Efficiency Testing of Electrical Actuator-Based Systems

The mechanical world around us is becoming increasingly electrified. This is clearly evident in consumer goods, public transportation, elevators, escalators, vehicles, various pumps, drives and valves used in industrial equipment. In these systems, electrical actuators are rapidly replacing hydraulics power sources or others.

Generally, electric actuators use a single-phase or three-phase electric motor with a gear-box to create the torque required for operating the moving elements. The actuators may be pumping liquids, such as water, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, oil, or natural gas, or merely driving a mechanical system. Such electrical motors sometimes consume 30% of the total energy consumed by a system, when in standby mode. This wasted energy adds up, substantially increasing both the operating costs and maintenance costs of electrically-actuated devices.

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Three-phase drives, like the one shown here, are taking the place of mechanical actuators in many industrial applications.