Monitoring for Motor Reliability and Energy Efficiency with Wireless Power Meters

Equipment monitoring plays a large role in a manufacturer’s reliability program. The health of this equipment can also affect energy consumption levels. For motor-driven pumps, fans, compressors, etc., monitoring the electrical energy usage provides an additional indication of equipment health beyond vibration, temperature and other traditional measurements.

Emerson's Matt Austin


Emerson’s Matt Austin shared with me a new, downloadable whitepaper, WirelessHART Power Metering For Enhanced Energy Management and Equipment Reliability. Large, critical motors have typically been monitored with wired devices for many years. Their use on more than these critical motors has been limited since:

…they typically need a source of operating power, and they must be hardwired to the control and monitoring system. This limits installation points and increases deployment and maintenance costs.

Whitepaper: Wireless Power MeteringUnlike wired power meters, a wireless power meter can:

…be installed where it’s needed to monitor power consumption… Operating power for the WirelessHART power meter is scavenged from the electrical supply to the equipment being monitored, eliminating the need for a separate source of power.

These wireless power meters measure:

…current, voltage, instantaneous power demand, and consumption—as well as and other parameters such as diagnostics and status…

From an energy efficiency perspective, engineers:

…can determine which motors are not operating per design by monitoring power consumption for electrically-driven equipment such as pumps, compressors, and fans. These findings can reveal a host of areas for improvement—for example, by adding a variable frequency drive (VFD) to match motor operation to the load.

For manufacturers purchasing electricity from local utilities, charges may be based on peak demand charges or time of day. By continuously monitoring electrical loads from large energy consumers in the plant, the operations staff:

…can employ load-shedding or peak-shaving techniques to shut off certain items of equipment to cut power. WirelessHART power meters can monitor power consumption in various key areas of a plant so engineers can determine which items of equipment can be shut down or not started to reduce peak energy use.

From a reliability perspective, wireless power monitors on motors can help detect:

  • Overheating
  • Voltage unbalance
  • Single-phasing
  • Bad motor bearings
  • Deteriorating motor windings
  • Motor mounting issues
  • Overloads

The Emerson 56WM Wireless Power Meter:

…directly measures volts, amps, and power factor. It calculates kW, kWh, kVAR, kVARh, kVA, kVAh, etc. These measurements are made with voltage taps and current transformers (CTs) on each phase conductor of the equipment.

Download and read the whitepaper for descriptions of typical applications including compressor efficiency monitoring, cool towers, shear pin monitoring, energy management and excessive energy-consuming equipment discovery.

You can also connect and interact with other reliability and wireless experts in the Reliability & Maintenance and Wireless groups in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

Posted Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 under Energy, Wireless.

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