ABB recently hosted a half-day Energy Efficiency Academia Symposium, held April 21, 2023 in Aurora, CO, USA, bringing together research experts from universities, US national laboratories, and ABB to address growing global demands for continued improvement of variable speed electric motors, drives, and loads.
According to the International Energy Agency, motor-driven systems account for 70% of industrial electricity use today, and this need is expected to grow with globally increasing population, electrification, and standard of living. The symposium discussion highlighted the importance of the growing Energy Efficiency Movement and identified key areas where research and innovation are needed to accelerate development of motor-drive products and applications. These key areas include advanced materials and manufacturing; increasing efficiency and environmental impact standards and requirements; increasingly customer-optimized solutions; increasing sensing, connectivity, and data collection for more intelligent motor driven systems; and improved understanding and implementation of life-cycle circularity.
Researchers proposed solutions including the creation of calls for proposals with specific motor-driven system targets to help experts from ABB and universities connect and collaborate. Another solution is to continue to develop and integrate software tools with design and manufacturing systems and application requirements for more holistic optimization of motors and drive products. Additionally, in-depth investigations together with university and other partners are needed to evaluate the state-of-the-art and propose new solutions around the integration of motor-driven systems as well as how best to implement circularity to minimize the overall environmental impact of motor-driven systems.
Many thanks to all symposium participants for their insightful discussion and dedication to the critical task of increasing motor-driven system efficiency.