Do you know that people are constantly using bigger motors than necessary? It can be a big problem, and doing so can lead to using bigger belt drives than necessary too. There is a common belief that bigger is always better. This is not always the case when it comes to power transmission components. Designing around actual loads not only saves on initial purchase price, but can also save money on replacement parts caused by excessive tensions, such as those placed on bearings when too big of a drive is used.
If you think your motor is too big for the load you are using, here is an easy way to calculate actual HP draw.
Actual HP = (Nameplate HP)x(Measured Amps) / (Nameplate Amps)
This means that if you measure the amperage draw of your motor, you can use the nameplate to find out what your actual HP draw is. Now sometimes it’s worth it to design around the rated load instead of the actual load. In situations such as hard starts, or unknown shock loads, having additional service factor is good, but when max loads are known, or size/cost is a priority, we can use the above info to get just the right size drive.