Southern California Utility Report Highlights QM Power Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor as 37% More Efficient than ECMs

An independent report published at the Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council by San Diego Gas and Electric company (SDG&E) reviewed the efficiency of Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors in supermarket refrigeration applications and found it to save 37% more energy than an Electrically Commutated Motor (ECM). QM Power is the only motor manufacturer with the patent for this technology and currently selling in the market today.

The full report is available for download at the following link:  Direct Download PDF

Synopsis from the ETCC website:

In support of California’s strategic plan to accelerate the penetration of energy efficiency technologies, AESC executed a study of a new fan motor technology with funding, guidance, and management by San Diego Gas & Electric Emerging Technologies. The primary goals for this project were to determine the energy savings and demand reduction of a permanent magnet synchronous motor with an innovative control design used in supermarket refrigerated cases.

A field trial comprising 9-12W fan retrofits was conducted at a San Diego supermarket. Baseline and retrofit data were collected for 35 and 33 days, respectively, without altering any other system conditions. A baseline of primarily ECM-driven fans was replaced with PMSM-driven fans. Interval measurements were taken with Dent ElitePro energy data loggers at each fan circuit breaker and with HOBO T/RH loggers in a sample of the cases. Additionally, power and airflow spot measurements were taken at individual fans during installation.

The 173 fan retrofits showed clear and consistent improvements in power factor and consumption without negatively impacting case operation. The measurements were used to establish annual energy savings estimates and demand reduction. The host site realized a 36% demand reduction of 1.51 kW and an annualized 37% energy savings of 16,665 kWh. The saved energy includes both reduction in fan energy consumption and the reduced refrigeration system energy necessary to reject the refrigeration load of the fans, themselves. Additionally, since only 173 of the estimated 218 fans with 9-12W motors were replaced, a full replacement of all fans of this size could have approximately 26% more savings. Targeting other smaller and larger size fans with newer PMSM models could further increase savings.

Each fan was shown to save about 73.6 kWh per year relative to baseline with a reduced demand of 8.5 Watts. This resulted in the estimated net present values and payback for an early retirement retrofit shown below based on the best available range of expected pricing.

  • NPV per Fan [$]: $118-$135
  • ROI: 2.8-3.4
  • Payback [Years]: 4.6-5.6 [before utility rebates]

With an idealized 100% market penetration of the 9-12W model, extrapolation to the California retail food segment suggests the statewide savings potential of this technology is 189 GWh site energy, 17.2 MW demand reduction, and 66,540 metric tons of annual CO2 emissions. The effectiveness, market potential, and ease of replacement suggest that this technology should be considered for further study or immediate rebate program inclusion.

The original link can be found at the ETCC website: (Login may be required) Link
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