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U.S. and EU collaborate for new standards

In an EA interview with motor efficiency expert Ben Ehmcke back in August, some of the things brought to light were the disparity between motor design efficiency in Europe and here in the United States. Ehmcke divulged what many in his circle already knew—that the U.S. has lagged in efficiency for the past decade-plus.

When in doubt, call for help from our old friends across the great Atlantic. The best remedy for the motor efficiency standards gap may have come as recently as October 3, when the two major organizations of their kind from Europe and the U.S. formed a working group. NEMA and CEMEP (European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics) have started a brain trust that will attempt to level out the standards for electric motors on both continents. Across the European Member States, the CEMEP has member organizations in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Originally, efficiency standards focused on isolated drive system components, but they are now evolving to encompass interconnected, multi-component systems.

“We believe the market will embrace a new systems approach to power drive standards that quantify total energy savings in place of efficiency for isolated components,” Nidec Corp.’s Robert Boteler, who chairs NEMA’s Motor and Generator Section Energy Management Committee, said in a press release October 3. “This will enable us to measure and minimize power losses for all segments of the motor-driven market.”

NEMA and CEMEP also presented a white paper this week, called a New Systems Approach to Motor Efficiency Standards Promises Electrical Energy Savings in Practical Applications, at the Motor Summit 2016 conference in Switzerland. The paper outlines an extended product approach that moves beyond individual motors, inverters, and controls, to include electronic speed controls, power drive systems (PDSs), pumps, fans, compressors, and other auxiliary electronics that make up complete motor-driven systems.

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