Super Premium Efficiency (IE4) Motors

The case for replacing poor efficiency motors with Premium Efficiency Motors

Per Capita electricity consumption (2014) in India is about 800 kWh while in China it is about 4,000 kWh and in USA it is 13,000 kWh. This indicates that with increasing industrialization and increasing GDP, the per capita electricity consumption in India is going to grow – and the danger is that this growth will create supply issues as well as have increasing negative impact on the environment.

EESL initiative is extremely important to minimize these problems by focusing on the efficiency of devices that consume electricity to maximize utilization of power.

Besides lighting and heating, the third major (and most significant) use of electricity is to drive motors for various applications in the industry, infrastructure, commercial premises and at home. An overwhelming majority of these motors used in India are small – 5 HP (3.75 kW) or less with efficiencies in the 50% – 60% range.

Understanding the impact potential of Premium Efficiency Motors

Based on U.S. Department of Energy data, it is estimated that the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) premium-efficiency motor program would save 5.8 terawatts of electricity and prevent the release of nearly 80 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere over the next ten years. This is equivalent to keeping 16 million cars off the road.[1]

Roughly 30 million new electric motors are sold each year for industrial purposes. Some 300 million motors are in use in industry, infrastructure and large buildings. These electric motors are responsible for 40% of global electricity used to drive pumps, fans, compressors and other mechanical traction equipment. Motor technology has evolved over the last few decades. Superior so-called “premium” products are now available, ready to change the market toward energy efficiency and to contribute in lowering greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.[2]

Electric motor systems consume large amounts of electrical energy and can provide an opportunity for significant energy savings. Energy represents more than 97 percent of total motor operating costs over the motor’s lifetime. However, the purchase of a new motor often tends to be driven by the price, not the electricity it will consume. Even a small improvement in efficiency could result in significant energy and cost savings. Investing a little more money upfront for a more efficient motor is often paid back in energy savings with a payback period between 1 to 3 years[3]. Improving energy efficiency reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.[4]

Brushless Motors below 5 HP (3.75 kW) are much more compact and smaller in weight and size as compared to induction motors and are 25% – 35% more efficient.


[2] “The Global Community for Sustainable Energy Professionals”. Leonardo ENERGY

[3] “IEA 4E – Electric Motor Systems Annex – EMSA”


IE3 or Premium Efficiency Motor Standard

Majority of motors in use – particularly in sizes of 5 HP (3.75 kW) and more are induction motors. The premium efficiency motor standards cover the 1 horsepower (hp) to 500 hp three-phase low-voltage induction motors that are in widespread use in U.S. indus­trial facilities.

European motor efficiency standards are also defined based on induction motors and IEC 60034-30 specifies electrical efficiency classes (IE1 – IE3) for cage-induction motors.

Premium Efficiency Motors – USA

On December 19, 2007, President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) into law (Public Law 140-110). The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) actively participated in crafting major provisions on EISA. A critical provision that NEMA focused on was increased motor efficiency levels. NEMA standards for motor efficiency is shown below:

Premium Efficiency Motors – EU approach

On June, 2005, the European Union enacted a Directive on establishing a framework for setting Eco-design requirements (such as energy efficiency requirements) for all energy using products in the residential, tertiary and industrial sectors.

The IE3 efficiency values are virtually identical to the NEMA standard for Premium Efficiency Motors.

EC 60034-30, IE3 Premium Efficiency (%), IE4 Super Premium Efficiency are presented in the table along with the operational efficiency values of JEDL Brushless Motors

kW IE3 8 pole 50 HZ   IE4 8 pole 50 HZ   JEDL Brushless
8 pole 50 HZ
0.20 60.6 68.4 80.2
0.40 70.1 74.9 84.1
0.75 75.0 78.4 86.0
1.5 79.7 82.6 89.0
2.2 81.9 84.5 N.A.
3 83.5 85.9 88.0
4 84.8 87.1 91
5.5 86.2 88.3 93

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