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Scheme will guarantee energy savings for large drives users

10 August, 2012

ABB has launched a scheme that will guarantee large energy users savings from motor-driven applications across a site. If the savings achieved are 0–10% below a target agreed with the customer, ABB will compensate the customer; if they are up to 10% above the target, ABB will receive a bonus.

The DriveSave scheme is aimed at companies in energy-intensive industries such as metals processing, chemicals, oil & gas and pulp & paper, that are willing to invest £500,000–£2m to achieve target savings of at least 5GWh per year and a return on investment of less than three years. The scheme includes the design, installation and commissioning of the VSD systems, as well as a five-year warranty for the installed drives and a five-year preventive maintenance programme.

ABB is hoping to persuade the large energy users to buy the guaranteed energy savings, rather than specific hardware. Initially, it will measure the energy consumption of motor-driven applications such as fans and pumps on a site. Based on these figures, it will assess the potential savings. After the drives have been commissioned ABB will take more measurements and use the figures to determine the risk and reward.

Once the figures have been agreed with the end-user, ABB will install the number of VSDs it calculates will be needed to achieve those savings. "If we estimate that 60 drives are required, but end up needing 65 drives, then that is down to us,” explains Neil Ritchie, manager of ABB’s low-voltage AC drives business in the UK. “The customer is not charged any more money.”

ABB says that market it is targeting is relatively untapped. While most drive suppliers concentrate on selling handfuls of drives, often totalling less that £100,000, the new scheme is targeting large end-users where, typically, various departments have budgets for local VSD installations. The new scheme aims to identify all of these local opportunities and amalgamate them into a single proposal to capitalise on the large potential savings. For example, for an electricity price of 8p/kWh, a 10GWh saving would equate to £800,000 per annum.

By generating a blanket energy-saving proposal, end-users will be able to raise one-off purchase orders, potentially allowing their local budgets to be used for other manufacturing issues.

“Previously, smaller projects would be carried out on an ad hoc basis with no guarantees of the energy-saving potential,” says Ritchie. “Often the smaller projects are delayed due to capital expenditure restrictions. Through combining numerous smaller projects into one purchase order, DriveSave cuts the time and effort involved in purchasing energy-saving projects, making each project more cost-effective.”

The scheme is being piloted in the UK. If it is a success, it will be rolled out globally. The first pilot trial is nearing its end and has achieved a payback of about 2.5 years.

For details of the DriveSave scheme, email or call 07000 374837.

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