EU regulations and IEC standards for efficiency class for electric motors
By using high efficiency electric motors, significant reduction in the energy consumption can be achieved. Electric motors used in industrial applications consume 30-40 per cent of generated energy worldwide.
Nowadays, electric motor systems are the most important type of load in industry in European Union. Electric motors are using approximately 70 per cent of the consumed electricity. Thus, by using high efficient electric motors can be reduced also environmental impact.
International standard for efficiency classes for electric motors
Three phase, squirrel-cage, induction motors (IMs) represent the vast majority of the market of electric motors. International standard IEC 60034-30 has approved 2008 to harmonize globally line-fed, three phase, squirrel-cage, IMs energy efficiency classes.
In this standard four efficiency classes are proposed, standard efficiency (IE1), high efficiency (IE2), premium efficiency (IE3) and super-premium efficiency (IE4). IE1, IE2 and IE3 are normative and IE4 informative, since sufficient market and technological information was not available to allow IE4 standardization.
EuP Directive and EU Motor Regulation
The EU adopted minimum efficiency regulations for electric motors in European Commission Regulation No. 640/2009 of 2009, which implemented Directive 2005/32/EC with regard to Eco‐design requirements for electric motors. Eco-design requirements for electric motors will come into effect in accordance with the following schedule:
- From 16 June 2011, motors placed for the first time on the market shall not be less efficient than the IE2 efficiency level.
- From 1 January 2015, motors with a rated output between 7.5-375 kW shall not be less efficient than the IE3 efficiency level. Or meet the IE2 efficiency level and be equipped with a variable speed drive (VSD).
- From 1 January 2017, all motors with a rated output between 0.75-375 kW shall not be less efficient than the IE3 efficiency level. Or shall meet the IE2 efficiency level and be equipped with a VSD.
Super premium efficiency class motors
High energy costs and environmental concerns makes more important to look at life-cycle costs of non-standard technologies. Permanent magnet (PM) motors are proved to be significantly more efficient than IMs, in the low power range and very high efficiency motors can be fabricated by using PM-rotor technology. According to some motor manufacturers in Europe see no technical feasibility to reach proposed super-premium efficiency class IE4 with IM technology.
So far, some PM-motor technologies are introduced to market, which allow reaching IE4-level. The energy-savings potential with IE4-class motors is huge and it seems that some motors manufacturers already in EU are developed a technology to achieve IE4-efficiency level.
Image: VEM motors Finland Oy
Relevant sites: VEM motors Finland Oy