University cuts carbon emissions by over 809 tonnes a year using drive technology

The University of Leeds is saving over 809 tonnes in carbon emissions and £194,000 a year in energy costs following the installation of 94 ABB variable speed drives (VSDs) ranging from 5.5 to 55 kW.

The project formed part of the university’s Carbon Management Plan. This included installing VSDs on motors powering fans in air handling units and fume extraction equipment and water pumps in more than 20 buildings used for teaching and research. Most of the assessed motors had no speed control, being connected direct-on-line.

The drives are controlled by a building management system (BMS) using a 4-20 mA connection to provide speed references to the drive and monitor alarms. ABB drives can monitor their own energy use and run hours and this has been used to identify the kWh used at various times, thereby proving the savings.

Harmonic mitigation was an important factor for the university. The ABB ACH550 drive has harmonic mitigation built-in as standard. Swinging choke technology ensures the drive delivers up to 25 percent fewer harmonics at partial loads compared to a conventional choke of equal size. Since the install the university has had no issues with harmonics.

The drives were supplied by ABB authorised value provider Halcyon Drives.

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