Difficulties In Motor Energy Efficiency

- Dec 05, 2018-

Difficulties in motor energy efficiency - review of the development history of motor energy efficiency evaluation standards in the past 10 years

The test standards promulgated by the International Electrotechnical Commission IEC (hereinafter referred to as IEC) make it possible to evaluate the energy efficiency of the motor. In the past 10 years, the motor market has developed rapidly, and the international motor production level has been continuously improved. The evaluation standards for technology development have also improved over the years.

Today's high-efficiency motors are no longer the same level of the year. The newly released classification standard considers IE1 as general energy efficiency, IE2 as high-level energy efficiency, and IE3 is the most energy-efficient and energy-efficient. This standard division increases the overall energy efficiency of the motor by one level.


As early as 10 years ago, the evaluation criteria for motor energy efficiency have been proposed. At that time, there was still a big debate between the United States and Europe about this issue, because they could not agree on the issue of motor energy efficiency. In the past five years, things have changed.

The earliest international standards were issued by the IEC, and the classification of IE1, IE2, and IE3 established a unified standard for the evaluation of international motor energy efficiency. However, the development of each country is different. There are some unavoidable problems with the unified standard evaluation.

Conrad U. Bruner, president of the international energy efficiency organization “topten Energy Conservation Center”, told the “China Economics and Informatization” reporter that in addition to the IEC standards, each country is developing its own mandatory performance standards, which are collectively referred to as “MEPS”. .


MinimumEnergyPerformanceStandards, the minimum energy efficiency standard. In the past five years, many countries have adopted the model of minimum energy efficiency standards. “There are currently two or three such organizations in the world. The first group includes the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the second group is represented by Australia, and the third group is dominated by Europe and China. The European standard is in 2009. Formulated and implemented in 2011, and China's standards are almost the same time.

The “IEC+MEPS” standard constitutes the energy efficiency test standard system for the entire international motor. Under such standards, each country continuously studies the motor energy efficiency in its own field. But the implementation of this system has also encountered many obstacles and problems.

The implementation of standards at the outset is to regulate the market through laws and regulations. The regulation of the market requires three factors: the first is product registration, each model needs to be registered with governments, and then graded; the second is testing and certification, users must purchase a motor from the market must be placed in the laboratory The test obtains the measured value to verify whether the motor energy efficiency label is true; the third item is the reward and punishment measures. If the actual measured value of the motor is different from the marked one, the manufacturer of the motor will be punished.

The three-step measure of minimum energy efficiency standards is currently only available in Australia. Other countries only do more or less. There is only a registration link in the United States, but no inspection. Only when a report is made will the government come out to monitor it. In Europe, it is not done in three steps.

China's implementation is relatively complicated, and the current minimum energy efficiency standard is that there is no final punishment. Now China is also making some legislative amendments to punish these non-energy-saving manufacturers. However, since there was no laboratory that could be monitored at the beginning, and there was no similar internationally recognized standard, China did not have its own inspection and supervision mechanism at that time. However, as the motor was incorporated into the implementation of energy efficiency standards, this measure in China has gradually begun to improve.

Improve user autonomy

Although there are standard requirements, motor production has corresponding threshold restrictions, but the promotion of high-efficiency motors in the market still has problems. Conrad said: "In Switzerland we surveyed 4,000 motors from 12 different factories. We found that 50% to 60% of the 4,000 motors are old motors. Too old means no. Energy saving, so you need to replace it."

High-efficiency motors can achieve savings with a very short payback period, but as a user may not understand the situation, or know and do not act. This requires a transformation of the market, from inefficiency to efficiency.

At present, there are obstacles in the international transformation. Some enterprises will still not buy high-efficiency motors because of price constraints. Conrad thinks this is a very stupid behavior. “Users who use electric motors can benefit from making money efficiently, and companies that make motors can benefit from it, and the environment can be improved.”

In order to successfully promote high-efficiency motors, three measures should be taken to ensure mutual guarantee. The first is the minimum energy efficiency standard “meps”, the government's mandatory requirements; the second is the financial support for the production of electric motors; the third is capacity building, soft power improvement, through the use of new software tools to do some specific calculations, through some Soft things like the top products and standards are driving the market. Conrad pointed out that China's minimum energy efficiency standards are already in use, and the tax policy plan stimulus has also begun to be implemented, but the soft power is still weak.

Not only is the soft power weak, most of the motor users in China lack initiative, and how to let users purchase the motor independently becomes a big problem. For this, in some developed countries, the latest international motor standards will be known through information disclosure, subscription briefings, etc., users can grasp the information at any time, thus ensuring that users have a correct understanding of high-efficiency motors.

In addition, the lack of initiative in China is largely due to the high cost of high-efficiency motors, which are 30% more expensive than regular motors. In the United States, the cost of high-efficiency motors has dropped a lot, from a high of 30% a few years ago to a high of about 10%, so users basically have no price barriers.

There are many large-scale motor factories in China, and there are many well-known motor companies. However, due to the late start, they have stopped at IE1 in the past 30 years, and 50% of Chinese companies are still doing inefficient products. In addition, the electricity tariff for industrial electricity can be subsidized, which has led most companies in China not to actively produce high-efficiency motors.

“If there is no subsidy policy for industrial electricity, the technology update in the Chinese market will be faster, so once the industrial electricity price goes up, the popularity of high-efficiency motors in China will be faster. In this case, Europe is doing very well, except for electricity prices. And will increase the carbon tax," Conrad said.

More potential problems

Overall, the operation of high-efficiency motors in China is relatively slow. The three-level energy efficiency division on the international standard is not limited to these three levels. IE4 and IE5 also exist. IE4 studies permanent magnet motors, which are more efficient and use permanent magnet technology. While permanent magnet technology requires the use of rare earths, China is the world's largest exporter of rare earths, so it has an absolute advantage. However, most of China's rare earths are used for export, and they are not really invested in research and development.

In addition, there are still many problems and potential room for improvement in the motor market. Conrad believes that producers should upgrade from multiple perspectives.

The first is to focus on the production and use of inverters. ABB, Siemens and other companies are doing motors and inverters, so that the inverter can use the inverter when there is no load, reducing the burden on the motor. This kind of thinking is worth learning.

Secondly, 50%~60% of the motors on the market are still IE1. Compared with the load, it is easy to form a big horse-drawn car. Many motors are large in scale, but in reality, the load is not enough. Such operation is inefficient and cannot fully utilize the energy efficiency of the motor.

Again, there is a lack of thinking about what happens under the control of no load. Finally, the conveyor system, including the conveyor belt, such as a car has a lot of conveyors, and the power transmission spent on the transmission system is much greater than the engine input. The cost of using a good conveyor can even reach 10%.

In addition, system integration and operational management also need to be noted. By doing the above, we can technically solve the embarrassing problems encountered by the current motor. Not only in foreign countries, but also in China can be used very well. Conrad admits that China's high-efficiency motors still have a large market.

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