Friday, 2 June 2017


Carl Turbitt, HVAC Drives - UK Sales Manager, ABB writes: Isn’t it great when you get more than you asked for? That’s the feeling of the University of Leeds, which got much greater savings than it was expecting with ABB drives.

With the launch of its Carbon Management Plan, the University initially expected to save 364 tonnes of carbon each year and cut its energy bill by £46,000, giving it a payback period of just under six years.

However, the reality was far better. After installing ABB variable speed drives, annual carbon emissions were reduced by 809 tonnes and the university’s energy bill cut by £194,000, giving it a payback period of just 1.2 years.

The aim of the Carbon Management Plan was to identify ways to save energy and cut carbon emissions. This included installing VSDs on existing motors powering fans in air handling units and fume extraction equipment and water pumps. Most of the assessed motors had no speed control, being connected direct-on-line.

The University used ABB’s online DriveSize tool to identify which motors would be best for use with VSDs. This showed that any motor of 10 kW or above would produce the greatest savings.

ABB authorised value provider Halcyon Drives was chosen to supply the drives as it was able to meet all the university’s requests. These included harmonic mitigation, a five-year warranty and the ability to use one model of VSD across all installations. It also had the stock on hand and could also service the drives.

In total, 94 ABB ACH550 VSDs ranging from 5.5 to 55 kW were installed in 20 buildings used for teaching and research across the University’s campus. By using the drives to adjust the speed of pump and fan motors to match actual demand, energy use was reduced by 1,800MWh a year, resulting in the sizeable savings outlined above.

Most companies try to give customers what they ask for - in this case, the customer got far much more than it expected.

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