The term imop is an acronym for inductive motor optimisation panel, however it could equally stand for intelligent motor optimisation panel. In an age where companies are not only being encouraged to use energy efficiently but also penalised for excessive carbon emissions, the imop allows a more intelligent approach to electricity consumption.
The imop is installed as close to the motors or electrical equipment as possible. Reactive energy is stored within the imop unit itself, and this supplies the motors that same reactive energy that they need to run. Since the reactive energy is stored within the imop, there is no longer a need for it to be supplied by the electricity company.
Now, the power is no longer being pushed through your electrical infrastructure and wasted within your facility. The power being supplied to the individual pumps and motors is as close to 100% efficient (unity) as possible. This is known as optimising the power factor. This results in a cooler distribution system where heat is no longer being lost in the form of watts (the unit in which you are billed). This also accounts for the reduction of between 6% — 25% electricity use, as there is no longer the need for excess power to be supplied. Instead, it is being constantly stored and recycled between the imop and your motors.
Depending upon the rate structure of your electricity company, you may be able to save a substantial amount of money on your electricity bills — both in terms of reduced consumption and in avoiding exceeding carbon tariffs. Optimising the power factor can also help to offset the charges some utility companies make to compensate for their capital investment in serving a peak load. Other ancillary benefits to be gained by optimising power factor are lower energy losses, better voltage regulation and released system capacity. Typically, motors show a higher starting torque and a shorter start-up time. By reducing heat in the motors, their lifespan is extended — so there are also gains to be made in capital investment.
The energy-saving claims of the imop have been independently validated by the European Union’s Environmental Technologies Verification (Tritech ETV) scheme for green-based technologies.
Installation of the imop affects an organisation’s carbon footprint in two different ways. Firstly, since the majority of electricity is generated using traditional resources such as gas, fossil fuels and oil, the fact that there is an impact on greenhouse gases is self-evident. What may come as a surprise, however, is the true extent of that impact. The Carbon Trust has a calculation that determines the carbon footprint of every kilowatt of electricity: 1 kilowatt x 0.57302 ÷ 1000 = 0.000573 tonnes of carbon (tCO2e). Consequently, 1 carbon tonne (tCO2e) = 1754.5 kilowatts.
Secondly, the increased lifespan of each motor reduces the frequency of replacing capital equipment and so results in a further carbon saving. As governments in Europe and worldwide start to target every area of industry and commerce to meet looming energy commitments, the pressure will be on every business to establish a strategy for becoming carbon neutral
In simple terms, power factor is the efficiency of real power being used compared to the apparent (total) power being supplied. Power factor is often expressed as a percentage, which is a measurement of how efficiently volts and amps work together. Optimum efficiency would be expressed as 1.0 (unity), which represents 100%. If the power factor reading was 0.6, this would mean that the motor, for example, would be running at 60% efficiency (and, of course, 40% inefficiency).
The imop starts from just a few hundred pounds sterling, depending on the application. With 93 different custom-built units in the range, the prices are specific to individual motor or equipment loads within each commercial, industrial or public sector installation
The imop can be purchased by contacting a local distributor. If you need help finding a distributor in your area, contact us and we will be glad to assist you.
An imop is just a bit bigger than a briefcase. It comes in two depths, 150mm and 200mm, and is 350mm high. CE approved, it can be wall-mounted or installed on the floor and has a sealed, waterproof construction (exceeding the requirements of Ip65). It features a left or right cable exit and is easily retro-fitted.
Other than affecting motors and equipment in the way it is supposed to, ie making them run more efficiently, the answer is no. The imop is designed to be completely passive. There is no solid-state circuitry and there are no moving parts. In the unlikely event that the imop were to stop working, you would simply stop saving money.
The closer to the inductive load (motor) the imop is installed when the reactive amps are removed (and the power factor is optimised), the greater the overall benefits. Savings are made from the point of the installation of the imop back to the meter, therefore it makes sense to install the device adjacent to the motor.
This depends on many factors, including how much electricity you use. Return on investment ranges from six months to 36 months (see Case studies). In the UK, you may be eligible for funding under the Carbon Trust’s new Energy Efficiency Financing Scheme, which is being run as a joint venture with Siemens Financial Services.
Yes. The imop can be custom-made to fit any single-phase or three-phase service, 600 volts and below. It is suitable for commercial and industrial premises, as well as public-sector environments (such as universities, hospitals etc).
Not yet but watch this space. The residential imop is currently in its testing phase and is due to be launched soon. Contact us
Global power factor correction only improves the power factor from where the unit is installed back to the electricity supplier. The only electrical savings that are being made are between the global pf correction unit and the meter – and they are often installed next to each other.
Unlike global power factor correction, imops are located on each individual pump. This means that they are able to make electrical savings from each pump throughout the building infrastructure back to the meter. By using imops you would obviate the need for global power factor correction as there would be no additional gain in electrical savings.
Yes. First the motor is ‘sized’ and then an imop is custom-made for that installation. The imop has to be installed by a trained electrician
No. However, imops will help in situations where lights flicker when an inductive load is turned on. The imop helps to provide energy for the inrush of amps, so reducing or eliminating the flicker effect.
All commercial and industrial units have the benefit of a five-year warranty.
Yes. By using an imop to optimise the power factor, the associated penalty charge can be eliminated. In some instances, a rebate may apply. KVA charges will be reduced in accordance with lower amp consumption.