Power management company Eaton has published a white paper, Motor protection for the IE3 revolution, that discusses the impact of the Energy-related Products (ErP) directive on switchgear and protection systems for electric motors.

Authored by Eaton product manager, Jan Nowak, the white paper offers machine and system builders an insight into the repercussions (of the directive) on motor design as well as practical advice on what users should keep in mind when selecting protective devices.

“Awareness of energy efficiency has increased enormously in the industrial sector as a result of the ErP directive,” explained author Jan Nowak. “Manufacturers of electric motors are now introducing products with increasingly higher energy efficiency levels, which is only right and proper. However, it’s important to remember that this has an impact on the design of these motors and the protection systems used for them.”

The paper addresses how the requirements set forth in the ErP Directive and the motor regulations are forcing electric motor manufacturers to make design changes to their products. Discussed is the impact this is having on many areas of the electrical characteristics from thicker magnet wires in the stator to higher starting currents.

Correspondingly, Eaton’s white paper looks in detail at the impact on switching and protection devices. It provides machine and system builders with guidance on choosing the right equipment to meet the needs of specific applications, as well as the requirements of the directive. Design changes for motor protection systems are also explained and the risks that accompany these modifications described.

Electric motors are estimated to account for almost two-thirds of industrial electricity consumption. The European Union has recognised the potential for reducing this and the related CO2 emissions through the use of more efficient technologies and introduced a number of measures including the Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive 2009/125/EC.

The white paper is available to be downloaded for free here.