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Achieve EU MEPS compliance with an IE2 motor-drive package

As of 1st January 2015, the new European minimum energy performance standard (EU MEPS) comes into force, when all motors between 7.5 and 375 kW must either meet IE3 efficiency levels or meet IE2 if fitted with a variable-speed drive.

IE2 motors do not have to be decommissioned and replaced, as there is no requirement under the pending changes to EU MEPS that prevents the continued use of installed IE2 motors.

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Whilst end user stock of IE2 motors can still be used after the 1st January 2015, any new manufacturer stock brought into the UK market after this date must be fitted with a variable-speed drive to comply with the new efficiency standard. Doing so will not only deliver EU MEPS compliance, but will also offer more accurate and reliable motor control that will improve control of the production process overall.

While the energy saving benefits of variable-speed drives (VSDs) are well documented, the productivity improvements that can be achieved by many other less publicised features are not so common.

Pre-installed macros for specific applications such as pumps and fans make setup straight forward, wiring error protection shows a fault if the power cable is inadvertently connected to the incorrect terminals and intelligent control panels allow users to interact with the drive simply.

All of these features, now common place in VSDs, help ensure safe and reliable motor control and gives ultimate process control on almost any application and duty cycle.

Suitable VSDs for IE2 motors are the ABB machinery drives, ACS 355 rated from 0.37 to 22 kW; ABB general purpose drives, the ACS310 and ACS550 with a power rating from 0.37 to 22 kW and 0.75 to 375 kW respectively and the ABB drive for HVAC, the ACH550 with a rated power range from 0.75 to 355 kW.

IE2 efficient ABB general performance motors and ABB process performance motors, available in power ratings from 7.5 to 375 kW in 2, 4 and 6 pole designs, will continue to be available as a matched package with one of the above VSD options from ABB.

“It is worth reinforcing that if an IE2 motor is already placed in the market before 1st January then it can be installed and used without a variable-speed drive. 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 variable-speed drive. 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” explains Dave Hawley, ABB’s UK motors and generators general manager.

“A far better solution for the water industry is to move straight to IE3 motors. It makes far more energy and financial sense to buy IE3. And even though it is not compulsory, if you add a drive to this motor the energy savings will be massive. Given the focus in the water industry on controlling total expenditure (TOTEX), investing in greater overall efficiency and productivity of process critical assets like pumps is something that water utilities must be giving close attention” adds Hawley.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.