New series of GEFRAN inverters for the civil lift engineering sector: ideal for streamlining...

The new SIEIDrive AVRy series can achieve energy savings of over 50 percent compared to conventional drive control systems.

The new SIEIDrive AVRy series of regenerative frequency converters, designed for use in civil lift engineering applications, exploit the potential of the energy generated by the movement of the cabin and its vertical load and convert this into electric power to be regenerated in the power mains. This can result in energy savings of over 50 percent compared to conventional drive control systems.

Besides producing state-of-the-art technological solutions for the industrial automation sector, GEFRAN is also committed to research and development aimed at creating innovative solutions to streamline and reduce energy consumption.

Energy efficiency is now a top priority in Italy: energy-saving solutions have been clearly defined and are based on a very simple equation:

Energy efficiency = production of goods and services using less energy

The benefits of using energy-saving technology are obvious: reduced environmental impact and, more importantly, lower costs for companies and the national economy.

According to figures released by the Italian Federation of Electrotechnical and Electronics Industries (ANIE), industry accounts for over 50 percent of total energy consumption in Italy. Of this, 75 percent is associated with the use of electric motors, an essential component in all motion applications.

An inverter is an electronic device installed between the mains supply and the electric motor to enable certain parameters to be altered to improve the efficiency of the electric motor. In other words, motor performance is adjusted in real-time according to the specific application requirements, only delivering the actual power as requested and thus controlling energy consumption.

The amount of energy that can be saved depends on the specific application and the type of control that is used. The potential benefits are great: for instance, the use of electric drives on a hydraulic injection press can achieve an average energy saving of 442,000 kWh/year, and cut annual operating costs by some EUR 50,000.

More generally, by installing the best technology available and using high-efficiency motors and inverters, more than 25 TWh would be saved in Italy each year and CO2 emissions cut by over 12 million tons per year.

The use of electric drives with high-efficiency motors (Eff 1) is one of the best technological solutions for saving energy.

The 2007 and 2008 Italian Finance Acts included incentives in the form of tax deductions for "scrapping" old motors and for the purchase of high-efficiency inverters and motors. (Italian Finance Act 2008 – art 1 sub-section 20).

However, these incentives do not regard the civil lift engineering sector. The introduction of a set of laws similar to those for electric motors in industry, as mentioned above, would result in further benefits for Italy's energy balance.

The main energy-saving component in the lift sector is the inverter. Its main purpose is to control the speed of the electric motor as the cabin descends. In typical applications, the braking energy is dissipated as heat in the resistors.

With the AVRy series, GEFRAN's latest lift inverter, all the energy generated by the movement of the cabin and its vertical load is recovered and returned to the mains supply to be re-used, perhaps for a different purpose. This can result in energy savings of over 50 percent compared to conventional drive control systems.

The new series of SIEIDrive AVRy regenerative frequency converters represent the most advanced energy-saving solution.

Although regenerative inverters are more expensive than conventional inverters, the higher initial outlay is amortised by the subsequent savings in terms of energy consumption. This issue should be the subject of awareness-raising campaigns addressing all those concerned.

Company and household finances, as well as the Italian energy balance, would all benefit from more information on the technological potential of these systems and more favourable legislation.

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