Motor Summit 2008 advances energy-efficiency efforts

Motor Summit 2008 publicized new developments in energy-efficient electric motor systems—including drives, pumps, fans, compressors, and material handling equipment. Held in Zurich, Switzerland, Nov. 24-26, the event drew some 130 motor system experts and professionals from research, government, and the private sector representing 21 countries.
By Frank J. Bartos, P.E., Consulting Editor February 1, 2009

Motor Summit 2008 publicized new developments in energy-efficient electric motor systems—including drives, pumps, fans, compressors, and material handling equipment. Held in Zurich, Switzerland, Nov. 24-26, the event drew some 130 motor system experts and professionals from research, government, and the private sector representing 21 countries.

One recurring theme of the event was the need for wider change from voluntary to mandatory minimum energy performance standards (MEPS). Voluntary regulations haven’t been effective, especially for electric motors where OEMs play a dominant role in sales. Making MEPS mandatory is drawing much effort.

After seeing successful mandatory MEPS efforts in the U.S. and several other nations, the European Commission (EC) intends to issue MEPS in 2009 for motors, pumps, and fans under its Ecodesign Energy-using Products (EuP) directive. However, effective dates are not expected before 2011. Regulation of industrial motors is being widened to the 0.75-375 kW (1-500 hp) range. Ecodesign will encompass all technical and economic issues, even packaging and end-of-life recycling.

Smaller motors (&0.75 kW) are also entering the efficiency picture because contrary to earlier belief, they’re found to be running 2,000 hours per year in significant numbers. Performance standards are said to be coming for these motors.