Ecodesign Requirements Electric Motors & Variable Speed Drives

The Regulation on electric motors and variable speed drives (EU) 2019/1781 enters into application as of 1 July 2021. It will replace the Regulation on ecodesign for electric motors (EC) No 640/2009. The 2021 Ecodesign requirements Electric Motors & VSDs will broaden the scope of the standards to cover variable-speed drives (VSDs).

Ecodesign electric motors vsd european regulation
Ecodesign Requirements Electric Motors & VSDs. | Photographer: Guillaume Périgois | Source: Unsplash

Ecodesign Requirements

The new rule applies to single-speed induction motors that operate at 50 Hz, 60 Hz, or 50/60 Hz and have the following characteristics:

– 2 to 8 poles

– Single phase or three phase

– rated output between 0.12kW and 1000kW

– rated voltage from 50V to 1000V

– rated on the basis of continuous duty operation and direct on-line operation

These drives’ power losses must not exceed the maximum power losses corresponding to the new IE2 efficiency level for drives after July 1. This should not be confused with the equivalent IE2 rating for motors. In the 2019 Ecodesign Regulations manufacturers of drives had to provide power losses as a percentage of rated output. Not only at eight distinct operating stages but also as standby power.

Exclusions

The Ecodesign Requirements Electric Motors & VSDs are subject to some exceptions:

– Regenerative and low-harmonic drives where THD is less than 10%;

– Multiple AC-output drives and singe-phase drives;

– Situations where the drive forms part of a cabinet and the drive module itself has already been assessed;

– DC drives, medium-voltage drives, integrated drives, and traction drives;

Although servodrives are included, there is a catch: drives in this class which can also be used with induction motors do fall within the scope but exemptions do apply to servodrives developed solely for use with servomotors.

For Power Drive Systems, there are no minimum efficiency standards in ecodesign.

The Ecodesign standards are part of the CE certification procedure which will become UKCA marking in post-Brexit Britain (starting in January 2022). The regulations primarily cover induction motors rated for continuous duty. There certainly are complexities. Essentially if a motor is rated for direct-on-line operation then it is within the scope of the Ecodesign.

Benefits

In the EU there are around eight billion electric motors running. These use almost 50% of all electricity generated in the region. The majority of these active motors have no speed control. Considered in the context of ambitious targets for lowering emissions, energy usage, and carbon emissions, this means that high-efficiency motors and drives play an important role.

Also, which technology firms will use the Ecodesign regulations to move two or three steps ahead? The technology is already in place to go above and beyond the present standard. IE4 and IE5 motors are becoming ever more common. This ensures that manufacturers are prepared for the next round of Directive improvements in 2023.

When you consider the greater performance and lower maintenance costs of current high-efficiency motors and drives, it’s difficult to argue that the Ecodesign rules aren’t beneficial.

When you consider the greater performance and lower maintenance costs of current, high-efficiency motors and drives, it’s difficult to argue that the Ecodesign rules aren’t beneficial.

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