Get Your Motor Running

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Meeting the New Energy Efficiency Standards.

By Mark S. Kuhar


The Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for establishing the rules and regulations that implement and enforce laws passed by Congress which mandate the energy efficiency level of electric motors. The initial law, Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992), was implemented in 1997 and was amended by Congress with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007), which became effective in December 2010. EISA required a final Integral Horsepower Rule (IHP Rule) by December 2012 to be implemented by June 1 2016.

The motors covered by DOE regulations include a variety of motors including single-speed, continuous-duty polyphase motors with voltages not greater than 600 volts; motors with or without mounting feet; motors built in a T- or U-frame; motors built with synchronous speeds of 3600, 1800, 1200or 900 rpm (two, four, six or eight poles, respectively); National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Design A and B motors from 1 to 500 hp, NEMA Design C motors from 1 to 200 hp; and motors that are close-coupled pump or vertical solid-shaft normal thrust motors.

With its most recent final rule, with a compliance date of June 1, 2016, the DOE is expanding the regulation and establishes energy conservation standards for a number of different groups of electric motors that DOE has not previously regulated.

This amended standard will save approximately 7 quads of energy and result in approximately $41.4 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2016-2045. The standards will avoid about 395 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

What does this mean for aggregates operations?

According to Ron Williams, ABB DM market manager – aggregate cement and port industries for Baldor Electric Co., “it means that motor manufacturers will soon be required to produce a more efficient motor for sale in the U.S. The downstream benefit to aggregates producers is their motors will be more energy efficient, which will increase productivity and save them money.”

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Williams is quick to point out that aggregates producers are not required to replace or retrofit any motors currently in operation. But after June 1, 2016, motor manufacturers by law must produce higher efficiency motors.

Baldor is actually not waiting for the June 1, 2016, deadline. At this year’s AGG1 trade show, the company introduced a new line of crusher duty motors with “improved reliability, performance, and energy efficiency to help lower the operator’s total cost of ownership. With higher break down and locked rotor torque performance, Baldor-Reliance crusher duty motors meet the demands of the toughest crushing applications worldwide. The crusher duty motor platform is currently available from stock in frame sizes 180T-449T in the power range of 5 to 350 hp and on a build to order above 350 hp. Stock ratings 350 HP and higher in larger frame sizes are expected later this year.”

As aggregates producers begin to think more about sustainable operations and energy efficiency, Baldor offers a process that might be worth considering.

“We offer what we call an Installed Base Evaluation,” Williams said. “We can come into a plant and look at motors, variable speed drives and mechanical power transmission components to determine how much energy these components are consuming and how that impacts the plant’s bottom line.”

Rule History

24 Chart1 700According to John Malinowski, senior manager for industry affairs at Baldor, back when the new rule was in the discussion stage, motor manufacturers that are members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) considered the potential rulemaking and decided to collaborate with energy-efficiency advocacy groups and form a coalition to make a proposal to the DOE that might be easily adopted as a direct and final rule.

The Motor Coalition proposed at the first DOE meeting that the efficiency levels be maintained at premium efficiency level (NEMA Standard MG 1-2011, Table 12-12, 20B) for 1- to 500-horsepower (HP) motors rather than raising the level above premium efficiency. This 12-12 level is equivalent to IE3 (premium efficiency) as defined in International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard 60034-30.

Furthermore, the proposal recommended that most definite-purpose and special-purpose motors would be included along with options that previously exempted motors from coverage. The new regulation redefined “electric motor” so it will be more inclusive and easier for compliance and enforcement.

To accept the expanded scope, the DOE was required to issue a final rule on how all these motor configurations could be configured for testing. This rule was released in late 2013. The final rule for integral HP motors was published in the Federal Register on May 29, 2014, and will take effect June 1, 2016.

Rule Comparison

24 Chart2 700The voltage range now includes all three-phase, 60-hertz (Hz) designs, 600 volts and less. Additionally, motors with special shafts and mountings along with 56-frame enclosed motors will now be covered at premium efficiency levels. Partial motors built without a drive endplate are also covered. Both NEMA and IEC motor designs are included, as are motors mounted to equipment imported to the U.S. for use here.

For the pump industry, close-coupled pump motors are categorized in the 1 to 200 HP Subpart II category. In the new rule, they change from an energy efficient level (NEMA MG 1-2011, Table 12-11) to premium efficiency (Table 12-12). Hollow-shaft pump motors and medium- and high-thrust vertical pump motors are now included at the premium efficiency level as well.

For more information on the new energy efficiency standards for motors, contact Baldor at

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