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Don’t be fooled by the name NY Engineers is the top choice if you need a Full Service Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Engineering Firm in Chicago Illinois. We are not only an HVAC Chicago but also a leading provider of Sprinkler Design Engineering services throughout Romeoville. Call (+1) (312) 767-6877

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As of late huge crowds have been stopping by the NY Engineers website looking for Electrical Engineering near Chicago. This is due primarily due to the following we have built in this kind of work. With that said, a lot of building owners from Lake Forest to East Moline, Illinois, don’t know that New York Engineers is also a top contender for anyone looking for HVAC Companies in or near Chicago, Illinois.

The quest for energy-efficient buildings involves energy-efficient HVAC system design. This will likely include systems for HVAC, lighting, architectural enclosure, domestic water heating, and vertical transportation. The loads for that HVAC systems can come primarily from 5 different sources including lighting (cooling), your building envelope (cooling and heating), ventilation (cooling and heating), equipment for program use (cooling) and occupancy (cooling).
The ventilation load might be a function of either the devices needed so as to introduce it into a space and control contaminant concentration or the number of individuals who will fill the area. In the majority of climates within the eastern and southwestern regions of the US, to lower outter ventilation can save energy whenever the outer air is either humid and warm or very cold.
Controlling the ventilation rate will be determined by occupancy which is known as a type of demand control ventilation. This can be a everyday sort of energy conservation policy that is used for buildings with intermittent or heavy occupancy. Having cooling and heating loads reduced to a minimum can be achieved through the use of an increased performance building envelope, occupancy sensors, and performance lighting that apply daylight response of lighting controls.

Chicago HVAC Engineering services versus HVAC Technicians

If you’ve ever thought about the distinction between a HVAC Engineers versus HVAC Technicians, then read on:

Chicago HVAC engineers will be the folks that supervise setting up of air cooling systems both for commercial and residential buildings. They spend a lot of their day in offices doing higher level management and planning of installations however they do also stop by job sites every once in awhile.

In comparison, HVAC technicians in Chicago tend to do a lot of hands-on work with repair and maintenance. A HVAC technician may work together with an engineer to complete a few of the installation task, especially on smaller jobs. Generally speaking HVAC technicians do considerably more travel and could spend time and effort changing filters, identifying leaks, doing recharges or decommissioning old and outdated systems that use old refrigerants.

HVAC engineers may have the opportunity to make more decisions about systems that are being used, plus they are the people who would offer advice about the most sensible refrigerants and which systems would best suit a greater building. In the trade, there is certainly some competition between ‘the suits’ and ‘the ones that will get their hands dirty’, but both jobs do require a good familiarity with how air cooling really works. As of late a lot of Internet users have been reading the New York Engineers site searching for HVAC Contractors Chicago Area. With that said, the goal of our organization is to be the to go to firm for those searching for a HVAC Chicago and or any of our other services including Value Engineering Engineering services. We ask that everyone looking for additional details about our Heating & Air Conditioning (HVAC) Engineering Firm in Chicago Illinois takes a look at our blog…

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Advantages of Electronically Commutated Motors in Electrical Engineering

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Electronically commutated motors (ECMs) can achieve significant energy savings in electrical engineering applications where fractional horsepower is required. Although NEMA Premium Efficiency motors with variable-frequency drives provide the most efficient solution to drive equipment above 1 hp, induction motors are outclassed by ECMs as the rated horsepower is reduced.

What is an Electronically Commutated Motor?

Although ECMs are designed to run with an AC power supply, it is important to note they are actually direct-current motors with permanent magnets on their rotor. Unlike conventional DC motors, which create a rotating magnetic field with a combination of brush contacts and slip rings, ECMs achieve the same effect with a voltage rectifier and an electronic control circuit. As a result, the friction and sparks associated with brush contacts are eliminated, and this is one of the reasons why ECMs are so efficient. They also have a longer service life than brushed motors, since the wear associated with sparks and friction is eliminated. Compared with other common types of fractional horsepower motors, ECMs are the top choice in terms of efficiency:

  • Shaded-pole motors are very common and more affordable, but their efficiency is very poor, going below 20% in some cases.
  • Permanent-split capacitor (PSC) motors have an average efficiency of 40%, which means they outclass shaded-pole motors. In terms of efficiency, they are an intermediate option between shaded-pole motors and ECMs.
  • ECM efficiency is normally above 60%, which means they consume one-third of the energy used by shaded-pole motors on average.

ECMs can also be manufactured with built-in speed control circuits, allowing them to operate at reduced speed without relying on an external VFD. It is also important to note that ECMs do not suffer a drastic reduction in their efficiency when operating below rated RPM. Fixed-speed ECMs are also available for applications where speed control is not necessary.

Electronically Commutated Motors in Electrical Engineering Applications

ECMs are normally the most efficient option in fractional horsepower applications, but they tend to deliver the highest savings when used in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. Being more efficient that shaded-pole and PSC motors, they also dissipate less heat, and the reduced heating effect helps AC and refrigeration systems operate more efficiently. This effect applies for all air-conditioning or refrigeration components that are found inside the conditioned space, such as air handlers and evaporators.

As an example, assume a cold-storage room has an evaporator unit with five shaded-pole motors, consuming 900W each. They are replaced with ECMs that only consume 300 W each.

  • 600 W are saved per motor, for a total of 3,000 W.
  • However, these 3,000 W are also subtracted from the refrigeration load. If the system operates with a coefficient of performance of 3, an extra 1,000 W of electric power are saved.
  • In other words, this upgrade saves 3 kW in motor power and 1 kW thanks to refrigeration load reduction.

Keep in mind this is just a simple example, and each electrical engineering project requires a detailed analysis to know the exact savings. However, the heating reduction benefit applies for all cases where ECM motors are deployed in air-conditioned or refrigerated locations.

The brushless design of ECMs makes them quieter than their less efficient counterparts, which also provides a comfort advantage. In business applications, the silent operation of ECMs helps employees concentrate better. ECMs are also lighter than other types of fractional horsepower motors, which makes them easier to install.

Electronically Commutated Motors in Ventilation Systems

As previously stated, shaded-pole and PSC motors are inefficient. Also, three-phase motors with VFDs are impractical for fractional horsepower applications, unable to offer the efficiency that characterizes them in larger systems. Ventilation systems represent an excellent opportunity to deploy ECMs, for two main reasons:

  • Fans with fractional horsepower are common, which means they are often driven by shaded-pole or PSC motors.
  • Many fans have intermittent operation, which represents a chance to use ECMs running at reduced speed. For example, running a fan 80% of the time saves 20% of the energy, while running it at 80% speed saves nearly 50%.

ECMs are a highly recommended upgrade for furnace fans, since they can achieve a much more uniform temperature distribution with their speed control, in addition to offering the energy savings that characterize them.

Payback Period of ECM Upgrades

Like with many energy efficiency measures, the financial benefit of an ECM upgrade changes depending on project conditions. The project payback period can only be calculated with precision after a detailed analysis by a professional energy consultant, but in general the following results can be expected:

  • Replacing shaded-pole motors normally yields a faster payback period than replacing PSC motors, since the efficiency gain is higher. Of course, there can be exceptions; replacing a PSC motor that is used frequently may yield higher savings than upgrading a shaded-pole motor that is only used moderately.
  • ECMs can also be an attractive option in appliances that require speed control. Other types of motors may suffer a drastic efficiency reduction at partial speed.
  • As previously mentioned, the energy savings are higher when ECMs are deployed in air-conditioned or refrigerated spaces.

The financial return of an ECM upgrade can also be enhanced if there are incentive programs at the project’s location. The incentive is calculated based on yearly energy savings, at a rate of $0.16/kWh.

Conclusion

Electronically-commutated motors (ECMs) can achieve significant energy savings in fractional horsepower applications, especially when they replace shaded-pole motors. However, like with any energy efficiency upgrade, professional guidance is highly recommended when defining the project scope and specifications.

When upgrading to ECMs, the return on investment is higher in some cases, and it others the payback period may be too long to justify the upgrade. Ideally, upgrades should focus on where the highest return is obtained from each dollar spent upfront. Recruit the help of an electrical engineering expertise to help you properly apply the information shared in this article to your project.

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