Plant engineers must act on European motor regs 08 April 2011

Industry needs to act now and take early advantage of greater energy efficiency resulting from the impending enforcement of the EU EcoDesign Requirements for Energy-Using Products Directive.

That's the advice from maintenance, repair and overhaul products and services specialist Brammer.

Jeremy Salisbury, head of marketing at Brammer, explains that the first phase of the EU MEPS Directive (2009) starts in June this year, with the legislation requiring all two-, four- and six-pole, single speed three-phase ac motors from 0.75—375kW manufactured from that month to meet at least IE2 efficiency (formerly EFF1).

The legislation is intended to help reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, with the UK government estimating resulting savings from industry at one million tonnes of CO2 and £200m of energy per annum.

However, Salisbury believes that where a motor needs to be replaced, users should be buying energy-efficient motors even before EU MEPS comes into force, so that they can benefit immediately from greater energy efficiency.

"The Directive simply legislates what is actually best practice in motor management – specifying the most energy-efficient product, of the correct size and duty, for the job," states Salisbury.
"The cost of changing from an EFF3 or EFF2 motor to an IE2 product will, in most cases, be more than outweighed by the savings achievable through improved energy efficiency – particularly if companies take advantage of the financial support available for investment in energy efficient technology through schemes such as the Enhanced Capital Allowance and, for SMEs, the Carbon Trust loan scheme," he adds.

The Directive is being introduced in three phases. In the second phase, which comes into force on 1 January 2015, motors rated from 7.5 to 375kW will either have to achieve the higher IE3 efficiency level or meet the IE2 level and be fitted with a variable speed drive. From 2017, these rules will be extended to cover motors as small as 0.75kW.

Brian Tinham

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