As the share of motors in non-industrial applications continues to soar, that growth will drive features and control strategies that will benefit industrial applications. Nothing drives innovation like volume and there is no volume like consumer applications. As the number of motors in cars and a wide variety of other products zooms, so too will innovative control hardware, software and strategies. Out of it will come a host of evolving designs, new features and certainly energy efficiency benefits which industrial applications will surely be able to utilize.
The U.S. Department of Energy has been developing a suite of analytical tools to assess various technologies present in industrial facilities of which AIRMaster+ is a fairly recent addition.
With the energy required to run the IT equipment in the denominator, PUE as an indicator of energy performance is a flawed measure. Yes, it highlights the auxiliary loads, which are part of the total energy in the numerator and are important to minimize, but in terms of energy use, auxiliary loads should not be the only focus. Making matters worse, the industry has set the goal to be simply reducing PUE, bragging about low PUE, reinforcing the efforts on auxiliary systems and making is seem that when they reach some minimum, their job will be done.
For more than a decade, money wasted through compressed air leaks has often been cited as the number one quick fix manufacturers can take to begin getting a hold on their energy costs. Going back to 1998, a Department of Energy “Compressed Air Challenge” fact sheet notes that “leaks can be a significant source of wasted energy in an industrial compressed air system, sometimes wasting 20-30 percent of a compressor’s output.
The data center industry’s push for ever-better energy efficiency has become a tale of two PUEs. There’s the exceptional Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) scores being reported by companies like Google and Facebook that design their own custom servers. And then there are the slightly higher PUEs available to the best multi-tenant data centers and enterprise customers with complex infrastructure.
Traditionally, engineers have specified a variety of piping materials for compressed air systems, including black iron, galvanized steel, copper, stainless steel and even plastic. More recently, aluminum piping has become an option considered by many contractors, architects and engineering firms.