The Pros and Cons of Synchronous Belts
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, $30 billion annually is spent annually on the electricity powering motor-driven systems. Many of the 40 million electric motors in operation are not running at optimum efficiency. Approximately one-third of the 40 million electric motors in the industrial and commercial sectors use belt drives. If the efficiency of these systems were improved by a mere 5%, the facilities would see tremendous energy savings. Such savings are not out of reach. Synchronous belt drives operate so efficiently that they enable savings across a variety of industrial applications.
There are two types of energy losses in B-belts not inherent in Synchronous Belts, torque loss and speed loss. V-belts depend on friction as they are part of a wedging mechanical system and therefore have greater energy loss due to heat generation than a synchronous drive. Another loss comes from the energy required to bend a belt around a sprocket or sheave. The thinner cross section of a synchronous belt requires less energy to bend than the thicker cross section of a V-belt. Finally, there is a speed loss characteristic of V-belt drives. A positive tooth/groove Synchronous Belt engagement prevents slipping, while V-belt drives, no matter how well maintained, will exhibit some amount of slippage.
Factoring in energy savings, maintenance savings and reduced downtime, payback from converting to synchronous belt drives is typically much less than one year.
There are some special installation requirements for Synchronous Belt drives. Please contact Cii Service to determine if synchronous belts are right for your system.