motor System Virtual In-Plant Training

Virtual In-Plant Trainings (VINPLTs) offered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants program are the online version of the multi-day workshops known as In Plant trainings. As with the in-person INPLTs, the VINPLTs will train the attendees to identify energy conservation and decarbonization opportunities, quantify savings from those opportunities, and implement projects to realize the cost savings. 

These training workshops enhance the attendees’ understanding of working principles, knowledge of best practices, and capability of analyzing the energy performance of industrial energy systems. As of July 2023, the Better Plants program has hosted over 150 INPLTs with about 2,500 participants, helping to identify more than $63 million in energy cost savings opportunities. The Better Plants team piloted a cohort of Virtual In-Plant Trainings (VINPLTs) at the end of 2020 as a means of continuing these interactive training workshops during the pandemic. Due to strong partner interest, DOE’s Better Plants program decided to offer VINPLTs all year around for the same topics as are available in the in-person INPLTs. As of now, more than 1,200 people attended these VINPLT session and over $9.2M energy savings opportunities have been identified.

The Better Plants program will deliver a VINPLT on motor systems from Nov 28 to Dec 19, 2023. The Motor VINPLT will be performed by industrial experts using online video communication technologies. The Motor VINPLT comprises four (4) 2.5-hour online training sessions (2-hours formal training and optional 0.5-hour Q&A) that will be delivered on 10:00AM–12:30PM ET every Tuesday. Participating in this VINPLT is free and open to all US manufacturers.

Participants will be trained on motor systems fundamentals and assessments for motor systems. To maximize the benefits from attending the VINPLTs, homework assignments will be given to the participants at the end of each session and will be due by the next session. These homework assignments are designed to enhance participants’ understanding on motor systems and to identify and quantify energy savings opportunities. During the last session of the VINPLT, participants are expected to create a summary presentation based on their assessments, present their findings, and share the slide deck with DOE.

At the completion of the VINPLT, participants can request for Professional Development Hours (PDHs) Certificates. Participants are expected to collect measurements/data from their own motor systems, perform an assessment, and identify energy efficiency opportunities with help from the instructors. The Better Plants diagnostic equipment are available for data collection on a first come, first serve basis.

Agenda for motor System Virtual in-plant training

Nov 28 – Dec 19 (Every Tuesday), 2023; 10:00 AM–12:30 PM ET (2-hour formal training + optional 0.5-hour Q&A)

Session 1 – Motor Types and Fundamentals; Tuesday November 28, 2023

Introduce the rationale for system specific in-plant trainings; describe the overall process of conducting assessments for motor systems; provide an overview of the fundamentals of motor characteristics and motor types; describe the pre-screening process used for assessments; demonstrate the motor inventory tool in MEASUR software.

Session 2 – Motor Repair and Maintenance; Tuesday December 05, 2023

Continue with an in-depth discussion on maintaining and repairing motors and various methods of power transmission (V-belt, etc.); demonstrate the motor repair replace tool within MEASUR.

Session 3 – Variable Frequency Drives Part 1; Tuesday December 12, 2023

Review the pros and cons of using Variable Frequency Drives, how they work, and how they affect motors.

Session 4 – Variable Frequency Drives Part 2 and Wrap-up Presentations; Tuesday December 19, 2023

Continue the discussion of VFDs and their impact on Motors; VINPLT attendees present and discuss the results from their motors assessments. VINPLT participants could invite their upper management to attend the wrap-up session. Once completed, VINPLT attendees are given a Certification of Completion from US DOE.

Get to Know the Presenter

Ron Wroblewsk

Ron Wroblewski, PE, is the President of Productive Energy Solutions, LLC, in Madison, Wisconsin. His consulting and training business helps industrial plants and commercial facilities increase productivity and profitability by making more effective use of their fan, pump, and blower systems.

Ron has over thirty-eight years of experience designing, analyzing, specifying, and optimizing industrial and commercial fan, pump, blower, and HVAC systems. One of his specialties is in-situ measurement of fan system performance.

A highly rated professional trainer, Ron is senior industrial fan systems optimization trainer for the US DOE and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and he develops and conducts courses for the Air Movement and Control Association International (AMCA International). As part of his work for the DOE, UNIDO, and AMCA, Ron has designed and presented seminars on a national and international basis, including: Using the Fan Energy Index; Applying VFDs in Fan and Pump Systems; Optimizing Fan, Pump and Blower Systems; Fan Systems Optimization Expert level training; and Motor Systems Management

Ron is a licensed Professional Engineer in Wisconsin. He is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the International society of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He earned his B.S.M.E. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico.