As one of New Zealand’s leading fertiliser specialists, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Limited is committed to a sustainable approach to farming and the environment.
The company encourages staff to identify ways to reduce waste and improve efficiency, and a recent initiative to upgrade old, inefficient electric motors at their Whangarei manufacturing plant has paid-off with expected annual electricity savings of $23,000.
Through the Electricity Commission’s Motor Bounty Scheme, the company received government subsidies of over $42,000 to upgrade to new, more efficient three-phase electric motors, representing almost half the cost of the new motors.
Fourteen motors with a total connected load of 862kW were replaced, and with expected efficiency gains of between 2.2 to 4.8 percent, the annual electricity savings for the project are estimated at 170,600 kWh.
Project Engineer Leo McCullough says the subsidy made the upgrade financially viable, with an expected pay-back for the project of less than two years.
“The electricity savings have reduced plant operating costs and carbon emissions, with no reduction or restriction in plant capacity.
“It’s simply increased efficiency to the benefit of our environment.”
The project won an internal award for best environmental initiative by a team in 2009.
Another benefit of the project was the opportunity to upgrade from obsolete imperial motor frames and shaft sizes to new standard metric motor frames, enabling faster and easier motor replacements in the future.
The subsidy was easily arranged through Ballance’s motor service provider CMG Electric Motors (Avondale), in Auckland, who are also an Accredited Service Provider for the Motor Bounty Scheme.
Motor Bounty Scheme ending in January 2011
The Motor Bounty Scheme is an initiative by the Electricity Commission to improve electricity efficiency by supporting the replacement of old, inefficient three-phase electric motors, and offers a subsidy of up to $7,400 per motor (criteria apply).
As the Scheme is ending in January 2011 the Commission is encouraging motor users who want to take advantage of the subsidy to contact an accredited service provider to assess their eligibility. The subsidy applies to both operational and failed motors.
More information on the Scheme and a list of accredited service providers can be found at www.motorbounty.co.nz.
How Ballance are making savings
The table below shows the efficiency gains Ballance have achieved on each of their motors and how even small percentage improvements in motor efficiency can result in significant electricity cost savings.1.
1 The electricity costs savings are based on 13.5 cents/kWh