New European Efficiency Requirement for Low Voltage Motors

June 20, 2011
ABB welcomes Europe's new efficiency requirements for low voltage motors

The Europena Union introduces a new minimum efficiency level for LV motors as the new standard. ABB welcomes the change because it falls in-line with ABB's focus to provide its customers with high efficiency motors for both the NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) market in the U.S. and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) market throughout the rest of the world.

The automation industry accounts for about 42 percent of the world’s electricity consumption. Any regulation to improve energy efficiency of motors will have a significant impact on energy usage and help reduce carbon emissions. Today, about two-thirds of the electricity produced, is used to power electric motors.

The requirements, in the form of Commission Regulation EC 640/2009, come into effect on June 16, 2011.

Generally referred to as EU MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standard), the requirements cover most two, four and six pole motors in the power range 0.75-375 kW (kilowatt) for alternating current (AC) power supply frequencies of 50 and 60 Hz (Hertz).

All motors covered by EU MEPS to be placed on the European market after June 16 must achieve a minimum International Efficiency standard level 2 (IE2). Some motors, such as motors for explosive atmospheres, are currently excluded from EU MEPS, but ABB anticipates these types of motors will have to comply with standard IEC 60034-30 and have therefore provided such motors with IE markings.

The second stage of EU MEPS will apply from January 2015. The minimum requirement for motors with output powers above 7.5 kW will have to achieve IE3 efficiency levels or IE2 if combined with a variable speed drive (VSD). The third stage of EU MEPS, which will apply from January 2017, will extend the requirement to achieve IE3 efficiency levels or IE2 with a variable speed drive to include motors down to 0.75 kW power output.

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