AC variable frequency drives from Invertek ensure cost effective IE3 compliance

It is almost three months since the latest part of the European Ecodesign Directive came into force within the European Union, requiring all new IE2 motors from 7.5kW to 375kW to be used with a variable frequency drive, or replaced with a premium efficiency IE3 motor as part of a wide reaching initiative to reduce global energy consumption.

Invertek Drives’ Technical Manager, Kes Beech says, “Huge savings could be made in energy and carbon dioxide outputs if we all used more energy efficient motors, however replacing all inefficient motors with IE3 motors would be a huge undertaking - which is where installing a variable speed drive comes in.

“Motors controlled by Optidrive AC drives can achieve energy reductions of more than 50% by intelligently matching the speed of the motor with the requirement of the application – therefore achieving the required energy performance levels demanded by the new legislation, without changing the motor.”

Optidrive AC drives also monitor energy usage with an inbuilt energy consumption meter that allows usage to be clearly displayed and savings to be calculated – enabling customers to immediately see the benefits of using an Optidrive variable frequency drive.

This recent case study regarding an installation of Optidrive Eco HVAC for a customer in Australia demonstrates how powerful seeing the energy savings on screen can be - the customer ordered a second drive just minutes after the first was installed and proven.

The significant energy savings that can be achieved means the drives pay for themselves very quickly, in less than a year in many applications. Find out how much energy you could save by using Invertek’s Energy Savings Calculator to calculate the estimated pay-back period for specific applications.

Kes continues, “Electric motors today account for around 70% of the World’s energy consumption. With climate change constantly on the global agenda, and increased awareness of the need to reduce energy usage, the EU introduced strict new legislation designed to address this issue which became mandatory on 1st January 2015.”

This second stage of the European Minimum Energy Saving Performance Standards (MEPS) sets minimum efficiency levels for electric motors introduced into the European market.

The new standard applies to all newly installed motors, and those in continuous operation, within a power range of 7.5 - 375KW. The range will be lowered to 0.75 -375KW on 1st January 2017.

The internationally applicable testing Standard IEC 60034-2-1 for electric motors and IEC 60034-30-1 classification scheme for rating the energy performance of electric motors, introduced by the International Electrotechnical Commission, is as follows:

  • IE1 Standard efficiency
  • IE2 High efficiency
  • IE3 Premium efficiency
  • IE4 Super premium efficiency
According to the IEC, ‘The IE-code and its efficiency levels create a basic vocabulary for governments to determine the efficiency level for their minimum energy performance standards (MEPS).’

A number of countries around the World have adopted the international IEC 60034-2-1 Standard in addition to their own national standards.


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