Dillon Govender, sector specialist in public sector business development at Zest WEG

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 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 Dillon. “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.”

Five-year warranty

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 the company provides with the motors. Motors are also equipped to withstand the demanding conditions of operating within the water sector. 

“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,” Dillon explains.  Staying abreast of technology reduces the cost of ownership as the main running cost is that of electricity. 

The energy savings when using the WEG IE4 super premium efficiency motors reduces Erwat’s 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. 

No modifications needed

“In addition to reducing energy consumption, these WEG LV motors reduce the carbon emissions related to electricity generation in South Africa,” adds Dillon. 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 they 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,” Dillon concludes. “This means that these operations can no longer afford unplanned downtime.”


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