Electrical Contracting News (ECN) December 2016 - Page 28

FEATURE EU REGULATIONS GET UP TO SPEED James Thomas of Siemens provides some practical advice for those responsible for operating or installing induction motors, as the final phase of a European Union energy efficiency directive comes into force in January 2017. T he 1st January 2017 will see the introduction of the final phase of EU regulations designed to reduce energy consumption and cut CO2 emissions within industrial environments. This is a legal requirement that must be implemented and is not dependant on the UK’s future relationship with the European Union. EU Regulation 640/2009 and the supplement 04/2014 have been created to improve the energy efficiency of induction motors. As of 1st January 2017, all AC motors rated from 0.75kW to 375kW fitted to any device will need to be energy efficient IE3 rated or IE2 with a variable speed drive. However, there are some exemptions where motors are totally immersed in liquid and for use in harsh or explosive environments. There are a number of areas where good practice will help insulate companies and contractors from any negative impact as a result of the new legislation, which, after all, is designed to enhance industrial environmental performance and lessen its potential to harm the world around us through excessive energy consumption. Where to begin? Electricians and electrical contractors facing any new installation must first clearly determine the energy efficiency class of the motor attached to devices such as pumps, fans and compressors. The class is normally located on the motor’s name plate, and the key indicators to look for are either IE2 or IE3 ratings. Once this basic information is obtained, it is up to the user to decide how best to start, stop and control the motor in question. But, such decisions need to be informed by the key fact that while an IE3 rated motor can be started by any device, in the case of IE2, the motor must be operated in conjunction with a variable speed drive (VSD). These key features include: ‘EU Regulation 640/2009 and the supplement 04/2014 have been created to improve the energy efficiency of induction motors.’ • ‘Works out of the box’ – very few VSDs are designed to work without any initial parameterisation, essential for easy installation •G  ood quality function buttons – cheap plastic buttons and rotary speed controls are easily damaged and compromised by third parties •S  implicity – look for device-mounted start, stop and speed control • I P Rating – a good quality device will conform to at least IP20 •E  nvironment – seek out a product that can operate at high temperatures with coated printed circuit boards and frost protection • ‘Keep running’ mode – this is an essential feature in areas where the power supply could be potentially unstable •O  perator panels – if the VSD requires cabinet mounting it is still possible to operate the device externally •E  lectromagnetic compatibility filters – it is highly recommended to use filters to reduce the transfer of electromagnetic noise between the drive and the mains power supply IE3 considerations for replacement motors and retrofits IE3 motors use less energy at the same power output, the low nominal current entails reduced power consumption, however the starting current is increased. As a consequence, instances of nuisance tripping and other issues can occur. When undertaking motor replacements in existing plant rooms or for retrofit projects where the switchgear has not been upgraded, it is advisable to check switchboards and install IE3 ready products to enable the switchgear to cope with the increased in-rush current of IE3 rated motors. These regulations will ensure that all devices are operated to ensure maximum energy efficiency. As a result, the plant owner simply has to use technology that meets the regulations and reduces their energy bills. What’s not to like? •E  co and Hibernation mode – this feature will enable energy reduction during both operation and standby periods. VSD selection Many manufacturers have selection tools and Apps to help customers choose the right VSD for the application in question. However, before specifying the final drive product, contractors and operators are urged to assess a number of important elements and carefully gauge the most appropriate features to ensure a quick and easy installation process, as well as providing the foundation to eliminate the potential for future failures. 28 | December 2016 28 EU Regulations – Siemen.indd 28 11/11/2016 16:39