08. December 2014

Energy-efficient motors
Focus: More stringent minimum efficiency and IE4 motors

The minimum efficiency in LV motors will be raised to class IE3 from 1 January 2015. We at VEM are as ready for this as we are for IE4 motors.

IE3 motors

Low-voltage three-phase motors at 7.5 to 375 kW will have to satisfy the IE3 premium efficiency class from 1 January 2015 onwards; this will apply to the European Union as well as Switzerland and Turkey. Low-voltage three-phase motors at 0.75 to less than 7.5 kW will follow from 1 January 2017 onwards. This will affect all motors at rated voltages up to 1,000 V, rated speeds up to 3,000 rpm, 1,500 rpm and 1,000 rpm, S1 continuous duty operation and S3 intermittent duty operation at 80 % or more, and frequencies at 50 Hz or 50/60 Hz with minimum efficiencies only applicable to 50 Hz. This will not apply to motors for converter operation (S8–S10 duty operation) or motors for mains-fed operation (S2–S7 duty operation).

IE2 motors can alternatively still be used together with frequency converters in controlled processes. As customers do not have to order a complete drive system, orders for motors will have to include a note that the motor is intended for operation using a frequency converter. VEM motors are equipped with a warning tag that is valid across Europe.

IE3 efficiency class has been mandatory for two, four and six-pole low-voltage three-phase motors with 0.75 to 150 kW output in the USA and Mexico since 2010, and Canada since 2012 . South Korea has also set the IE3 minimum efficiency class for motors, including eight-pole motors, in the restricted output range of 37 to 200 kW from 1 January 2015.

IE4 motors

Super premium efficiency IE4 motors will represent the most effective energy-saving technology in the future according to recent EU studies.

We have been supplying permanent-magnet synchronous motors at power ranges from 0.12 up to 250 kW and rated torques from 0.8 to 1,600 Nm in two, four, six and eight-pole versions for a number of years. These motors are now available in IE4 versions, securing very high efficiency and assured compliance with the EU standard. We will be extending our product portfolio in this efficiency class, and are currently working on a series of IE4 asynchronous motors.

The IE4 efficiency class applies to all types of electrical machines supplied by increasing numbers of manufacturers – this year’s SPS IPC Drives trade fair saw solutions based on varying motor principles such as three-phase asynchronous motors, synchronous motors with permanent magnet excitation, and synchronous reluctant motors for operation with frequency converters. There is as yet no mandatory requirement for the use of IE4 motors.

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