A Belgium-based producer of dairy products is achieving minimum energy savings of at least 18% from its refrigeration process as a result of switching to Dyneo permanent magnet motor technology from Leroy-Somer. The solution, which also features a Leroy-Somer Powerdrive high-power modular drive, is being used in a commercial refrigeration system that cools milk after pasteurisation or sterilisation.
Based near Ghent, Inex specialises in products including milk, chocolate milk, buttermilk, fermented milk, yoghurt, cream and butter. The company, founded in 1898, manufactures and packages both fresh and long-life produce for large European retail chains and multinationals. It has around 440 employees and annual sales of circa €150 million.
Since refrigeration is a key element in the manufacturing process, optimum operation and reliability is paramount. As part of a recent investment package, Inex acquired four new commercial refrigerator systems based on Sabroe SMC 106E reciprocating air compressors. At the time, the company had heard good reports of permanent magnet motors and wanted to install one as a trial. As a result, three of the compressors were supplied with standard Leroy-Somer IE2 (90kW) asynchronous AC motors, and one with a Leroy-Somer IE4 (105kW) synchronous permanent magnet motor from the Dyneo range.
The refrigeration systems are used to cool water to 1°C, which in turns cools milk to around 4°C. The installation operates almost continuously, but at variable load. Here, the benefits of permanent magnet motors come to the fore as their performance retains almost constant partial load, unlike standard asynchronous motors, generally leading to a reduction in energy consumption.
To put the theory to the test, Leroy-Somer’s experts visited Inex after the installation was complete. They discovered that the refrigerator operating with the Dyneo permanent magnet motor was delivering significant energy savings.
Using a digital energy analyzer, the drive and motor experts made a series of power measurements comparing two refrigeration units working at the same pressure. One featured the LSRPM280SC-T synchronous magnet motor (105kW) running at 1500 rpm and Leroy-Somer Powerdrive, while the other housed the standard LSES280MK-T (90kW) asynchronous motor running at 1487 rpm and a competitor drive.
It was found that energy savings were being achieved using the permanent magnet motor across a range of different load profiles. Depending on the type of measure – involving number of pistons, speed, evaporation temperature and condensation temperature – the calculated energy savings were between 18-21%, taking into account any losses from the drive and the motor.