Energy efficiency of electric motors

Of energy efficiency of electric motors it is interesting to speak in light of the relevance of the theme. About two thirds of the electricity used in the industrial sector is in fact consumed through the operation of these devices. Take action on energy efficiency and performance of electric engines it therefore means making an important contribution to the management of a problem of national importance such as the rational use of energy.

Energy efficiency is electric engines they are also a current issue because the legislation is changing things. The EU regulation 640/2009 containing the requirements on ecodesign provides that from January 2015 all electric engines with nominal power between 7.5 and 375 kW they must comply with high performances in terms of efficiency and therefore of energy efficiency. The regulation also says that for the electric engines lower power deadline is January 1, 2017.

Energy efficiency is electric engines they also represent an interesting theme for Italy because our country is at the forefront of the construction of electric engines high energy efficiency. This is why practically all Italian companies have already adapted to the new European regulation on eco-sustainable design and have even brought forward the deadlines. Now obviously the entrepreneurs expect from the institutions that they monitor the market so that the products placed comply with Community regulations.

A electric motor it is a device that receives electrical power at its input and returns a mechanical power to its output. The international standard IEC 60034-30-2008 establishes the different classes of energy efficiency (IE) gods electric engines according to the class scheme / energy efficiency: IE1 (motors with standard efficiency); IE2 (motors with high efficiency), IE3 (motors with premium efficiency), IE4 motors with super-premium efficiency.

According to data from the Energy Efficiency Report of the Politecnico di Milano, as of December 2013 the installed power of electric engines in Italy it exceeded 100 GW (20 million units) of which about 80% attributable to the industrial sector. About 50% of the electric motors in circulation in 2013 belonged to the class of energy efficiency IE2, 10-15% to the class of energy efficiency IE3. Of the IE4 class there were only pilot projects in 2013.

With reference to regulation 640/2009, already from 16 June 2011 all electric motors placed on the market must be in class of energy efficiency IE2. From January 2015, motors with power between 7.5 and 375 kW must be IE3 or IE2 if coupled to an inverter. From January 2017 all motors with rated power between 0.75 and 375 kW must be IE3 or IE2 coupled to inverters.

A useful reference point on energy efficiency and efficiency classes of electric motors and on future regulatory developments on the subject is the new Electric Motor Database portal opened by ENEA in collaboration with the Rotating Machines Group of ANIE Energia. The aim is to collect on the site all the products that comply with the EC Commission Regulation 640/2009.

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