Since 1 January, when the new legislation came into force, all motors from 7.5–375kW sold in the EU must either meet IE3 efficiency levels, or meet IE2 levels and be used with a VSD (variable-speed drive). Installed IE2 motors are not affected because there is no requirement preventing the continued use of such motors.
While end-user stocks of IE2 motors can still be used, any new stock brought into the UK by manufacturers since the beginning of January must be fitted with a VSD to comply with the new efficiency standard.
“It is worth reinforcing that if an IE2 motor was already placed in the market before 1 January, then it can be installed and used without a VSD,” explains Dave Hawley, general manager of ABB’s motors and generators business in the UK. “It is only when new manufacturer stocks of IE2 motors are brought into the UK market after this deadline that they have to be fitted with a VSD. The rating plate must show the year of manufacture. Information about the obligation to use a drive must be displayed on the motor and in its technical documentation.”
ABB points out that the benefits of using VSDs extend beyond saving energy. They can also offer more accurate and reliable motor control that will improve the control of production processes, while macros for applications such as pumps and fans can simplify setups.