AC drives save energy – but just how much?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

From the Danfoss Drives blog

AC drives, frequency converters, variable speed drives; whatever name you know them by, they all have a common goal – to control the speed of an electrical motor in an energy-efficient way. If you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of AC drives and just how they save so much energy, take a look at this interesting article.

The need for energy conservation in order to save the environment is a key driver in the development of speed control devices. Even small changes in motor speed can significantly reduce energy consumption. AC drives are the ideal way to control motor speed to match load demand.

More than 300 million motors are used in industry, large buildings and in infrastructure globally and 30 million new motors are sold each year for industrial purposes alone (source: If AC drives were used with each of these motors, can you imagine just how much energy we could be saving?

Here are some of our own facts and figures. In 2014, it was estimated that Vacon AC drives helped save approximately 62 TWh of energy. Is that good or bad, I hear you ask. Well, let’s put it into perspective. 62 TWh is equivalent to the amount of energy annually produced by eleven 700-MW nuclear power reactors. It also corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of over 13 million households in Europe. You get the picture now? It’s astonishing, isn’t it?

The IEA 2014 World Energy Outlook projects a growth of renewable energy supply from 1700 gigawatts in 2014 to 4550 gigawatts in 2040. Vacon is already making significant inroads into the renewable energy market. In 2014, 25 TWh of energy was produced from renewable sources with the help of Vacon AC drives. Again, to put it into perspective, that’s equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of over 5 million households in Europe. This infographic shows you, at a glance, more energy-saving facts associated with Vacon AC drives.

AC drives are well hidden, but nevertheless they play a major and very necessary role in modern, everyday life by making the world and our way of living more sustainable. Keep watching this site for more new and innovative solutions that are helping save energy and generate renewable energy.

Article by: Joni Lampinen – Director, Brand and Marketing Communications, Vacon PLC
This article was first published on the Vacon Blog.


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