period it was agreed to install five ABB ACS550 general purpose AC drives mounted beside the main control panel. It was not necessary to change the control panel itself. The 15 kW transfer fan was connected to separate emergency supply as failure of the motor stops the extractor fans from running.
Introducing the variable speed drives reduced typical daily power usage from 103 kW to 51 kW, with an annual saving of more than £13k a year. In addition, the 50% energy saving reduced CO2 emissions by an estimated 60 tonnes a year.
In conjunction with the installation of the ACS 550 drives, additional local controls placed by the machines enable operators to switch off the fans serving their machines while moving materials or during production breaks.
The reduction in the site consumption reduced the burden on the plant transformer which had been nearing its capacity and the soft start offered by the inverters reduced noise levels is expected to improve the longevity of the plant and the filters.
Energy grants added too savings
Adds O’Callaghan: “Advantage Control advised us that grants were available which we duly applied for and received. Advantage Control made the investment decision very easy for us as it was less than a year payback when annual savings and grants were factored in.
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