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Q-Sync Motor Performance in Walk-in Coolers and Freezers

For commercial refrigeration applications, the Q-Sync motor - a type of permanent magnet alternating current (PMAC) motor – has recently received attention because of its high efficiency and much-improved power factor compared to traditional Shaded-Pole (SP), Permanent Split Capacitor (PSC) motors, and even newer Electronically Commutated (EC) motors. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Alternative Energy Systems Consulting have conducted field studies of Q-Sync motors for evaporator fans in refrigerated display cases, walk-in coolers, and walk-in freezers in supermarkets in Ohio, Vermont, and California. These studies have suggested significant energy savings potential.

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a large, investor-owned electric utility covering most of northern Illinois. ComEd has over four million customers; primary sectors include residential customers (31% of total energy usage), small commercial and industrial customers (35% of energy usage), and large commercial and industrial customers (25% of energy usage). ComEd provides energy efficiency programs to customers to meet legislatively-mandated savings goals. The program offerings include incentivizing customers on high-efficiency HVAC and refrigeration equipment. New energy efficiency products such as Q-sync are often evaluated by ComEd’s emerging technology (ET) program, which sponsors pilot field studies of commercially available new products on the market.

Under the contract with ComEd, Slipstream has conducted a field study of Q-Sync motors for small commercial refrigeration applications in northern Illinois. This study focused on retrofitting existing walk-in cooler and freezer evaporator fan motors in small convenience stores.