FEATURE DRIVES & CONTROLS The importance of driving change

Since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June, there remains much uncertainty ahead about which EU laws we will be keeping and which ones will be scrapped once Article 50 is triggered. Mark McCall, product marketing manager, Newey & Eyre explains why the ErP Directive is one we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss

products (defined as products that use energy, or have an indirect impact on energy consumption) sold in the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors in the European Economic Area. On the face of it, it’s yet more legislation for contractors and engineers to get to grips with, and more investment in new technology for British businesses. But, in reality, it has far reaching benefits for all. Industrial and commercial building


urrently, all EU directives and rules have legal force in the UK until

Brexit negotiations are complete. However, once we are officially out, it will be for Parliament to decide whether to keep, amend or discard them. While many believe that the volume of rules, regulations and ‘red tape’ from Europe has been somewhat excessive in the past, there’s no getting away from the fact that the EU has been particularly proactive in tackling climate change and reducing emissions, which can only be a good thing. While abandoning all energy efficiency drives dictated by Europe might seem like a short cut to less red tape for UK business and industry, ultimately a move away from energy efficiency is not good for business either. Take for example the Energy Related Products (ErP) or Ecodesign Directive. From 1 January 2017, all electric motor units will be subject to minimum levels of efficiency under the requirements, affecting a whopping 70 per cent of the commercial sector. The Ecodesign Directive is a significant piece of legislation that has already been making products and components for electrical and HVAC systems more efficient, setting out new standards to adhere to. The Directive, adopted by the EU in October 2009, applies to energy-related


energy consumption accounts for 55 per cent of the UK’s energy use and it is an area where improvements to carbon emissions can make a huge difference. When you break these emissions down even further, we find that the use of industrial electrical motors account for 21 per cent of electrical consumption alone. Looking at it like that, it’s easy to see why a change in the performance of these motors is long overdue. Under the Directive’s new rules for

electric motors in an industrial setting, all squirrel cage motors above 0.75kW are to be supplied as an IE3 motor, or as an IE2 motor with a variable speed drive. Specifying an IE3 motor is a quick win, ticking all the efficiency and compliance boxes. To ensure the best efficiencies, accurate motor sizing is essential. If the motor is too big, it will not reach its rated capacity and will not run at its optimum performance. This will not deliver the savings expected by the user. It’s worth remembering that IE3 motors

can be more expensive to buy, which will increase pay back times for the user. This is because they are constructed from more expensive materials, require closer manufacturing tolerances and are ultimately more costly to manufacture. A more cost effective alternative is the IE2 motor with a variable speed drive. A variable speed drive (VSD) controls motor speed and torque by accurately regulating the motor input voltage and frequency. A VSD is more appropriate for applications with variable speeds or frequently alternating loads, ensuring a closer match between the motor speed and the output requirement of the machine it is driving. The combination of IE2 motor with VSD generates huge energy savings,

particularly in centrifugal fan and pump applications, which can achieve efficiency gains of between 20 and 70 per cent. Another selling point for VSDs is that the user is likely to see increased motor longevity and a reduced risk of motor and machinery damage during start up, running and shutdown. This ensures less maintenance, less unscheduled downtime and less call-backs for the engineer. In the past, VSDs were only specified as

part of a larger or more complex control system, mainly due to a gap in the market for an enclosed direct online (DOL) product that incorporated the benefits of a VSD. This is why Newey & Eyre developed the Newlec EcoStart – an energy efficient enclosed motor starter that offers all the benefits of a VSD, and is ErP compliant when combined with an IE2 motor. The EcoStart is an out of the box solution for contractors, designed to run at 85 per cent motor speed. It is easy to install, and can be fixed to a wall or machine. It’s simply wired and can be set up with minimum effort for electrical engineers. EcoStart also offers enhanced adjustability, meaning it can be set to operate to exact requirements, using an internally mounted speed potentiometer. For the outlay cost, the claimed savings

achievable are very impressive. For example, using a 4kW EcoStart motor with three phase inverter, set to run at 85 per cent, in a system that is operational for 12 hours per day, 250 days per year with an electricity cost of 12 pence per kWh, the user could save £836 per year on their energy bills, with a payback period of 1.5 years. While it may appear at first as more

legislation for engineers and contractors to get to their heads around, the quest for ErP compliance actually gives engineers a baseline for minimum efficiencies and creates an opportunity for them to deliver solutions to lower running and energy costs, reduce maintenance and overall system downtime – all leading to happier customers and repeat business.

Newey & Eyre T: 0800 783 6909


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