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Minimum motor efficiencies in EU now extend down to 750W

01 February, 2017

The latest phase of the EU’s motor efficiency regulations came into force last month, requiring most new single-speed, three-phase induction motors from 750W up to 375kW either to have an IE3 (“premium efficiency”) efficiency rating, or to be IE2 (“high efficiency”) and used with a variable-speed drive.

This represents a downward extension from the previous lowest rating of 7.5kW, which has been in force since January 2015. The regulations now cover the bulk of motors in use.

This is third stage of the MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standard) scheme, which was launched in 2009. From June 2011, motors “placed on the market” in Europe had to have a minimum IE2 efficiency. In January 2015, this was raised to IE3 (or IE2 and a VSD) for motors rated from 7.5–375kW.

Some motor manufacturers, such as Nord, now offer IE3 motors in ratings as low as 120W.

There have been no firm decisions yet on future motor efficiency requirements, but there has been a proposal to expand the range to include motor ratings from 200W to 1MW. The regulations would cover single- and three-phase motors, eight-pole motors, motors for use in explosive atmospheres, as well as brake motors. The current option of using an IE2 motor with a VSD would be withdrawn.

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