FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

QM Power leads the industry with its superior performance, efficiency, reliability and customer service. We listen to you and want to earn your business. The questions below have been asked often by sales, engineering or purchasing departments, and we hope they address the majority of your interests. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

 

QM Power’s solutions deliver unparalleled efficiency and power factor gains, helping our customers meet or exceed the next wave of Energy Star or DOE minimum efficiency requirements today and provide end users with the highest energy savings possible, and at the same cost as that for lower performing conventional Electronically Commutated Motors (ECMs).

 

QM Power’s principal technology platforms include its Q-Sync™ motors, which feature an innovative electronic controller, and its Parallel Path Magnetic Technology™ (PPMT™), utilized in a variety of motor, generator and actuator designs, featuring innovative flux concentration magnetic topologies.
A calculator to determine your potential energy and emissions savings can be found here. In addition, inefficiency in motors is given off in excess heat . End users have indicated that the reduction of heat with our more efficient motors can further reduce load in their refrigeration systems and often doubles the implied savings.

 

 

Yes, QM Power’s solutions have been designed to fit into the majority of OEM and retrofit applications. With front and back mount Euro, Hussmann, GE and foot mounting alternatives, QM Power’s solution can be dropped in without additional product engineering required.
Q-Sync can be purchased from a sales representative of the company. Contact sales@qmpower.com. The company is currently working with leading distributors to carry its products as well.
Yes, Q-Sync motors are quieter in operation than ECMs as they do not require multiple power conversions. QM Power is also working with leading fan blade providers to develop even quieter solutions.
The motor industry has historically been slow to adopt new energy efficient technologies. A significant part of the reason is that end users were focused primarily on upfront cost rather than energy efficiency despite the fact that greater than 95% of a motor’s lifetime cost to the end user is typically from the electricity it consumes, not the purchase price. As a result, when the purchasing departments pressed hard for lower upfront pricing, the designs incorporated cheaper, lower efficiency solutions. It wasn’t until California outlawed shaded pole motors that end users realized just how much money they could save with higher efficiency motors, and the market has now reached a tipping point where there is a better understanding of the economic trade-offs by OEMs and end users and a meaningful shift to higher efficiency designs. It was also not entirely clear that solution-Sync would work until it was actually prototyped and tested. QM Power is using its considerable lead in development time to build a formidable picket fence around its intellectual property in the space.
ECMs work by first rectifying AC to DC and then synthetically creating an AC waveform that equates to and produces the desired motor speed; both of these processes result in losses and lower efficiency, as well as more noise. In contrast, a Q-Sync electronic controller does not need additional electrical input once the motor has reached its full synchronous speed. In time, Q-Sync should replace ECMs as the incumbent highest efficiency solution for commercial refrigeration evaporator fan motors and several other applications.
Synchronous motors are not new but the electronic requirements to start them and get them up to operational speed have been prohibitively expensive in smaller power designs. The primary need for an electronic control circuit in both the synchronous and ECM designs is that neither motor is self-starting (as are the lower efficiency induction motors they are replacing). A Q-Sync motor achieves efficiency improvements using permanent magnets in a synchronous motor topology, which is inherently more efficient because of the use of permanent magnets and a sinusoidal AC waveform (i.e., direct from-the-grid power). This design is combined with an innovative, simpler and lower cost electronic starter/control circuit, resulting in less power consumption than in ECM motors even though they are available at a comparable price.
Yes, during start up the Q-Sync solution is electronically commutating the motor. Once the motor reaches its designed synchronous speed, the motor runs directly from the incoming AC power. Synchronous motors are more efficient and have better power factors than ECMs so we anticipate Q-Sync becoming eligible for more attractive future rebates from utilities and being specified over conventional ECMs by OEMs in the future.
Technically, Q-Sync motors utilize electronic commutation during start up, thus qualifying Q-Sync for all ECM prescriptive rebates. However, given the efficiency and power factor advantages of Q-Sync, QM Power is discussing the likelihood of utilities creating entirely new rebate programs to reflect the fact that utilizing Q-Sync technology would be the equivalent of taking one of every two ECM motors off the grid.
Q-Sync is UL certified for use in both the US and Canada and will soon also have CE approval.
In cases where the end user is using their fan motors on a fixed speed basis (which is a significant majority of the actual usage even if the motor has variable speed capability) and it is properly specified for the application, the Q-Sync will have higher efficiency than any other fan motor offering.
The Q-Sync motor can utilize any type of fan blade. The air flow, however, can be different if your existing motor is operating at 1550 rpm or some other speed versus Q-Sync’s synchronous line frequency of 1800rpm. QM Power can quickly determine what pitch fan blade can provide the substantially equivalent air flow if you provide our team with your incumbent solution.
QM Power is currently developing alternative, multi and variable speed alternatives. Please contact us with your potential needs and opportunities.
QM Power’s 9-12W Q-Sync product is currently designed to operate at 60 Hz. QM Power is also designing versions that can be operated at 50 Hz or either 50/60 Hz. Please let us know what your requirements or preferences are.
The 9-12W Q-Sync product is currently designed to operate at 120V and has an operable range between 95-140V. QM Power is also designing versions that can be operated at 240V or either 120/240V . Please let us know what your requirements or preferences are.
QM Power is currently ramping capacity as its initial production is already sold out. Samples are still available and larger volumes can be ordered with 75 day lead times. As we grow, we anticipate having the shortest lead times in the industry to further demonstrate our commitment to customer service.
QM Power has spent a lot of time with customers discussing reliability issues and requirements and has engineered its products to exceed most industry standards and in particular the top 3 most commonly cited reasons for failures in the field: moisture, electrical surges and bearings. We have designed our products to have very high moisture protection with an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP65. The unique configuration of Q-Sync’s coils intrinsically allows for much greater surge protection than that found in ECM designs since the field coils are energized before the electronic controller is. Finally, QM Power also uses the highest quality bearings available in its designs. The combination of these features allows us to provide a best in class 2-year warranty. QM Power’s solutions have been UL approved and successfully completed accelerated aging/cycling tests simulating decades of use.
Yes, because we believe our product quality is paramount to our success and that it will significantly differentiate us from our competition. QM Power is providing a best in class 2-year warranty versus the industry standard 12 months offered by our competitors.
Q-Sync eliminates the need for more expensive electronics. While Q-Sync’s superior performance and reliability warrant premium pricing, QM Power is offering Q-Sync at the same price as ECMs to accelerate customer adoption. Q-Sync’s reduced electronic components and use of non-rare earth magnets further mitigates supply chain risks for our customers.
Using Q-Sync will improve OEM’s product offerings without increasing costs, thus allowing for potentially increased prices and margins; and incorporating them into designs can help reduce future engineering costs to meet or exceed frequently changing minimum efficiency requirements. Retrofit specialists and their customers would benefit from reduced energy costs at the same price as ECM solutions with easy to install drop in replacements that may be eligible for more generous utility rebates.
When reviewing customer feedback and requirements, the primary complaint among OEMs and retrofit contractors was that they desire better customer service from their motor vendors. In addition to providing a superior product at the same cost as our competitors, QM Power wants to provide a better customer experience, and we will work tirelessly to gain your trust and loyalty because we understand that our success is predicated on our ability to satisfy the needs of our customers.
The Department of Energy will likely continue to raise the bar on minimum efficiency standards as long as new technologies can be affordably introduced to the marketplace. While there are often multiple alternatives to improve efficiency, the motor can often be one of the more significant drivers to achieve energy savings. Switching to Q-Sync solutions now may allow users to achieve energy efficiency levels high enough to preclude the need to reengineer their designs in the future. Doing so now will save OEMs and end users significant time and money in the future.

 

Energy Star ratings are awarded to the highest efficiency solutions. Utilizing Q-Sync could make the difference between achieving or not achieving the Energy Star rating, and without a cost increase over current OEM solutions.
QM Power wants to provide its customers with the best solutions. Please contact us with your potential needs and opportunities.
The Q-Sync motor delivers its best performance at synchronous speeds. With a 60 Hz power source the optimal operation is at 1800 rpm. QM Power can quickly determine what pitch fan blade can provide the substantially equivalent air flow of your current solution if you provide our team with your incumbent solution.
Yes, Q-Sync is UL certified for use in both the US and Canada and will soon have CE approval.
QM Power is working with several OEMs, retrofit contractors, utilities and end users to demonstrate Q-Sync in their applications. Please contact us at sales@qmpower.com with your interest to participate in our project with the Department of Energy.
Power factor is an amps-related measure of how efficiently a motor/appliance uses the electricity supplied by the grid; it is a key component in calculating how much electricity a power provider must supply to meet demand from the grid. Q-Sync motors have power factors approaching unity, or about 50% greater than that of ECMs. As many utilities add surcharges to bills for industrial and commercial users with low power factors, Q-Sync offers additional savings potential for utilities and adopters that are unavailable using ECMs.

 

 

Using Q-Sync technology instead of ECMs could effectively be the equivalent of taking one of every two motors off the grid. Using Q-Sync technology instead of shaded pole motors could effectively be the equivalent of taking five of every six motors off the grid. The amp draw in common applications can be as much as 70% less than that used in other market leading ECM solutions. These benefits are expected to prompt utilities to inevitably provide more generous rebates for Q-Sync compared to ECMs going forward.
QM Power is working with the Department of Energy to demonstrate and accelerate the use of its Q-Sync designs in commercial refrigeration applications. A flyer describing the DOE program can be found here. QM Power is working with utilities, retrofit installers and end users to assess and implement rebate and on-bill financing opportunities to reduce or eliminate the upfront cost of replacing lower performing shaded pole, PSC or ECM incumbent solutions. Additional information on these rebate programs is available at www.dsireusa.org. This Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 

Established in 1995 and funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of North Carolina State University’s NC Clean Energy Technology Center. In addition, many utilities provide opportunities to secure efficiency improvement-related rebates even if formal programs are not in place if energy savings can be quantified and proved. QM Power will work with customers to identify the highest potential rebates and most favorable financing to install its superior solutions.
QM Power's PPMT is an enabling electric motor, generator and/or actuator technology that provides higher power and torque density and higher efficiency.
Conventional electric motors, actuators and generators operate with field coils (electro-magnets) and/or magnets arranged in “series.” Such conventional designs, regardless of how many magnets or field coils are used, produce just a single flux path and a magnetic field with one unit of force created along that flux path.

 

QM Power’s patented PPMT motors, actuators and generators create parallel flux paths due to the unique way the magnets are placed in the device and how the field coils are used to direct their magnetic flux. The result is four times the force from a given electrical input using the same electromechanical components. PPMT improves performance by increasing the flux density up to the material limits of the magnetic steel (up to twice that of conventional designs). PPMT utilizes a simple but novel design to generate more power from the same electro-mechanical components. PPMT actuators can remain in “locked” position without additional electrical input. PPMT designs are material agnostic and benefit from the development of higher performance permanent magnets, magnetic steels, advanced winding techniques and configurations and existing and custom control alternatives.
Conventional motors and generators have series magnetic paths. A field coil (electromagnet) directly attracts a second magnetic field or ferrous pole. Whether AC or DC, when the field coil is off, no torque is generated.

 

In PPMT motors, the field coil’s primary purpose is to control permanent magnet flux location. Some field coil flux generates torque but, at optimal running conditions the majority of torque is produced by the change in the permanent magnet flux path. For portions of each cycle (~1/3 to 1/2 of the 360° cycle), the field coil does not require electric input from the power supply yet torque continues to be generated over the entire cycle. Since the additional force is created with permanent magnets, little additional input power is required, thus increasing efficiency. An illustrative example is shown below:

 

As with most great discoveries and inventions, the scientific principals and physics equations behind QM Power's fundamental magnetic circuit had existed for decades but had not been fully implemented in other electro-mechanical devices and commercialized. In part, this was because it required a completely different geometry than existing designs and most motor and generator designers had been focused on incremental changes to take advantage of other existing knowns in conventional manufacturing processes. It wasn't until Joe Flynn, QM Power's Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, was working on overcoming a problem in the magnetic circuit of a more conventional design that he began to wonder if he could actually utilize the squaring of the force obtained when the flux paths from 2 permanent magnets traveled across an air gap in parallel in a new design that did not require opposing magnetic fields. He first proved the principal in a unique linear design and then over a period of years worked out the geometries in rotational designs while securing the intellectual property with patents.

 

In addition, the economics have been dramatically improved by the significant reduction in cost and increasing speeds and precision available from better materials, including those that could conduct higher levels of magnetic flux, and control electronics technologies. As with most inventions, they are more obvious in hindsight than when considering radical new designs on a blank sheet of paper with just physics equations. QM Power’s new magnetic circuit is allowing for an entirely new class of flux concentration and hybrid permanent magnet-switch reluctance machines to emerge and is working with leading development partners in each of its target markets to develop, secure and commercialize the technologies for broad scale commercialization for numerous applications. QM Power’s PPMT is patented, with additional patents-pending; its initial patents have over 100 citations by global machine designers and Fortune 100 companies.
QM Power’s Q-Sync motors do not currently utilize PPMT. However, QM Power is considering the development of products utilizing both Q-Sync to improve efficiency and power factor as well as PPMT to improve power density.