Power efficiency of industrial equipment.
Power conservation has become a high priority to South African industries due to recent environmental assessments and electricity price hikes. This research aims to demonstrate to Industry the many simple and cost effective ways to increase their industrial efficiency with simple modifications, as well as making them more aware of common assembly errors that significantly increase power consumption. This has been accomplished with the design, construction and testing of a test rig capable of producing the desired test results which simulate Industry usage. A test rig was required to test certain energy efficient equipment. This dissertation contains an explanation of the tests required, as well as how they were conducted. These test requirements directed the design outcomes of the test rig. Due to the variety of equipment to be tested, and the accuracy required, the test rig had to be fully adjustable. The design process is explained in this dissertation, along with relevant theory with regard to the testing procedures. The testing procedures were designed to be as accurate as possible. The setup equipment and procedure is briefly explained to ensure an understanding of the capabilities of the test rig. This dissertation contains the results obtained from testing a variety of couplings, belts and motors under different conditions. The results obtained show the difference between the efficiency of a standard motor and that of a high efficiency motor. The efficiency comparison of the Poly V TM, Poly Chain® and SPB V-belts showed very distinct advantages and disadvantages of each belt. The coupling testing was conducted under conditions of misalignment, and resulted in distinct differences in the efficiencies of each coupling at different degrees of misalignments. The couplings tested were the Fenaflex®, the Quick-Flex®, and the Fenagrid® coupling. All results obtained were analyzed and discussed in the relevant sections. The results obtained showed that the high efficiency motor is significantly more efficient than the standard motor at full load, although at low loading, the motor efficiencies were very similar. The coupling tests showed the negative effects misalignment has on the efficiency of the Quick-Flex® and Fenagrid® coupling as well as the capability of the Fenaflex® coupling to withstand the effects of large misalignments without significant efficiency loss. v The belt testing revealed the advantages and disadvantages of each type of belt used. This showed that although the synchronous belt did not lose efficiency with decreased tension, it became unstable, and was difficult to keep on the pulley if not aligned correctly. The V-belts can handle low tension well. Prolonged use of the belts can cause them to stretch, lowering the tension into a “danger zone” that will cause the belts to slip. This slip can damage the belt and pulley. At the lower tension of the V-belt, although the efficiency increases slightly, the vibration of the slack side of the belt is significant, and can be dangerous as the belt could jump off the pulley. The Poly V TM belt has some of the advantages of the V-belt, except that it is unable to maintain its friction at low tension, as the belt width prevents it from being wedged into the grooves like the V-belt. The fluid coupling tests showed that the shock loading on a high inertia system can be significantly reduced with the aid of a fluid coupling. The reduced shock loading can reduce energy consumption, and increase the life of electric motors and the equipment that they drive by preventing excessive overloading.
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