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ErP: Frequently asked ques­tions

In 2013, the imple­men­ta­tion of the Energy-related Prod­ucts Direc­tive of the Euro­pean Union will bring with it minimum effi­ciency require­ments for fans that affect many compa­nies. In this regard, there is still a consid­er­able need for infor­ma­tion. Here, mag answers the most frequently asked ques­tions

Does the Direc­tive affect fans only, or does it also include prod­ucts such as compres­sors, pumps and the like?

The envi­ron­mental design direc­tive or Energy-using Prod­ucts Direc­tive (EuP) 2005/32/EC and its successor, the Energy-related Prod­ucts Direc­tive (ErP) 2009/125/EC, affect all prod­ucts that use energy in any way. The objec­tive is to impose minimum energy require­ments on all of these prod­ucts in order to attain the orig­inal goal, which is to reduce CO2 emis­sions. This also means taking into account the prod­ucts and devices you mentioned. Limits were imposed for pumps, for example, when direc­tive no. 641/2009 was passed on 22nd July 2009. The direc­tive for fans is expected to be passed in October of this year. The 27 coun­tries of the EU agreed to the basic condi­tions on 11th June 2010. Accord­ingly, the first stage is to enter into force on 1st January 2013.

Ques­tions: Steffen Wagner, Air-condi­tioning Product Marketing Manager at Rittal, poses the basic ques­tions that concern his industry and others with respect to the ErP coming into force.

Answers: Uwe Sigloch, Head of Market Manage­ment Venti­la­tion / Air-condi­tioning at ebm-papst Mulfingen, has been following the drafting of the Eco-design Direc­tive and answering the remaining ques­tions his customers have.

Which fans are affected by the new direc­tive?

All fans with an elec­trical input power of at least 125 watts. The upper limit has been defined as 500 kilo­watts. Like all rules, however, this one has excep­tions: The direc­tive does not pertain to fans for kitchen range hoods with elec­tric power of less than 280 watts and fans used in clothes dryers. The minimum effi­ciency level is defined depending on the fan type, the measuring system and the elec­trical power consumed. Concretely speaking, this means: The effi­ciency require­ments for small fans are less than the require­ments for fans with greater power.

What conse­quences does this have for the fans used in our prod­ucts?

These fans are affected only if their elec­trical input power is greater than 125 watts at the best point. If these fans have at least 125 watts of power and do not meet the effi­ciency require­ments, they have to be replaced by more effi­cient fans.

Do existing instal­la­tions have to be converted?

Existing instal­la­tions do not have to be converted. Only fans and devices with built-in fans placed on the market on or after 1st January 2013 in the Euro­pean Union are affected. A tran­si­tion period will apply, allowing units replaced during service to be grand­fa­thered in. However, the “old” fans must then be labelled accord­ingly.

What poten­tial savings can be expected from the new fans? How is their energy balance?

Usually, effi­cient fans have more effi­cient motors. These motors, together with aero­dy­nam­i­cally opti­mised impellers and demand-oriented open loop speed control, can provide energy savings of up to 70 per cent – over a long service life.

Will the new fans be more expen­sive?

It is impos­sible to give an unqual­i­fied answer to that ques­tion. There are defi­nitely cases in which the existing non-conforming fans can be modi­fied in a cost-neutral manner such that they meet the require­ments. However, there will also be cases in which increased effi­ciency means increased costs. But these extra costs are amor­tised in a very short time, depending on the duty cycle. Ulti­mately, this is a classic win-win situ­a­tion: The oper­ator bene­fits – as does the envi­ron­ment!

As a rule, the market does not accept price increases based on legal require­ments. What measures are ebm-papst taking to avoid a price increase or even offer the new fans at a lower price?

It will not be possible to uphold this basic rule in the case of the ErP direc­tive for fans. As described above, there will always be situ­a­tions in which it is neces­sary to resort to other motor tech­nolo­gies. This is true partic­u­larly in appli­ca­tions that use slowly rotating fans – there, extra costs cannot be avoided. Ulti­mately, though, the higher purchase price pays off quickly due to the lower energy costs. Of course, ebm-papst will do every­thing in its power to offer effi­cient and cost-effec­tive solu­tions, even in these power ranges.

What conse­quences does the direc­tive have for global compa­nies – what is the situ­a­tion in terms of world­wide validity and avail­ability?

All ErP direc­tives are, for the time being, binding for all rele­vant compo­nents and prod­ucts placed on the market in the Euro­pean Union. This includes both prod­ucts produced in the EU and those imported from non-EU coun­tries. The direc­tive does not include prod­ucts for export. However, we antic­i­pate that coun­tries outside the EU will address these issues if they have not done so already.

Are fans that meet the require­ments for 2015 already avail­able today?

Yes! ebm-papst Green­Tech EC fans meet or exceed by far the limits prescribed for 2015. This means that ebm-papst can offer a future-proof solu­tion for all fans used today.

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Additional product information can be found here:

ErP Directive: FAQ and data

High minimum efficiency ratings for fans