Often, demonstrations on the floor of shows like National Manufacturing Week emphasize
features that aren’t necessarily critical in the real world. But one facet of
Baldor Electric Co.’s OptiGen adjustable speed generator is important in both
locations. It’s much smaller than competitive products and it’s quieter.
That’s just as important at most of the sites where the generator will be
used. Size benefits of the compact unit will vary, but it can trim size
requirements by up to 50%.
While size is important in many fields, OptiGen’s biggest advance is the use
of electronics to adjust the system’s motor to match the power requirements as
they change. The motor in the OptiGen generator will speed up when power
requirements rise, providing more power. In normal operation, that motor spins
at 1,800 rpm. But when motors start or other temporary power demands arise, the
motor can increase speed to up to 2,500 rpm, which also increases its output.
Since most high power demands are relatively short, this technique is quite
effective, Baldor spokesmen say.
Adjusting speed in this fashion saves energy and lets users employ smaller
generators. It can also reduce acoustic noise by as much as 25%. There are also
substantial energy savings over fixed systems, which often have to produce twice
the power that’s normally needed in order to meet peak requirements.
Baldor’s OptiGen runs at varying