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ERWAT pursues greater efficiency with WEG Motors

Nov 12, 2023

WEG premium efficiency electric motors from Zest WEG are assisting South African water utility ERWAT to respond positively to rising electricity costs at its water treatment plants.

The roll out of WEG’s reliable W22 low voltage (LV) motors at ERWAT’s plants will also contribute to improving the general performance of the plants, according to Dillon Govender, sector specialist in public sector business development at Zest WEG.

“Our WEG W22 motors are constantly improving in terms of their energy efficiency,” says Govender. “Not only have we made our WEG IE3 top premium efficiency motors in this range available to the local market, but now also offer our WEG IE4 super premium efficiency motors at no extra cost.”

Key to ERWAT’s decision to install these motors was Zest WEG’s local assembly plant and high levels of local inventory which ensures quick and reliable supply. Another factor was the standard five-year warranty that Zest WEG provides with the motors. The company also equips the motors to withstand the demanding conditions of operating within the water sector, he says.

“It is important that our W22 motors are readily available ‘off the shelf’ to ERWAT, so there is no delay in delivering the equipment as and when they need it,” he explains. “Our warranty provides peace of mind, giving ERWAT the certainty that these motors will provide maximum uptime for greater plant productivity.”

Govender highlights the value of staying abreast with energy efficiency gains in motor technology as a high proportion of the total cost of ownership is the running cost – which is mainly the cost of electricity.

He notes that the energy savings when using the WEG IE4 super premium efficiency motors reduce their payback times to as little as a year. From this perspective alone, it does not make commercial sense to keep repairing older, less efficient motors.

“In addition to reducing energy consumption, these WEG LV motors also reduce the carbon emissions related to electricity generation in South Africa,” he says. Migrating from the W22 IE3 model to the W22 IE4 is also seamless, as the critical dimensions do not change. The WEG W22 IE4 super premium efficiency motors are designed according to the DIN EN 50347 standard which means it can replace an IE1, IE2 or IE3 motor with similar frame sizes, and as a result no modifications are required when mounting the motors to the base plate.

To operate effectively in a water treatment plant, the motors must also withstand the wet, damp or corrosive environment. This could require solutions ranging from the use of specialised epoxy paint and internal tropicalisation measures, to the supply of canopies for vertical applications.

“Water treatment plants in South Africa also have to contend with the disruption of regular loadshedding, which can reduce their ability to treat the required volumes each day,” says Govender. “This means that these operations can no longer afford unplanned downtime.”

He concludes that the installation of WEG’s W22 LV motors will ensure not only higher energy efficiency, but also greater reliability for smoother and trouble free pumping.

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