Energy Saving Motor Control

Energy Saving Motor Control

As we all try to save energy, one of the most effective routes is through more efficient use of motors.  This is so important because motors are everywhere – household appliances from cleaning to kitchen, domestic/commercial/industrial fans and pumps, and especially in electric vehicles, among many applications.  They are so ubiquitous that a business "Public Service of New Hampshire – The Northeast Utilities System" posting indicated that "electric motors consume 64 percent of the electricity produced in this country".  So reducing the electricity dedicated to making motors run would be of significant benefit.


Among the means to achieve improved motor efficiency, in addition to starting with a more efficient motor (see NEMA Premium Motors), is to utilize an adjustable speed drive.  NEMA has published a guide – "Application Guide for AC Adjustable Speed Drive Systems" – that provide excellent information on how to best accomplish this task.  The work to develop the guide was accomplished by the NEMA Industrial Automation Control Products and Systems Section and Motor and Generators Section.  The guide document is available for FREE download at the link indicated.  The document includes basic information about loads, motors and control methods.  It describes interactions between the components of an adjustable speed drive system.  The Guide even provides general instruction on how to select both motors and controls based on the specific application.

The committees responsible for the document are always looking to improve the information.  If you have suggestions, or especially if you would like to participate in future work in this area, please contact Ken Gettman at

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