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Electric Motor Efficiency Regulations: What Motor Manufacturers, OEMs, and Motor Users Need To Know

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), which restates the definition of General Purpose Electric Motors, goes into effect on December 19, 2010. Certain motors “manufactured (alone or as a component of another piece of equipment)” will be required to have nominal full load efficiencies that meet the levels defined in NEMA MG-1 (2006) [Table 12-12]. Motors manufactured after December 19, 2010 must comply with the law.

For the first time, OEMs are going to be held accountable for the efficiency of motors in their equipment. With the deadline quickly approaching, motor manufacturers should have an action plan for complying with the law. They should be conducting testing in accordance with the regulations and keeping careful records of the results. OEMs requiring design changes should be reviewing their options. End users should be paying close attention to the amount of energy their motors consume, while researching potential cost saving programs available.

This new legislation, while vast in scope, is designed to “Move the United States toward greater energy independence and security; to increase the production of clean renewable fuels; to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles; and to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options.” Specifically, the new legislation restates the definition of General Purpose Electric Motors as defined in 10 CFR 431 from the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1992 (EPCA) and classifies these motors as Subtype I. Additionally, the law also defines a new category of General Purpose Motors, Subtype II, as motors incorporating design elements of a general purpose motors (Subtype I) that are configured as:

  • U-Frame motors
  • Design C motors
  • Close coupled pump motors
  • Footless motors
  • Vertical solid shaft normal thrust motor (tested in a horizontal configuration)
  • 8 pole motors (900rpm)
  • Poly-phase motors with voltage less than 600 volts (e.g. 575volts)