IEC Standards for Motors

Electric motors drive industrial applications all over the world. As such, the energy efficiency testing standards and efficiency classifications for these motors can vary greatly from one country to the next.

To accommodate the global nature of business, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) was formed to globalize electrical standards including efficiency standards.

International Electrotechnical Comission

International Electric Motor Efficiency Standards

In an effort to standardize efficiency ratings across the globe, the IEC has designed a uniform set of international specifications for electric motors that may be adopted by governments, manufacturers, purchasers, consumers, testing laboratories or trade organizations. With a global set of standards, different countries and organizations can now operate under the same set of guidelines and thereby remove some of the technical barriers to global trade that previously existed within the industry.

IEC 60034-2-1 standards are often referenced and applied by national laws and regulations. Governments are also free to set their own minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for motor efficiency.

The IEC 60034-30-1 classification scheme standards include four levels of motor efficiency:

  1. IE1 Standard efficiency
  2. IE2 High efficiency
  3. IE3 Premium efficiency
  4. IE4 Super premium efficiency

IEC Standards in Action

Below are some examples from countries that have adopted the use of IEC standards for motors.

  • The United States became the first country to set MEPS in 1997. Today, U.S. electric motor manufacturers are held to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Premium level, which is equivalent to the IE3 Premium efficiency level with a few exceptions depending on the operating time of the motor.
  • The European Union has MEPS levels set at IE3, although certain motors may operate at IE2 in conjunction with a variable frequency drive.
  • Australia and New Zealand have required an IE2 level since 2001.
  • China initially began with a standard of IE1 back in 2002 but has since tightened the requirements first to IE2 and then to IE3.
  • Japan is among the most recent countries to implement IEC standards and has done so at the IE2 and IE3 levels.
  • India has had a voluntary IE2 requirement in place since 2012.

NORD Drivesystems Produces Optimum Efficient Drive Units

Industrial energy consumption and energy costs continue to rise. More efficient use of energy is critical in streamlining the operating costs of machinery and increasing overall profits for businesses.

At NORD Drivesystems, we take pride in manufacturing motors in all efficiency classes, even those that adhere to the strictest standards set forth by the IEC. In fact, a NORD motor paired with a NORD AC Vector Drive meets the highest level of power loss regulation for drive systems, IES2. Implementing our energy efficient electric motors, AC vector drives and reducers can result in significant cost savings for any manufacturer.

Contact us today to see how our expert team can assist you with minimizing inefficiency to maximize profits.



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