By adopting the Kyoto Protocol, the European Union has undertaken to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 20 percent by 2020. One measure to achieve this is the EuP (Energy using Products) Directive adopted by the EU in 2005, which was renamed ErP (Energy related Products) Directive in 2009 and which (in Germany) is also known under the designation “Eco-Design Directive”.
A 2-stage plan has been drawn up in the EU to commit fans to strict standards so that in the future, there will be no more “energy-guzzlers” on the European market. The first stage will become effective on 1 January 2013. It is estimated that some 30 percent of all fans currently on the market will then no longer satisfy European regulations.
In the second stage, from 2015, another 20 percent will be replaced by more efficient products. These will satisfy the specified minimum efficiency levels. The user can recognise fans that satisfy the requirements of the directive by the CE sign, on which energy efficiency is given the same significance as compliance with the low-voltage and EMC directives. Labelling in the way that washing machines, refrigerators, etc. are labelled is not planned for fans as the fan manufacturers usually have no influence on the installation conditions.
ErP Implementation Directive for motors
What applies to fans also applies in principle to electric motors. In this context there is often a lack of clarity leading to misunderstandings. The fact is that electric motors are required to achieve at least efficiency class IE2 from June 2011 in accordance with European Union Implementation Directive No. 2009/640/EC (ErP Directive). The directive defines a “motor” as an “electric single speed, three-phase 50 Hz or 50/60 Hz, squirrel cage induction motor that has 2, 4 or 6-poles, a rated voltage of up to 1000 V, a rated output between 0.75 kW and 375 kW, rated on the basis of continuous operation”.
EC external rotor motors like the ones used to drive energy-efficient fans are therefore not subject to this directive. However, their efficiency is comparable with the values required by the directive. Here, it becomes clear that EC motors already substantially exceed the efficiency levels demanded. This shows that EC motor technology is the better alternative when planning energy-efficient equipment and installations.