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Whitepaper on improving gearmotor efficiency out now

A new whitepaper on improving gearmotor efficiency addresses the relatively untapped energy savings available by using the proper application with fractional horsepower electric motors and gearmotors, according to the writers, Bison Gear & Engineering Corp.

The whitepaper, available online now, was written to answer the problem that most efforts in electric motor efficiency so far have only focused on approximately 10 per cent of the total electric motor population — motors of one horsepower (746 watts) or greater, say the writers.

“We wanted to outline the fact that the energy savings to be had with even small fractional horsepower gearmotors can offer relatively short payback times for users,” said Bison Gear vice president, strategic planning and marketing, John Morehead.

“This brief report identifies the scope of the problem and offers some practical application solutions that can help not only gearmotor specifying engineers, but users as well.”

A Bison Gear press release says that according to the US Department of Energy (USDOE), electric motors consume over two-thirds of the electricity used in domestic manufacturing and almost one-quarter of America’s total electric energy consumption. The USDOE also estimates only 12 per cent of users consider the benefits of lower energy operating costs for more efficient electric motor systems.

“Billions of fractional horsepower (less than one horsepower or 746 watts) electric motors are used in vent fans, ice dispensers, vacuums, furnace blowers, garage door openers, and thousands of other consumer applications. Millions more small motors and gearmotors are found in thousands of commercial and industrial applications involving pumping, dispensing, cooling, conveying, mixing and every facet of automation,” said the release.

“For example, to operate a 50 percent efficient 1/8 horsepower (93 watt) gearmotor in Illinois or California, at a 10 cents per kilowatt hour commercial rate, the annual cost will be $164.25. By comparison, the more energy-efficient alternative at 80 percent efficiency, would only incur $102.20 in operating expense, yielding annual savings of $62.05 to the user over the life of the machine.”

The ‘Improving Gearmotor Efficiency’ whitepaper can be downloaded for free from Bison Gear’s web site,

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