Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

March 31, 2000
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DALLAS, TX — The motor buzz on the floor of the IAHR Expo this year was focused on customer options. Companies are expanding motor lines to include more choices and solutions for contractors.

Controllers have been designed to increase the efficiency of motors within systems. The companies The News spoke with were excited to share information about the latest and greatest products on the market.

Controlling the motor

The “Rapid Start” from ICM Corp. is designed to ensure motor starting on low voltage systems and under stressful conditions.

According to Ben Morrow, vp of engineering, the differential voltage-sensing starter also rejuvenates tired compressors.

“The Rapid Start is more reliable as it is solid state, not electro-mechanical which can often be problematic,” said Morrow.

Available for use with either 115 or 230-vac motors, the starter monitors differential compressor auxiliary voltage, determines the state of the motor and engages and disengages the start capacitor.

Anacon Systems Inc. introduced the “DigiDrive II,” designed to control single-phase motors.

“People don’t want to hear their heating and air conditioning system turn on,” said Bill Shepherd, vp of marketing and sales. “The programmable DigiDrive II ramps the speed of the motor up and down to avoid system noise.”

The modular motor controller is programmable, customizable, and makes the hardware more flexible, said Shepherd. Operating from 115- and 230-V line voltages, the units control the speed of 1/10- to 1-hp single-phase induction motors and can go on virtually any furnace. He explains that a contractor can professionally install the DigiDrive II in 30 minutes or less.

“Soon, contractors will be able to remotely control and link the controllers,” said Shepherd. “We are trying to give low-quantity customers the same benefits enjoyed by high-quantity customers.”

Slimy, grimy, and wet

George Petroff, marketing manager for Marathon Electric, highlighted the company’s line of inverter duty motors and noted an expanded distribution network.

“You get the same performance with unlimited cable length for the inverter duty motors,” said Petroff. “No matter how long the cable run, you will still get 460 V.”

According to Greg Myers, marketing manager at Lincoln Electric Motor Division, the company’s new “Wash-Thru” motor lasts eight to 10 times longer in your worst applications.

Instead of trying to seal moisture out of the motor, the company has isolated the windings and pressure-encapsulated them in polyester resin.

For contractors who service customers with water problems, this motor may be the answer they have been looking for, said Myers.

More motors

New from Emerson Electric Motor Co. was a NEMA 42 Frame single- or multi-speed motor, available from 1/20- to 1/5-hp and with 4- or 6-pole ratings.

“We changed the outside envelope of one of our existing products and it still meets the required specifications,” said Jack Huether, vp of sales and marketing.

The new motor is more cost effective and features self-aligning bearings, said Huether. It also has more value to the contractor, selling at a lower cost to the oem’s, who in turn can pass some of the savings on to the contractor and end-user.

The Model 17 Commercial Duty motor line was designed by Baldor Motors and Drives so that the contractor isn’t paying for extra materials, according to district manager Jim Thomas.

“The motors are customized to some degree,” said Thomas. Designed for general-purpose applications with low to medium starting torque requirements, the motors have sealed ball bearings.

Available in both single- and three-phase; from 1/6- to 1-hp; and 2-, 4-, and 6-pole ratings, the motors feature an ODP steel band dipped in a “Autophoretic” coating with NEMA corrosion protection.

The “ECM” motor from GE Industrial Systems is an electronically commutated, brushless DC design with a built-in microprocessor that is programmed to control its speed and torque. To commutate the motor, the ECM uses a patented sensorless design to detect rotor position by measuring back electro-motive force (EMF).

The company introduced its new ECM 142 Series motor, a scaled-down version of its flagship ECM 2.3 blower motor that has over 10 years in the field.

“Our customers have a number of applications that require the efficiency and programmability of the ECM 2.3, but without its full features,” said Paul Goldman, ECM market manager.

The main difference is that the 142 offers five memory settings while the 2.3 offers 30 memory settings. According to Goldman, this reduction allows GE to reduce the cost of the motor. That translates into savings for oem’s and also for the contractor and end-user.

Back in August, A.O. Smith acquired MagneTek’s global motor operations. Six months later, things are going well for the company.

According to Frank Sraj Jr., product planning manager for the company, the addition of the MagneTek motor line has expanded the company’s offering to include from 1/200-hp up to 500-hp motors.

Highlighted at the show were two new compressor motors designed specifically for use in scroll compressors. The motors will be used in 7.5- and 15-ton compressors.

Also introduced was a new 108-frame motor for use in screw compressors for commercial air conditioning and industrial chiller applications. The three-phase, specially sized motor operates at 3,600 rpm, with an output range from 50- to 150-hp.

A variable-speed draft inducer blower motor featuring electronics with operating intelligence was introduced by Fasco Motors. Available in either inverter design or BLDC design, the algorithm-programmed unit offers V/F (pwm) speed control and aerodynamics suited for either 80% or 90% efficiency furnaces. The motors are available as either an ac three-phase or dc brushless design.

Sidebar: Nailor vav units use GE motors

DALLAS, TX — Nailor Industries announced at the IAHR Expo that its “Stealth” family of fan-powered vav terminal units will include the GE ECM 142 motor.

The model 35SST vav units are “field-friendly” with access panels on all four sides. Also, they can be changed to suit both right- and left-handed technicians in the field by flipping the unit over.

“The ECM 142 gives us two advantages in the market,” said Gus Faris, Nailor product manager, “— performance and price in our smaller systems where higher savings are needed to improve payback.”

Nailor will apply the new 142 Series motor in only those small terminal units that use a 1/3-hp motor that will help it reduce cost relative to 1/3-hp and smaller conventional induction motors.

According to Faris, a Nailor terminal equipped with an ECM motor is more expensive than a conventional box with an induction blower motor. The benefit, however, is the short payback period made possible by the ECM’s greater efficiency coupled with the reduced labor costs associated with setting it up.

A balancing contractor only has to set the diffusers to get the right proportions of air coming out the supply, according to Nailor. The motor then automatically delivers the right airflow, which means the contractor no longer has to do the manual adjustments required with conventional vav units.

Sidebar: Three-contact bypass option helps protect isolated drives

DALLAS, TX — At the MagneTek Drives & Systems booth, one of the main displays showed the new bypass option featuring a three-contact design that is available for the GPD 506 ac drive.

The bypass allows motors to be run from either the GPD 506 or ac line current in critical applications requiring continuous operation, including fans, pumps, cooling towers, and chillers.

Advanced design of the bypass utilizes both input and output drive contactors to provide an additional degree of protection when drive isolation is desired. Additionally, it features electrically-interlocked contactors, input circuit breaker with door interlock, thermal motor overload relay, fused control transformer, and door-mounted operator devices.

Bypass installation requires only three wires in and three wires out and is available for all 230- and 460-Vac, 3-phase GPD 506 adjustable frequency drives.

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