New motor and VSD energy efficiency regulations from the 1st July 2021

The European energy efficiency regulations aim at improving energy efficiency and product lifecycle performance. Hence, from the 1st of July 2021, a new Ecodesign Directive EU 2019/1781 comes into force in the UK, replacing regulation (EC) 640/2009. Moreover, a second stage of the Ecodesign energy-related product (ErP) regulations come into effect from 1st July 2023.

They introduce new energy efficiency levels for both electric motors and VSDs. Both ranges must follow International Energy efficiency classes (IE). In the case of electric motors, they include wider power ratings and higher IE levels. Also, VSDs will need to meet IE2 efficiency levels for the first time.

Electric motors from 1 July 2021

Under the new Ecodesign regulations, the wider scope now encompasses:

– motors between 120 W and 750 W are to meet IE2 efficiency levels.

– motors between 0.75 kW and 1000 kW are to meet IE3 efficiency levels.

Besides these efficiency level changes, it introduces more motor types. This includes 8 pole speeds, brake motors, and hazardous area motors. Also included are Ex ec, Ex tb, Ex tc, Ex db & Ex dc, in addition to Totally Enclosed Air Over (TEAO) motors and motors with duty cycles: S1, S3 ≥ 80%.

The exclusion of some special motor types continues, and some enjoy more favourable operating conditions, for example, submersible motors.

Electric motors from 1 July 2023

– single-phase motors over 0.12 kW must meet IE2 efficiency levels.

– motors rated between 75kW and 200kW must meet the IE4 efficiency level.

The inclusion of VSDs in the directive is to regulate the efficiency of drives. They will also be subject to extra information requirements. For example, efficiency at different load points of speed and torque. This will help engineers to optimise the efficiencies of their complete systems.

Variable Speed Drive changes from 1 July 2021

– a new installation of an IE2 motor used in combination with a VSD is no longer acceptable. An exception is for motors with an integrated VSD where independent energy testing is not possible.

– the power losses of VSDs rated for use with motors from 0.12 kW to 1000 kW will not exceed the IE2 power loss tables.

Energy efficiency regulations

The 8 billion electric motors used in the EU consume almost 50% of the electricity it produces. More efficient motors can generate significant savings depending on their power and usage. Financial savings can range from a few pounds to thousands of pounds annually over a motor’s life.

Efficient motors under the current regulation delivered 57TWh of annual energy savings in the EU by 2020. Annual savings from the new energy efficiency regulations will increase this to 110TWh by 2030, which is about the entire electrical consumption of the Netherlands. It will also reduce annual CO2 emissions by 40 million tonnes and lower energy costs by £20 billion by 2030.

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