Spotlight On: Turntide Technologies Smart Motor System

(Credit: Turntide Technologies)

by | Jul 7, 2020

(Credit: Turntide Technologies)

(Note: Turntide VP of Business Development Maya Aharon  will present on the topic of “It’s Time to Pick the Lowest Hanging Fruit in Energy Efficiency” at 10:30 am ET during the Environment + Energy Leader Summit on July 21. Register here.)

What the Judges Said…
“Amazing multi-dimensional solutions for the use of existing motor technology paired with software.”

Turntide Technologies, formerly Software Motor Company, makes ultra-high-efficiency motors. The Smart Motor System includes the Smart Motor itself and the Motor Controller, and has networking and connection capabilities to the company’s cloud. Turntide Technologies said that the system can significantly reduce the energy consumption and demand of HVAC, refrigeration, pumping, and other applications where induction motors are in use. It also integrates with modern building management systems using industry-standard communications protocols.

More than 45% of the world’s electricity is consumed by motors, Turntide Technologies noted. In response, the company developed a unique high rotor pole, switched reluctance motor. The Motor Controller and its algorithms are unique to this patented Smart Motor, which is designed to optimize energy use across the entire speed range from 100 RPM to 3,600 RPM, according to the company.

Besides being more efficient at full-rated speed, the Smart Motor maintains efficient operation across the operating speed range. These switched reluctance motors run 50% more efficiently than standard AC induction motors on average, and 25% more efficiently than motors with variable frequency drives, Turntide Technologies said.

Each unit has its own IP address and connects to a control system that can be programmed to react automatically to environmental or other inputs. This enables the motor to run continually with optimal efficiency at optimal speed. Also, unlike standard motors, the Smart Motor does not use any rare earth minerals, according to the company.

Traditionally switched reluctance motor (SRM) design was applied in niche harsh operating environments due to its reliability, the company said. However, challenges such as efficient control, power density, high-cost electronics, torque ripple and vibration, and acoustic noise prevented commercialization for mainstream use. Turntide Technologies said that its patented technology uses computing power and software to solve these problems.

The company says that it has reduced electricity consumption by an average of 64% across their 60-plus initial deployments in commercial HVAC and refrigeration systems. Customers range from Five Guys to Sprouts Farmers Market. Field test results were validated by the US Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Lab, and the Western Cooling Efficiency Center, according to Turntide Technologies. In addition, the company formed a partnership with VES Environmental Solutions to build DairyBOS, an operating system for dairy barns that maintains optimal environmental conditions for cow health year-round.

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