A simple guide to IE3 motor efficiency legislation

Any companies concerned about the introduction of phase 2 of the EU’s IE3 efficiency legislation for electric motors in Europe, should read on for answers to the most commonly asked questions.

When does the legislation come into effect?

Phase 2 of the EU’s efficiency level legislation (IE3) is effective from 1 January 2015. It follows the first phase of the scheme (efficiency level IE2), which was implemented in June 2011. The previous EFF1 and EFF2 efficiency classes disappeared at this time.

Why is the EU introducing these regulations?

Around 70% of industrial electricity consumption can be attributed directly to electric motors, which consequently are responsible for the majority of the world’s carbon emissions. The EU has therefore passed mandatory legislation under its Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) scheme, which replaced the voluntary CEMEP scheme, to ensure that motors entering the market are more energy efficient as standard.

What motors are affected?

Single-speed, three-phase induction motors with a rated output from 7.5 to 375kW must now meet the IE3 efficiency level, or the IE2 level if fitted with a variable speed drive.

Are manufacturers allowed to produce IE2 motors after 1 January 2015?

IE2 motors can still be placed on the European market after 1 January 2015, but only if used in combination with a variable speed drive (VSD) and marked accordingly.

How can I be sure that a motor meets the regulations?

Always examine the motor rating plate and request the test report. All motors are subject to independent tests to ensure compliance with the new levels. EU MEPS is based on two IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standards. It requires efficiency to be measured using the methods specified in IEC/EN  60034-2-1: 2014, and uses efficiency classes defined in IEC/EN 60034-30-1. The rating plate on compliant motors should be marked with the appropriate efficiency class – IE2 as a minimum if the motor is to be used with a VSD, and IE3 otherwise. The IE class must be based on the lowest efficiency value at the rated voltage/frequency/output combination shown on the rating plate. IE2 motors must also have a mark to indicate that they can be used only with a VSD.

Does EU MEPS cover motors for explosive atmospheres?

EU MEPS does not yet include all the motor types covered by IEC 60034-30-1. Some motors, such as ATEX motors for explosive atmospheres, are included in IEC/EN 60034-30-1 but excluded from EU MEPS. Such motors are included in the European Commission’s LOT 30 preparatory study, which will form a basis for future regulations.

What have motor manufacturers done to increase efficiency?

In essence, to meet the new efficiency legislation, motor manufacturers have redesigned products with higher copper content, thus offering losses circa 15% less than IE2 motors.

What are the main benefits for end users?

The advantage for end users is a considerable reduction in running costs over the lifecycle of the IE3 rated motor, along with far fewer carbon emissions. Any plants interested in making their processes more efficient, cost effective and sustainable, should consider installing a pump featuring an IE3 rated motor.

How do Bredel hose pumps comply?

For Bredel 50 to 2100 hose pumps, new compliant motors have been added to the portfolio, while for the range 7.5 to 37kW with or without PTCs, all current IE2 motors now have an IE3 equivalent.

How do MasoSine pumps comply?

New compliant motors have been introduced with respect to MasoSine SPS, EC and MR sine pumps when configured with motor power of 7.5 kW or higher. In fact, at MasoSine, a system has been installed with a partner motor manufacturer to ensure motors are delivered which satisfy the specific legal requirements in the requesting country.

Should I report a non-compliant motor?

Non-compliant motors cause financial losses for users in terms of higher energy costs. They also impact on fair competition among motor manufacturers. It is recommended that anyone discovering a non-compliant motor available on the market should report it to the authorities.

Who is responsible for market surveillance in the EU?

The individual EU member states and their appointed authorities are responsible for organising market surveillance. Details can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sustainable-business/documents/eco-design/national-contacts/index_en.htm

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