Skip to main content
Project Info ACTIVE Project Title

Central HVAC Advanced Electric Motor Lab Evaluation

Project Number ET23SWE0065 Organization SWE (Statewide Electric ETP) End-use Process Loads Sector Commercial Project Year(s) 2023 - 2025
Implementing more efficient electric motors can greatly reduce the amount of energy used, save money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many new electric motor technologies promise higher efficiency, particularly in variable speed applications. However, end-users are reluctant to switch from their old technologies, either due to the upfront cost or they are not interested in trying a less familiar product due to potential for issues with incompatibility, controls, and unknowns such as reliability and expected life. In recent lab dynamometer testing at the UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center the ABB Baldor-Reliance® EC Titanium™ motor had the highest efficiency across a range motor speed and torque. The Baldor EC Titanium combines synchronous reluctance and permanent magnet motor technologies (PMSynRM) and is commercially available from a widely trusted manufacturer. Our search has not been able to find any case studies for this PMSynRM advanced motor type.   The Western Cooling Efficiency Center at UC Davis will install variable speed high efficiency PMSynRM motors in the water loop pumps that supply HVAC cooling and heating water for a UC Davis campus office building. Each advanced PMSynRM motor will be paired with the standard practice variable speed NEEMA premium rated induction motors operating in parallel. The advanced motor and standard motor will operate in parallel at the same time and same speed on the same water loop return water manifold and supply water manifold and will use the same make and model of variable frequency drive to allow for a direct comparison of efficiency. The power consumption of both the advanced motors and standard motors will be monitored to evaluate energy savings and estimate typical operating cost savings. The installation process will be documented to identify any differences from the standard motors and identify solutions to any issues that occur to inform future energy efficiency program design.
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company logo
  • Southern California Edison Company logo
  • Southern California Gas Company logo
  • San Diego Gas & Electric Company logo
  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District logo
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power logo
  • CEC logo

Copyright © 2024 Energy Transition Coordinating Council. Trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

The ETCC is funded in part by ratepayer dollars and the California IOU Emerging Technologies Program, the IOU Codes & Standards Planning & Coordination Subprograms, and the Demand Response Emerging Technologies (DRET) Collaborative programs under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. The municipal portion of this program is funded and administered by Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.