Mar 22, 2017

How correct storage can extend electric motor life

Houghton International
4 min
Think of your business as a machine – there’s a lot of ‘cogs’ required to keep your machine running smoothly. If one of those cogs fails, the...

Think of your business as a machine – there’s a lot of ‘cogs’ required to keep your machine running smoothly. If one of those cogs fails, the process can ground to a sudden halt and result in loss of both time and revenue. Your electric motor is just one of the cogs that you need to ensure is always in good working order.

To ensure your electric motor is well protected in any potential ‘downtime’, the correct storage is essential. Poor care and storage can significantly decrease the lifespan of your electric motors.

Here, motor repair specialist Houghton International explains the optimum storage methods to extend your motor life:

Determine how long it will be stored for
Weathering conditions need to be considered when storing your electric motor – whether you are storing it for less than a month or more, protecting it from weathering should be your main concern. Maintaining its winding temperature, so it remains 5-10°C above the ambient, is vital.

If you plan is to store the motor for longer than one month, there will be other factors you need to consider. For example, you will need to schedule periodic maintenance to ensure it remains up-to-date and protected.

Storage preparation
You should consider the follow factors when planning to put your electric motor in storage:

Indoors or outdoors?
The risk of weather damage can be significantly reduced if you store the motor indoors. It should be stored in a clean, dry and heated space, ideally where not exposed to weathering.

Space limitations can mean that you have to store your electric motor outdoors. Loose tarpaulin should be used to cover the motor when stored in an outdoor area – it should touch the floor to cover it completely, however you must ensure there is room to aid air circulation and minimise condensation.

Avoid storing the motor where there is risk of flooding.

Consider vibration sources
You’ll need to consider potential damage caused by ambient vibrations. You need to protect internals bearings even in low levels of vibration exposure, so try to avoid storing you motor in a space that’s exposed to vibrations from heavy construction equipment, production floors, busy roads and rail lines.

Where this isn’t possible, again due to limited storage space, you should lock the shaft of the motor to prevent damage.

Minimise condensation
Condensation damage to the motor windings can significantly decrease the lifespan of the motor. Keeping control of the temperatures in storage is recommended – around 5-10°C above the ambient. If the temperature is difficult to control, use space heaters or try ‘trickle heating’ one phase of the winding on low voltage. Blowing warm air into the heater can help keep the winding warm too.

With outdoor storage, motors can be exposed to pests like insects, rodents and birds. If these enter the motor, they can damage the winding insulation and block the drain openings and ventilation. You can take precautions to reduce this risk.

Correct insulation resistance
To prevent further issues, ensure that your motor is at the correct temperature for insulation resistance.

Oil versus grease
To prevent corrosion and contamination, it is important to keep motors lubricated when dealing with oiled or greased motors.

Grease-lubricated bearings
When storing your motor, you need to clean out the grease fitting, remove the drain plug and insert compatible grease. After it has been lubricated, we recommend you run the motor for around 30 minutes without the drain plug, to push out any excess or old grease.

When planning to store for many years, the grease will likely harden and block the pipes. In this case, when taking the motor out of storage you will need to take the motor apart and remove the old grease before relubrication.

Oil-lubricated bearings
The oil must be removed before you move the motor to prevent spillage and contamination.

Once transported to your chosen storage space, the motor’s reservoir should then be refilled with compatible oil, as well as rust and corrosion inhibitors. Without overflowing, the oil should cover all the bearings. Again, when removing from storage, the oil should be drained before the motor is moved.

Your electric motor is a vital part of your plant operations. If it’s going to be out of action, proper storage is essential in order to keep it in full working order — saving your business both time and money. Put the effort in now and reap the benefits later.


Read the March 2017 edition of Energy Digital magazine

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Jul 29, 2021

Carbon dioxide removal revenues worth £2bn a year by 2030

Dominic Ellis
4 min
Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades says the UK's National Infrastructure Commission

Carbon dioxide removal revenues could reach £2bn a year by 2030 in the UK with costs per megatonne totalling up to £400 million, according to the National Infrastructure Commission

Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades - although costs are uncertain given removal technologies are in their infancy - and revenues could match that of the UK’s water sector by 2050. The Commission’s analysis suggests engineered removals technologies need to have capacity to remove five to ten megatonnes of carbon dioxide no later than 2030, and between 40 and 100 megatonnes by 2050.

The Commission states technologies fit into two categories: extracting carbon dioxide directly out of the air; and bioenergy with carbon capture technology – processing biomass to recapture carbon dioxide absorbed as the fuel grew. In both cases, the captured CO2 is then stored permanently out of the atmosphere, typically under the seabed.

The report sets out how the engineered removal and storage of carbon dioxide offers the most realistic way to mitigate the final slice of emissions expected to remain by the 2040s from sources that don’t currently have a decarbonisation solution, like aviation and agriculture. 

It stresses that the potential of these technologies is “not an excuse to delay necessary action elsewhere” and cannot replace efforts to reduce emissions from sectors like road transport or power, where removals would be a more expensive alternative.  

The critical role these technologies will play in meeting climate targets means government must rapidly kick start the sector so that it becomes viable by the 2030s, according to the report, which was commissioned by government in November 2020. 

Early movement by the UK to develop the expertise and capacity in greenhouse gas removal technologies could create a comparative advantage, with the prospect of other countries needing to procure the knowledge and skills the UK develops.

The Commission recommends that government should support the development of this new sector in the short term with policies that drive delivery of these technologies and create demand through obligations on polluting industries, which will over time enable a competitive market to develop. Robust independent regulation must also be put in place from the start to help build public and investor confidence.

While the burden of these costs could be shared by different parts of industries required to pay for removals or in part shared with government, the report acknowledges that, over the longer term, the aim should be to have polluting sectors pay for removals they need to reach carbon targets.

Polluting industries are likely to pass a proportion of the costs onto consumers. While those with bigger household expenditures will pay more than those on lower incomes, the report underlines that government will need to identify ways of protecting vulnerable consumers and to decide where in relevant industry supply chains the costs should fall.

Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said taking steps to clean our air is something we’re going to have to get used to, just as we already manage our wastewater and household refuse. 

"While engineered removals will not be everyone’s favourite device in the toolkit, they are there for the hardest jobs. And in the overall project of mitigating our impact on the planet for the sake of generations to come, we need every tool we can find," he said.

“But to get close to having the sector operating where and when we need it to, the government needs to get ahead of the game now. The adaptive approach to market building we recommend will create the best environment for emerging technologies to develop quickly and show their worth, avoiding the need for government to pick winners. We know from the dramatic fall in the cost of renewables that this approach works and we must apply the lessons learned to this novel, but necessary, technology.” 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency estimate a global capacity for engineered removals of 2,000 to 16,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2050 will be needed in order to meet global reduction targets. 

Yesterday Summit Carbon Solutions received "a strategic investment" from John Deere to advance a major CCUS project (click here). The project will accelerate decarbonisation efforts across the agriculture industry by enabling the production of low carbon ethanol, resulting in the production of more sustainable food, feed, and fuel. Summit Carbon Solutions has partnered with 31 biorefineries across the Midwest United States to capture and permanently sequester their CO2 emissions.  

Cory Reed, President, Agriculture & Turf Division of John Deere, said: "Carbon neutral ethanol would have a positive impact on the environment and bolster the long-term sustainability of the agriculture industry. The work Summit Carbon Solutions is doing will be critical in delivering on these goals."

McKinsey highlights a number of CCUS methods which can drive CO2 to net zero:

  • Today’s leader: Enhanced oil recovery Among CO2 uses by industry, enhanced oil recovery leads the field. It accounts for around 90 percent of all CO2 usage today
  • Cementing in CO2 for the ages New processes could lock up CO2 permanently in concrete, “storing” CO2 in buildings, sidewalks, or anywhere else concrete is used
  • Carbon neutral fuel for jets Technically, CO2 could be used to create virtually any type of fuel. Through a chemical reaction, CO2 captured from industry can be combined with hydrogen to create synthetic gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel
  • Capturing CO2 from ambient air - anywhere Direct air capture (DAC) could push CO2 emissions into negative territory in a big way
  • The biomass-energy cycle: CO2 neutral or even negative Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage relies on nature to remove CO2 from the atmosphere for use elsewhere

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