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More stringent minimum requirements for induction electric motors and variable speed drives in the EU in effect since 1 July 2021

The Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/1781 of 1 October 2019 is in effect since 1 July 2021. More stringent minimum requirements for a wider scope of motors (0.12 kW – 1000 kW) including 8-pole motors are defined. Also, maximum losses for Variable Speed Drives between 0.12 kW and 1000 kW at IE2 are required.

Motor requirements Tier 1 from 1 July 2021:

  1. the energy efficiency of three-phase motors with a rated output equal to or above 0.75 kW and equal to or below 1 000 kW, with 2-, 4-, 6- or 8-poles, which are not Ex eb increased safety motors, shall correspond to at least the IE3 efficiency level;
  2. the energy efficiency of three-phase motors with a rated output equal to or above 0.12 kW and below 0.75 kW, with 2-, 4-, 6- or 8-poles, which are not Ex eb increased safety motors, shall correspond to at least the IE2 efficiency level.

Variable speed drives efficiency requirements from 1 July 2021:

  • the power losses of three-phase variable speed drives (VSDs) rated for operating with motors with a rated output power equal to or above 0.12 kW and equal to or below 1 000 kW shall not exceed the maximum power losses corresponding to the IE2 efficiency level. Energy efficiency for VSDs, expressed in International Energy efficiency classes (IE), is determined based on the power losses as follows: the maximum power losses of the IE2 class are 25% lower than the reference value.

Motor requirements Tier 2 from 1 July 2023:

  1. the energy efficiency of Ex eb increased safety motors with a rated output equal to or above 0.12 kW and equal to or below 1 000 kW, with 2-, 4-, 6- or 8-poles, and single-phase motors with a rated output equal to or above 0.12 kW shall correspond to at least the IE2 efficiency level;
  2. the energy efficiency of three-phase motors which are not brake motors, Ex eb increased safety motors, or other explosion-protected motors, with a rated output equal to or above 75 kW and equal to or below 200 kW, with 2-, 4-, or 6- poles, shall correspond to at least the IE4 efficiency level.

The Regulation also sets information requirements for electric motors and variable speed drives in scope. This includes the provision of energy efficiency values at different load points, enabling easier optimisation of energy use in motor systems.

The Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/1781 was published as the result of the revision of the Commission Regulation (EC) 640/2009 for electric motors, which consequently is repealed as of 1 July 2021. The former requirement of an IE2 motor plus a converter instead of IE3 is no longer allowed.

Regulation (EU) 2021/341 of 23 February 2021 amends the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2019/1781 for electric motors and VSDs. As with the more stringent minimum efficiency requirements, the changes apply with effect from 1 July 2021. The clarifications include:

  • minimum efficiencies for 60 Hz motors: see Regulation (EU) 2021/341, Annex II (1) (a)
  • supply of product information by means of a QR code: see Regulation (EU) 2021/341, Annex II (1) (b)
  • an exception for motors placed on the market as substitutes for identical motors integrated into products placed on the market before the changes to the energy efficiency requirements: see Regulation (EU) 2021/341, Article 2 (1)

For more information, see Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/1781 and Commission Regulation (EU) 2021/341.

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