Ecodesign and energy saving

16 November 2018

It is now 13 years since the European Parliament published the first Directive (2005/32/EC) on ecodesign and improving energy efficiency, specifically regarding the use of electricity in a more efficient way, for a better awareness of resource usage and reduction of the environmental impact of electrical energy production.

From that date, the world of energy-using products changed, especially that one of electrical machine; slowly at first (there were no sector-specific regulations yet) but then gradually increasing. The concepts of ‘energy efficiency’, ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ products, eco-sustainability or eco-compatibility, lower consumption and low environmental impact, have gradually become common.

So, how the electrical machinery market changed, and what impact the 2005/32/EC Directive and subsequent Directives with implementing Regulations had on the product?
Below we list some important dates that have brought a significant change to the design and production of electrical machine:

• ’20-20-20 Plan (2009/29/EC Directive) – this is a set of measures proposed by the EU for: 20% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, 20% increase in the energy produced from renewable sources, 20% reduction of energy consumption by 2020

• 2009/125/EC Directive – continues from and builds on the previous 2005/32/EC to cover various consumer products such as:
◦ Vacuum cleaners
◦ Dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, boilers, air conditioners
◦ Electric motors
◦ Pumps and circulators
◦ Fans
◦ Lights
◦ Computers and televisions

For each product affected, the European Parliament has issued a specific implementing Regulation for ecodesign, with the aim of improving energy efficiency and reducing consumption. Electric motors in particular are the main kind of industrial electric load, where they are used in production processes.

Systems that use electric motors account for approximately 70% of the electric power consumed by industry. In other words, electric motors have the lion’s share in this context. Therefore, one of the key factors at the root of energy efficiency improvement is the introduction of speed variators (inverters) in order to optimise consumption by using electric motors more effectively in applications with variable speeds and loads.
From 2011, the 640/2009 Regulation (and subsequent amendments) has forced electric motor manufacturers to place increasingly high-efficiency motors on the market (IE2 minimum efficiency level), which then increased to IE3 from 1 January 2015 (or IE2 with inverter) for motors from 7.5 kW to 375 kW, and then also covering small motors (0.75 kW) from 1 January 2017.

What are the current and future challenges for electric motor manufacturers and users, and for Came as a manufacturer of wound stators?

In this transitional phase, Came has shown that it is a safe and reliable partner for its customers, both for production and assistance during design of windings for IE2 and IE3 high-efficiency motors. Thanks to a laboratory with the latest generation brake test benches, and thanks to a well-prepared and expert technical staff, Came is able to provide an optimisation and design service for high-efficiency motors.

And that is not all: with the forthcoming implementing Regulation for the IE4 efficiency class (the IEC 60034-30-1 standard has already introduced the required minimum values), two years ago Came already launched a project to integrate the standard product (asynchronous winding) by adding 2 production machines for independent-pole synchronous windings for very high-efficiency BLDC motors (BrushLess Direct Current) to the existing machines, with the intention of purchasing another 3 production machines by the end of 2020.

All this puts Came in a leading position in the market of high- and very high-efficiency motor winding production.

Came has accepted the challenge, and you?

Article by:
Fabrizio Bardelli
Came Expert in Research and Development
+39 0444 488282