2012 Review: Power market must get smart
With more than 200 million motors featuring a power range below 750W, the opportunity for energy savings through the use of variable speed control is very significant, writes Reinhold Theurer, v-p European sales at International Rectifier
As the drive for innovative energy efficient applications continues, power management is now at the forefront of the engineer’s mind.
Power levels and power density requirements continue to increase for many types of end equipment as systems are expected to deliver more functionality.
I believe exciting developments for the coming year will be seen in the automotive arena as ‘smart’ cars offer increasing intelligence and support the driver with outstanding assistance systems.
The electronic content of these quite complex systems, which are integrated into the passenger cars, are quite exciting for us as a power semiconductor supplier and drive new requirements and demands to this sector.
We see the trend for increased electronics happening now so it is important to provide highly efficient power management devices that allow a resourceful use of the car’s energy otherwise it would be counterproductive to the efforts of making vehicles more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.
Another segment of importance for power electronics is the home appliance and industrial markets.
With more than 200 million motors featuring a power range below 750W, the opportunity for energy savings through the adoption of electronically controlled variable speed solutions is very significant.
In fact, 55% of the total electric energy produced today is used to run motors of every size, shape and efficiency.
Since variable speed drives can save as much as 70% of the energy costs by varying the speed of the load, inevitably, new energy efficiency standards for fans and pumps demand the adoption of electronic controlled motors.