Energy savings, sustainability propel use of low power ac drives

Globalization is driving the use of advanced automation and energy-saving equipment worldwide, says ARC, and this will result in an increased use of low power ac drives.


Recovering from what ARC Advisory Group calls the deepest global downturn in recent history, sales of low power ac drives are expected to resume steady growth over the next four years, propelled by three factors: growing investments in infrastructure and manufacturing industries worldwide, additional requirements to increase the energy supply to keep up with rising demand, and pressure from industry to deploy sustainability solutions that reduce costs by saving energy.

“Emerging economies, such as those in Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC countries) and Eastern Europe, will again have increasing consumer demand from the growing middle class, more investments pouring into new infrastructures, and the need for producing and saving energy to cope with rising energy demands and costs in the future,” according to ARC Senior Analyst Himanshu Shah, the principal author of ARC’s “Low Power AC Drives Worldwide Outlook.”

Shah says manufacturers continually face challenges to raise productivity, lower product costs, reduce plant operating expenses, and increase return on investment to compete globally. Saving energy will be the key component for most organizations to be successful and profitable as energy costs are expected to rise. Consequently, he expects capital investments for low power ac drives will grow across many industries, as these solutions simultaneously save energy and raise productivity of machinery by providing better and more precise speed control.

Globalization is driving the use of advanced automation and energy-saving equipment worldwide, says Shah, and this will directly result in an increased use of low power ac drives. In addition, requirements for increased safety, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and energy savings are substantially impacting the design and capabilities of low power ac drives.

Regional scenarios

Asia’s strong demand for energy created turmoil in oil pricing. Crude oil prices that reached nearly $150 per barrel in mid 2008 were back down to moderate levels in the early part of 2009. The world, however, got the taste of very high oil prices, which created a major awareness of the importance of new sources of energy, alternative energies, and energy savings; and the importance of the use of low power ac drives. Energy scarcity is driving initiatives for energy saving and energy production which will boost the deployment of low power ac drives.

While every world region will experience growth in the low power ac drives market over the forecast period (through 2014), there are significantly different factors affecting this market growth. A brief description regarding the economic scenarios for each major world area is covered in Shah's report.

In addition to the quantitative assessment of the low power ac drive market, the report provides an analysis of the market and strategies of leading suppliers that will impact this business in the future.

- See the Control Engineering Motors and Drives Channel

- Edited by Renee R. Bassett for Control Engineering,

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