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Statement clarifies EU motor efficiency Regs change

06 March, 2014

Beama – the trade body that represents the electrotechnical industry in the UK – has secured clarification on a recently published European Commission amendment to its Ecodesign regulations that lay down minimum efficiency levels for low-voltage electric motors sold in Europe.

The Motors Regulation (640/2009): Ecodesign came into effect on 16 June 2011. Since then only low-voltage motors of efficiency class IE2 or higher could be put onto the market in Europe. The next stage of this Regulation comes into force on 1 January 2015 when the minimum efficiency class rises to IE3. From this date, any IE2 motors sold must be used with a VSD.

On 6 January 2014, the EU Commission published an amendment to Regulation 640/2009, stating that only motors designed to operate at altitudes above 4,000m, in ambient air temperatures between –30°C and 60°C and in maximum operating temperatures above 400°C, are excluded.

This means that some motors that were previously exempt from the scope of the Regulation, are now included.

The Regulation states that certain motors must be “equipped with” a VSD, yet it does not define this term which, according to Beama, could confuse manufacturers and have a negative impact on the industry.

Bema’s Rotating Electrical Machines Group therefore sought clarification on the amendment from the UK’s National Measurement Office (NMO) to help manufacturers to prepare for the Regulation coming into force on 1 January 2015.

The NMO statement clarifies the requirements of the Ecodesign regulation for low-voltage motors
Photo: Siemens

The NMO has confirmed to Beama that “any IE2 motor placed on the market prior to 1 January 2015 can be sold after this date, but any motors placed on the market in 2015 must comply with the new Regulation, including being equipped with a variable speed drive (VSD)”

The NMO's interpretation is that “equipped with” relates to putting the system into service. “Putting into service” has been defined as “the first use of a product for its intended purpose by an end-user in the community”. According to Beama, the NMO is keen that this should not to be confused with “placing a product on the market”, which is defined as “making a product available for the first time on the community market with view to its distribution or use within the community”.

This means that any IE2 motor placed on the market before 1 January 2015 can be sold after this date, but any motors placed on the market on or after 1 January 2015 must comply with all applicable requirements – including being equipped with a VSD.

The recently published amendment also addresses rating plates and the information required to be shown on them, as detailed in Annex I to the Regulation. It states that where the size of the rating plate makes it impossible to mark all of the information referred to in point 1 of the Regulation, only the nominal efficiency at full rated load and voltage need to be shown. 




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