New Motor Standards Are Broader, Not DeeperJeff Perkins for Zondits, November 26, 2013
After years of increasing standards for motor efficiency across a relatively narrow range of motor styles and sizes, a critical point in diminishing returns has been reached. Recognizing this fact, rather than coming up with a very expensive incremental change, manufacturers and advocates agreed to broaden the scope of motors covered by the existing standards. These new rules will open a wider range of applications that energy engineers can and should target for recommendations.
In total, motors represent close to 50% of industrial electricity use and as such these standards will save US industry billions. As always, careful consideration was given to the net cost to manufacturers, industry and society as well as to the savings potential offered by the standard. And while the full economic analysis includes looking at the value of reduced emissions, even when looking at it on the merits of energy savings alone, future savings outweigh costs by a substantial margin.
Energy efficiency is a continuing process of incremental changes. After 30+ years, more and more systems will be reaching the point of diminished returns. This approach to motors is an intelligent, cost effective, consensus driven decision and may well be a template for good decision making in other areas touched by codes and standards.