World’s First Medium Voltage, Speed-Controlled Motor Will Facilitate a Low Carbon Society

New MV Titanium compact motor and control concept offers game-changing savings of up to 40 percent for energy-intensive sectors looking to slash emissions, like power, renewables, and mining, says Heikki Vepsäläinen, President, ABB Large Motors and Generators.

  • The new MV Titanium compact motor and control concept offers game-changing savings of up to 40 percent for energy-intensive sectors
    The new MV Titanium compact motor and control concept offers game-changing savings of up to 40 percent for energy-intensive sectors

Heavyweight industries like power, renewables, processing, mining, cement and many others are undergoing a pivotal shift towards low- or no-carbon operation. These sectors all come with their own decarbonization challenges, which require specific solutions for their fans, pumps, compressors, and other mission critical equipment. A common thread connecting them is their reliance on large, megawatt-scale motors. In fact, these motors account for 10 percent of the world’s total electricity demand. So, enhancing their efficiency could significantly reduce emissions and help industries decarbonize more effectively.

Energy efficiency measures, such as speed-controlled motors, have gained significant traction in low voltage applications. But very large motors have so far been left behind due to initial cost and complexity, with only 10-15 percent globally estimated to be currently connected to a drive.

ABB has addressed this challenge by developing a groundbreaking concept — the MV Titanium, the world’s first controlled medium voltage (MV) motor in the 1-5-megawatt (MW) range to incorporate a variable speed drive (VSD) in one easy-to-specify and -install package.  

Saving on capital costs

The MV Titanium concept addresses the main perceived obstacles related to installing a drive with a large motor: not only the initial cost of a separate drive, but also its associated electrical house (e-house), transformers, switchgear and cabling. These factors all multiply the capital cost and increase the complexity of installation, especially on existing sites where space is at a premium. 

Energy savings of up to 40 percent

With this new integrated concept, it is now cost-effective and straightforward to install a perfectly matched motor and drive, with increased control, monitoring, and connectivity in a single package. It is the perfect upgrade solution for existing direct-on-line (DOL) motors. 
This all-in-one concept will offer energy savings of up to 40 percent for pumps, compressors, fans and other applications across multiple industries. For operators, the payback period is compelling — typically 1-3 years. Furthermore, the potential global savings in energy costs and reduced CO2 emissions are huge. If we retrofitted the entire installed base of an estimated one million motors, it would be like taking just over 1000 coal-fired power stations offline.

Easy to install and operate

Rather than specifying and ordering the motor and drive separately, the MV Titanium concept optimizes the entire electro-mechanical powertrain as one integrated unit. This is not simply combining existing components, but a new way of converting electricity into motion more efficiently. 

Simplifying deployment further, setup and commissioning is all completed during factory testing before delivery, as a single integrated and pre-configured solution.

Redefining large motors 

As the sole manufacturer of the entire system and the market leading supplier, we can ensure high efficiency, reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety. We have leveraged ABB’s 140 years of motor design expertise, 50 years of drives expertise, and best-in-class R&D capability to create the MV Titanium — and it’s truly a next-generation innovation. 

It has built-in analytics, monitoring capabilities and system interfaces. It can seamlessly integrate with existing industrial environments while providing software libraries for in-depth process optimisation.

Beyond its technical progress, this next-generation motor concept represents a significant step towards a more sustainable future. It puts industry well on the road to changing large, fixed speed motors to fully electrically controlled motors, one by one.