Regular maintenance of motors is a cost-effective way to improve energy performance. With good maintenance, many organisations can increase the operating efficiency of their equipment by 10–15 per cent.[1. Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (undated) Motor Solutions Online Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency 'Motor and system maintenance and operation']

There are a number of steps to ensure motor systems are well maintained, including:[2. UK Carbon Trust (2011) Motors and drives: Introducing energy saving opportunities for business. UK Carbon Trust (Note, this publication is free to access, but users must register first)]

  • Cleaning motors of dirt and grease, particularly fans on fan-cooled motors.
  • Checking for excessive vibration which may be a sign of motor misalignment.[4. See footnote 3]
  • Checking connections or wires that might be loose or damaged.[5. See footnote 3]
  • Keeping motors cool, by providing adequate ventilation, and keeping cooling fins and fan vents clear of dust, lint and fibres.
  • Lubricating motors, bearings, gearboxes and chain drives according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals and lubricant specifications.
  • Ensuring belt drives are correctly tensioned, evenly matched and free of dirt and abrasives.
  • Aligning motor drive shafts with the load.
  • Surveying motors and bearing using an infra-red camera to identify motors which are running hot (and so consuming more energy than necessary).
  • Checking that the load on the motor is not unnecessarily increased by avoidable inefficiencies in the driven system such as blocked air filters or liquid filters, closed dampers, partly closed valves etc.

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