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Calculating what it Costs to Run a Motor

Much of the electrical energy consumed in a typical production operation flows through large-horsepower electric motors. Because of this, it makes sense to gather data on your large motors and figure out how much it costs to run each one. The data gathered is valuable for other purposes too. It allows you to identify motors that are under loaded (and thus costly to operate) or overloaded (and at risk of burnout). This data is also extremely valuable to have on hand when a motor fails and you must quickly decide whether to repair it or replace it. With some types of electrical load lighting loads for example calculating the monthly kWh consumption is straightforward. Whenever these loads are on, they draw a constant amount of power, and nameplate amps and watts normally reflect actual operating conditions. The monthly kWh consumption is simply the units rated power in kW times the number of hours per month that the load is on. With motors, the situation is more complex. The motor nameplate may say Horsepower: 20, Volts: 230, and Amps: 49.0, but the Horsepower and Amps figures on the nameplate are just the motors maximum ratings. They dont indicate what the operating values really are in your situation. The actual current that a motor draws from the line, the power it demands, and the energy it consumes, all relate to the amount of mechanical power that the motor is called upon to deliver through its output shaft. If the motor actually delivers 20 horsepower (hp) of mechanical power, then the motor will draw 49 amps. But under light load, the current drawn by such a motor will be significantly less. DOING A ROUGH CALCULATION If the load on a motor is fairly constant, and if you have access to a voltmeter and clip-on ammeter, it is easy to arrive at rough kVA and kWh figures. For a 3-phase motor the procedure is: 1. Measure all three phase-to-phase voltages, and average them. In our 20 hp motor example, lets say we measure 226, 230 and 234 volts, giving an average of 230 volts. 2. Measure the current in each of the phase wires going to the motor, and average them. We measure 41, 42, and 43 amps, giving an average of 42 amps. 3. Calculate the kVA: kVA = 0.00173 volts amps In our example: kVA = 0.00173 230 42 kVA = 16.7 4. Calculate the kW: kW = kVA PF 0.01 (where PF is the power factor in %) Unfortunately, a voltmeter and clip-on ammeter wont tell us what the PF is. Still, even if we dont have equipment to measure PF directly, we can estimate it: First, calculate % Max Amps actual motor current as a percentage of rated full load current. 100 measured motor amps % Max Amps = max. rated motor amps

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Calculating what it Costs to Run a Motor


In our example, % Max Amps = 100 42 49 = 86 Approximate Motor Power Factor at Various Input Currents

% Max Amps (Input Amps as % of Max Rated Amps)

Second, from the graph above, estimate the motor PF. Do this by choosing the motor power curve closest in value to the rating of your motor. Then, following along that curve, see what the PF is at the % Max Amps value you calculated above. In our example, following the 20 hp curve to a % Max Amps value of 86 gives a PF of approximately 76 per cent. Third, calculate the input power in kW. kW = kVA PF 0.01 (PF in %) And for our example: kW = 16.7 76 0.01 = 12.7 5. Calculate monthly kWh: kWh = kW hours of operation per month Lets assume that our motor operates 333 hours per month. kWh = 12.7 333 = 4230 6. Calculate the cost. First, figure out how much each kWh costs your firm by taking a recent electricity bill and dividing the total dollar amount (including taxes) by the total number of kWh consumed during the billing period. Second, multiply this number times the kWh value calculated in Step 5 above. This will give the approximate monthly cost of running the motor including that motors share of demand charges and taxes as well as its kWh consumption. In our example, if the average cost of a kWh is 11.2 cents, then the cost of running this 20 hp motor would be 4230 0.112, or $474 a month Note: If you see a way to reduce the load on the motor or reduce its running time, you may want to know how much you will save. To perform an accurate cost calculation requires Page 2 of 6

Calculating what it Costs to Run a Motor


taking into account the multiple block structure of some electricity rates. For help with this, contact Mike Proud or Ron Estabrooks at 368-5010 (toll free). UNDERLOADED AND OVERLOADED MOTORS Another reason to make motor measurements is to ensure that the motors in your plant are properly sized for the tasks they perform. Motors that are built into commercial equipment tend to be properly sized, but other motors may not be. For one thing, motors are often specified to have more horsepower than is actually required. These underloaded motors cost more to run than properly loaded ones because they operate on a less efficient part of their load curve. At the other extreme, some motors are called upon to deliver more power than they are designed to deliver. They will do this for a while, but they overheat and eventually fail. A MORE ACCURATE ASSESSMENT In some applications the load on a motor is not constant, but varies greatly (and perhaps unpredictably) from moment to moment and hour to hour. Here, longer-term data gathering is needed, using a device known as a recording wattmeter.

Calculating Motor Run Cost


Posted on November 23, 2011 by Scott

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Calculating what it Costs to Run a Motor


Users often ask how much electrical cost they will experience operating a pump or aerator motor. Simple enough to determine using information found on the motor or manufactures literature and a bill from their electric company. The basic formula to calculate electric cost per hour is; Cost per Hour = Kw x $ per KwHr Where; Kw Motor kilowatt rating. Find on motor label or in manufacturer literature. $ per KwHr How much the electric company charges. Find on a recent bill or call them. Example: A 2 Hp motor has a kilowatt rating of 2.19 Kw. Electric cost is $.09 per KwHr. So, Cost per Hour = 2.19 Kw x $.09/KwHr equals = $.1971 Cost per day, week, month, year, etc then depends on how many hours the motor is operated in that timeframe. Example: The above motor is operated 18 hours per day. So, Cost per Day = 18 hr x $.1971/KwHr = $3.5478 or $3.55 Cost per Week = 18 hr x 7 days x $.1971/KwHr = $24.8346 or $24.83 Lets say the motor plate does not list the Kilowatt Rating nor is lit listed in literature or a web site and a representative is not available to help. You can still come close, but you will have to calculate the Kilowatt Rating using the following formula; The formula varies depending if the motor is 1-Phase or 3-Phase. How do you know? The motor plate should tell you that or your electrician can tell you. 1-Phase: Kw = I x E x Pf / 1000 3-Phase: Kw = I x E x 1.73 x Pf / 1000 Where; Kw Kilowatt Rating I Motor Amperage. Find on motor label plate or measure with an Amp meter. E Motor Voltage. Find on the motor label plate or measure with a Volt meter. Pf Power Factor. Find on motor label plate or estimate with following table. Power Factors: 1/6 Hp .97 1/3 Hp .91 1 Hp .82 2 Hp .78 3 Hp (1-phase) .99 3 Hp (3-phase) .70 5 Hp .79 10 Hp .91
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Calculating what it Costs to Run a Motor


Example: A 2 Hp 1-Phase motor is operating at 230 Volts and has an Amperage draw of 11 Amps. So, Kw = 11 x 230 x .78 / 1000 = 1.97 Kw

This is all theoretical. Only want Ballpark answers. A 75 HP motor at 480 find KW. If single phase 75HP * .746KW/HP = roughly 56 KW If three phase 75 HP * .746KW/HP = roughly 56 KW If three phase and assuming 100 FLA at 480V KW = Volts *Amperes * Power Factor * 1.732 KW = 480 * 100 *Assume 1 (reality .8) *1.732 = 83 KW or (100 KW if power factor is used)

All i want to know is if you generically use the formual for 1 hp = 746 watts do you need to account for phree phase situation by multiplying by 1.732. I understand you are only charged for real power usage (KW) unless you are on a commercial site where your rate structure can ding you for you KVA usage (Low power factor = high ding). Amps doesn't matter you just want KW (I was using a generic voltage and Current to find KW).

How to Calculate 3 Phase Motor Power Consumption


Instructions Understand the difference in how power consumption is calculated for conventional and three-phase power circuits. In a conventional electric circuit, power (in watts) is
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Calculating what it Costs to Run a Motor


equal to the voltage multiplied by the amperage. For a three-phase circuit, watts equal volts times amperes times the square root of 3. Determine the voltage and amperage when the motor is running. Most three-phase motors are large devices and have their own readouts. However, you can measure the current (amperes) in some cases. An ammeter rated for three-phase applications will do the job and works much like an ordinary ammeter. You plug the motor into the ammeter and the ammeter into the power line. Be extremely careful in following manufacturer's instructions, because three-phase applications generally draw a great deal of power. Calculate three-phase motor power consumption by multiplying amps by volts by the square root of three (W = AV(sqrt 3). For example, if the motor is drawing 30 amps at 250 volts, you have 30 x 250 x sqrt 3 (about 1.73) = 12,975 watts). Convert watts to kilowatts by dividing the number of watts by 1,000. Thus, a threephase electric motor drawing 12,975 watts is consuming 12.975 kilowatts. For one hour, this equals 12.975 kilowatt/hours

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