Energy-efficiency dominates Germany's Hannover Fair

Efficient energy usage and alternative energy sources, relatively recent issues for the U.S., have been long-term concerns in Europe and elsewhere. No surprise, energy-efficiency and energy developments permeated this year's Hannover Industrial Fair. In fact, Energy Technology—one of 10 shows comprising the Fair in 2008—brought together 900 companies to exhibit innovations for effic...

06/01/2008


Efficient energy usage and alternative energy sources, relatively recent issues for the U.S., have been long-term concerns in Europe and elsewhere. No surprise, energy-efficiency and energy developments permeated this year's Hannover Industrial Fair. In fact, Energy Technology—one of 10 shows comprising the Fair in 2008—brought together 900 companies to exhibit innovations for efficient production and transmission of renewable and conventional energy. This largest turnout to date for the energy sector represented nearly 18% of all fair exhibitors.

A highlight was the 14th annual group exhibit “Hydrogen + Fuel Cells,” which has grown to 156 exhibitors from 23 countries. One theme was progress in developing a hydrogen infrastructure (production, transport, and storage). Also drawing attention were fuel cells (FCs) for stationary and portable/mobile applications—for example, light trucks and forklifts. Experts note that stationary FCs are projected to boost future domestic and small business heating systems, plus generate usable electric power. Actual products are about two years away. North American companies participating in the group exhibit included Ballard Power Systems (PEM hydrogen FCs for transportation and portable applications), Dana Holding Corp. (FC stacks, fuel processor components), and Plug Power (high-temp FC units).

A practical, multi-source approach is being adopted to cope with energy problems. This includes new, efficient conventional power plants plus good use of cogeneration, district heating, and waste-heat recovery methods. Emphasis in the renewable energy sector was on solar, biofuels, geothermal, and wind power.

Wind turbine technology is making giant strides in terms of size and power. Enercon displayed its 2 MW wind turbine and has built units up to 6-MW rating! Other vendors also are at this stage; much larger future capacity is planned.

Another venue at the fair, “Energy Efficiency in Industrial Processes,” assembled 36 vendors demonstrating practical examples of reducing energy costs in various production processes. Exhibits focused on efficient combinations of electric motors, pumps, fans, compressors, and heating/cooling systems. Interactive displays in the “Energy-Efficiency Tunnel,” presented potential savings to visitors based on their application inputs and queries. Klaus Helmrich, CEO of Siemens' Drive Technologies Div., says, “Energy solutions require a system approach to properly analyze efficiency, including the facility and support processes, such as water heating and compressed air.”

Dr. Karl Tragl, Bosch Rexroth executive board member, notes, “Technologies available today can be implemented to increase energy efficiency,” referring to the company's IndraDrive Mi integrated servo motor and drive. “Energy efficiency has been our internal objective for some time.”

In product developments, WEG Electric introduced its energy-efficient W22 series induction motors for up to 400 kW power, featuring advanced cooling design. Launched in three stages, starting with IEC 225-355 frame sizes in 2008, the W22 series is said to meet or exceed Europe's Eff1 motor standard today. Still higher efficiency models will follow.

Emetron's pump-mounted, integrated motor-drive product with 7.5-22 kW output had its first showing at the fair. Several other manufacturers also offered motor-pump combination products with a variable-frequency drive (VFD) mounted on the motor. Adding a VFD offers dramatically lower power consumption, especially for variable-flow process applications encountered with pumps, fans, or compressors.


Author Information

Frank J. Bartos, P.E., is a Control Engineering consulting editor. Reach him at braunbart@sbcglobal.net .




No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2015 Top Plant: Phoenix Contact, Middletown, Pa.; 2015 Best Practices: Automation, Electrical Safety, Electrical Systems, Pneumatics, Material Handling, Mechanical Systems
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Migrating industrial networks; Tracking HMI advances; Making the right automation changes
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.