Nedap driver technology helps drive sustainability

Sustainability is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today, and solutions such as Nedap’s driver technology hold the key to tackling the issue headon. 

 

Nedap UV drivers with high Power Factor and low THD, reduce up to 97% of the power grid losses, compared to others in the industry. This adds up to the 2% energy saving due to the high efficiency of the Nedap lamp driver itself.

Portrait of Tonnie Telgenhof Oude Koehorst
Co-author: Tonnie Telgenhof Oude Koehorst (Nedap)
17 April 2023
How can technology help drive sustainability?

Sustainability is an increasingly important factor for consumers, investors and businesses alike. According to research, 85% of investors considered environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors in their decisions (Gartner, 2020). Nowadays, 85% of global consumers said they have shifted towards a more sustainable buying behavior in the past five years (Business Wire, 2021). Embracing sustainability is not only necessary but can also boost profits by as much as 60% through efficiency improvements (McKinsey, 2020). Companies may want to boost their sustainability credentials, but they need to do so in a way that not only doesn’t impact productivity negatively but can improve it too. The key to doing this is having the right technology in place. This is where Nedap’s driver technology comes in. 

Example of overheating
The power challenge

Ultra violet (UV) low and mediumpressure lamps are crucial components for water treatment and curing applications. The lamp drivers that power these UV lamps, can have a positive influence on the overall sustainability of the system. For instance, choosing well specified drivers with regard to efficiency, Power Factor and THD, specially at high power installations. Implementing high quality drivers reduces the carbon footprint of purification plants or curing equipment significantly.

 

Image: Overheated neutral

Example of overheating

We often see systems that use electricity in a way that is not always best compatible with conventional power grids, and this can cause additional losses. The impacts of lower Power Factor and higher harmonic currents and voltages, are increased losses in power from infrastructure such as transformers and power lines, as well as overheating and degradation of conductors, insulating material and other connected equipment.

 

Image: Thermal images show uneven heating in the windings of a Three Phase Step-down Transformer due to Harmonics. 

Uneven heating
Extending the lifespan of components

But not only do these compatibility issues lead to less efficiency in the short term. As more power is consumed than should have been otherwise necessary, it also gives components a shorter lifespan. It means they have to be replaced sooner. This is both unfavorable for the environment and for a company’s profits.  

It is for this reason that increasing the efficiency and lower the THD of UV lamp drivers is vital to helping regulate this use of power, leading to greater efficiency in the way electricity is consumed while also extending the lifespan of components. This has long been the ambition of many manufacturers, but the driver technology has not always been up to the task. Nedap has changed all that.  

Nedap office during the summer
Compliance pressures

Committing to sustainability is not just a moral and financial imperative for companies, it is something they will increasingly have to adhere to in order to comply with legislation. The European Commission has introduced the corporate directive as part of the EU’s Green New Deal, which aims to make the EU carbon neutral by 2050. On 5 January 2023 the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) entered into force in Europe. This directive requires companies to report on how sustainability issues impact their business and how their operations affect people and the planet.

At Nedap we care about the interaction between technology and sustainability.

In 2022, the UK also enacted two mandatory disclosure laws, that require certain companies to provide climate-related financial disclosures in their strategic report. Similarly, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also proposed new rules to enhance the regulatory framework for disclosures.

Moreover, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has passed a vote on new global climate and sustainability disclosure rules, which will come into effect in 2024. And while it will be up to individual jurisdictions or countries to decide whether the standards should be mandatory, the ISSB has said it will push for them to be adopted globally.  

These developments illustrate that sustainability will be one of the defining issues facing companies in the coming years, and it is no longer something that can be avoided.   

More efficient technology

Nedap’s driver technology combines high efficiency power conversion with peerlesscontrol for optimized UV output and lamp life. Recommended by major UV lamp manufacturers, Nedap’s drivers power lamps effectively, providing solutions for lowpressure and mediumpressure, and LED lamps. Nedap’s lamp drivers also provideflexible stepless dimming to help build more energyefficient systems that provide a significant boost to the environment 

New York City at sunset
Low-pressure lamps for energy efficient systems

Intelligent solutions for low pressure UV lamps combine high-efficiency electrical power to UV conversion with intelligent controls and pre-programmed lamp characteristic settings for optimal lamp life, as well as for HO- and Amalgam lamps.  

New York City at sunset

Nedap’s technology has been used in New York City’s largest UV drinking water purification plant, which provides 8.3 billion liters of clean water to the more than nine million inhabitants each day. In this plant 12,000 240 W Low pressure UV lamps are powered by Nedap –Assuming 50% of the lamps are on at 80% power–. An increase of 5% efficiency in the UV lamp drivers equals 590.114 kWh reduction per year. This translates into a reduction of 118.028 kg in CO2 emissions and annual savings of $63,440 –Based on Industrial energy price of $ 0,1075 per kWh and € 0,150 per kWh–. 

Medium pressure lamps and reduction in power grid losses

Medium pressure lamps are widely used in different industrial technologies such as printing for ink curing. Nedap’s extensive field of experience with a large number of lamp drivers paired with medium-pressure lamps has proven high product reliability and increased lamp life. Additionally, these lamp drivers also help UV system integrators to create more sustainable solutions by reducing the loss in power grids.  

Printer using Nedap UV

Power Factor and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) impact the ‘real electric power’ that is converted into UV light. UV lamp drivers with a low Power Factor and high THD consume up to 9,5 % more energy. This adds up to the energy loss due to low efficiency of the lamp driver itself.  

For instance, if a UV printer has a total lamp power of 129,6 kW (6 lamps of 21,6 kw) and operates 4000 hours annually, the total power draw should be 518,400 kWh (129,6 x 4000). But because low Power Factor (as low as 0,8) and high THD (measured 60%) in low quality lamp drivers cause power grid losses, an additional 45,562 kWh is lost every year due to low cost and “under-specified lamp drivers”.

When using Nedap drivers with high Power Factor (0,99) and low THD (5%), we reduce the losses with 97% to just 1082 kWh. –Based on an average of 8% power loss of power grid worldwide–. The  44.480 kWh energy saving by Nedap technology equals 9.000 kg CO2 reduction a year.

Bar chart, demonstrating the energy loss of Nedap's drivers vs other drivers
Efficiency of the UV lamp driver

Currently the only loss in energy that resembles a financial loss as well for the user of the printer, is the energy efficiency of the driver itself. In this case 2,933 is saved every year by using Nedap lamp drivers with 2% better efficiency.

Bar chart, demonstrating the energy loss of Nedap's drivers vs other drivers
LED power drivers show wide variations in Power Factor

For curing applications, LED UV lights are used more and more. Also in these systems it’s important to be aware of the negative influence that a poor Power Factor can have on sustainability of operations. Especially when the LED’s are dimmed, the Power Factor Can decrease, causing more losses.

Nedap offers a modular system that realizes power supplies from 1500W up to 6kW for UV LED curing systems. These units can be externally set for Voltage- or current control. Output voltages up to 120Vdc offer series operation of LED modules.

AC to AC lamp driver compared to AC to DC LED driver
Download PDF

Are you looking for a more sustainable UV lamp driver solution? One that achieves the highest levels of efficiency and longevity in the market? Find out how Nedap can move your business forward with smart lamp driver technology. 

 

Contact us or download the PDF version of the article here:

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