Understand the New Motor Standards

Regulations will require higher energy efficiency for many AC motors.

By John Malinowski, Baldor Electric Co.

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EISA also doesn't distinguish between stock and custom motors. The determining factor is whether a particular unit meets the law's definition of "electric motor."

EISA applies to motors imported into the U.S., including ones that are components of another piece of equipment. It doesn't apply to motors exported from the U.S., including ones mounted on equipment. These motors or their boxes must be specifically marked "Intended for Export." (Other countries are enacting their own minimum efficiency performance requirements for motors. Canada's version of EISA takes effect on January 1, 2011. Mexico's version likely will resemble the U.S. EISA, except it only will apply to stock motors sold through distribution and available to the public, not custom motors or motors orders by OEMs and users.)

EISA doesn't require replacement of motors in use. The law doesn't affect the repair of motors already in service. It also doesn't impact inventories — motors on hand as of December 19, 2010, can be sold or used as before the law.

Efficiency Determination
Full-load nominal efficiency must be established using the same test methods as stipulated in EPAct, namely those specified in NEMA MG1-2006 and IEEE Standard 112, Test Method B, or CSA 390. Manufacturers like Baldor already determine such efficiencies in accordance with these standards.

Like EPAct, EISA requires a motor's nameplate to state the nominal full-load efficiency. All motors produced today should include this information for EPAct.

A revised industry standard, IEEE 841-2009, "IEEE Standard for Petroleum and Chemical Industry — Premium Efficiency, Severe-Duty, Totally Enclosed Fan-Cooled (TEFC) Squirrel Cage Induction Motors — Up to and Including 370 kW (500 hp.)," was recently released. It raises the efficiency level of 841 motors to NEMA Premium levels, mandating these motors' compliance with EISA.

The U.S. continues to lead the world in use of premium efficiency motors. The European Union will require premium efficiency motors in 2017.

John Malinowski is senior product manager for AC motors at Baldor Electric Co., Fort Smith, Ark. E-mail him at JMalinowski@baldor.com

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