03. July 2020

Tighter demands on the energy efficiency of electric motors in Europe Customers have eighteen months to bring their machines and equipment into line with the stipulations of a new EU regulation.

(EU) 2019/1781 for motors and frequency converters
Motor technology & efficiency options

Faced with ongoing climate change and the ensuing urgency of responsible resource management, the EU has revised and realigned its climate policy objectives with a view to promoting further energy savings and reducing carbon emissions. By 2030, greenhouse gas emissions in Europe are to be reduced by at least 40% compared to 1990, the share of renewable energies in the overall mix is to be increased to 27% and final energy consumption is to be reduced by 27%.

To this end, a new package of legislation aimed at raising energy efficiency by 30% compared to 2005 was passed in 2018. The stipulations include tighter demands on the energy efficiency of motors and frequency converters. The current Regulation (EC) No. 640/2009 is to be repealed with effect from 30.06.2021 and replaced with the new Regulation (EU) 2019/1781. The new rules are to become effective on the market in two phases starting on 1st July 2021 (see upper table opposite). Customers thus have just over eighteen months to adapt their products in accordance with the new EU requirements.

VEM is prepared

There are many different motor technologies which can be chosen to achieve the efficiency class stipulated by the new regulations for a particular application. Already today, VEM has updated many motors from its portfolio such that corresponding drives comply with the new EU demands. The company is thus a good partner for customers in all matters concerning energy efficiency. Through a diversity of innovations, VEM strives constantly to reduce the overall losses of its motors. Higher-quality materials, optimisation of the stator and rotor designs, improved bearings and advanced ventilation concepts enable continuous further reductions. At the same time, VEM is developing new products. Starting out from the proven series of three-phase asynchronous motors for efficiency class IE3 (Premium Efficiency), further developments targeted implementation of the demands contained in the new regulations for an extended output range and for higher pole numbers.

  • Extension of the output range up to 710 kW and for 8-pole motors from 0.75 kW to 450 kW has already been realised and the motors are available.
  • Explosion-protected three-phase motors with protection type "eb" (Increased safety) already meet the requirements of efficiency class IE2, as stipulated by the new regulations with effect from 1st July 2023, in the output range from 0.12 kW to 320 kW.
  • Explosion-protected three-phase motors with protection type "ec" (Increased safety) similarly already meet the requirements of efficiency class IE3, as stipulated by the new regulations with effect from 1st July 2021, in the output range from 0.12 kW to 710 kW.
  • Explosion-protected three-phase motors with protection type "d/de" (Flameproof enclosure) already meet the requirements of efficiency class IE3, as stipulated by the new regulations with effect from 1st July 2021, in the output range from 0.75 kW to 355 kW.
  • Explosion-protected three-phase motors with protection types "tb" and "tc" (Protection by enclosure) similarly already meet the requirements of efficiency class IE3, as stipulated by the new regulations with effect from 1st July 2021, in the output range from 0.12 kW to 710 kW.
  • Motors of the new three-phase asynchronous series are also offered for efficiency class IE4 (Super Premium Efficiency). Motors for this class are already available ahead of the deadline of 1st July 2023 in 2- and 4-pole versions for outputs from 75 kW to 1,000 kW. Motors with 6 and 8 poles are in preparation.

For applications where variable-speed three-phase drives can be used, VEM offers a range of permanent-magnet synchronous motors and synchronous reluctance motors. They meet the efficiency requirements of IE4 or even IE5 in accordance with the standard IEC 60034-30-2 (Efficiency classes of variable- speed AC motors). To be able to use these motors, however, it is always necessary to provide a drive controller. VEM is thus well positioned to satisfy all customer demands arising in connection with the latest and any future regulations.