DOE Updates NEMA Premium Regulation Standards

Motor Regulations and System Engineering

Automation World, September 11, 2015. Image credit: Siemens

Starting next year, gear motors, brake motors and inverter duty motors—which had previously been excluded from the Department of Energy’s NEMA Premium regulations—must now meet the standard.

During a recent meeting at Siemens’ gear motor assembly plant in Greenville, S.C., Rich Mintz, senior market development manager for Siemens Industry’s gear motor business segment, explained that, as of June 1, 2016, these previously excluded motor types would now also fall under the NEMA Premium requirements.

Mintz noted that most motors, when they are redesigned to meet higher efficiency requirements, usually end up with a bigger footprint due to the different materials used. However, he pointed out that Siemens new high efficiency Sinamics G110M gear motor with an integrated drive has no appreciable size difference compared to its predecessor. “The motor diameter and the terminal box are the same size,” he said, adding that this adherence to footprint was a major design consideration given the ease of automation system integration goals for the new gear motor drive. “We want end users and system integrators to be able to easily upgrade existing systems with these new, higher efficiency drives without having to redesign their systems or perform complicated retrofitting,” he said.

With its upgrades to higher efficiency capabilities in accordance with NEMA Premium, Mintz noted that the new G110M gear motor drive is more expensive than its predecessors, but that the product’s energy savings more than offset the higher cost over the life of the device.

Mintz calculated that, based on a 6,000 hours per year operating schedule (i.e., running 23 hours a day, five days a week) at an electricity cost of $.07/kWh, the price difference return on investment on a 1 hp unit is 3.1 years, 4.5 years for a 5 hp unit, and 2.8 years for a 10 hp unit.

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