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New efficient-motor program launched in U.S.

Rosslyn, Va. -- The National Electrical Manufacturers Association in the U.S. has launched a national Premium Effic...


Rosslyn, Va. — The National Electrical Manufacturers Association in the U.S. has launched a national Premium Efficient Electric Motor program, known and marketed as NEMA Premium. NEMA members represent over 80 per cent of U.S. production and sales of electric motors.

Initial charter motor manufacturers participating in the program include Emerson Motors, Toshiba International, Rockwell Automation, GE Motors, Regal Beloit Corp., Siemens Energy and Automation, WEG Electric, SEW-Eurodrive, Sterling Electric, and A.O. Smith Electrical Products Co.

The NEMA Premium efficiency motor program is based on products available and sold today and that operate with present day motor support equipment. "It is in the best interests of motor users to specify NEMA Premium, thus maximizing efficiency, reducing electrical consumption costs, and improving motor system reliability and performance," according to Rob Boteler, director of marketing at Emerson Motors.

The motor program covers 1-hp to 200-hp definite and special purpose motors, motors up to 500 hp, and medium-voltage motors.

In the U.S., over 1.2 million integral electric motors are sold each year. Using that country’s Department of Energy data, it is estimated that the program could save over 5,800 gigawatts of electricity and prevent the release of nearly 80 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere over the next 10 years. That would be the equivalent of keeping 16 million cars off the road.

Earlier this year, the U.S. electric motor industry reached consensus on a specification defining premium efficient motors and have agreed to include the definition in NEMA industry electric motor performance and application standards. This action was based, in part, on power supply and utility deregulation issues that have brought attention to the need to assist industrial motor users and utilities to optimize motor systems efficiency.

Many users and motor repair shops have been confused over the lack of consistency in terms describing integral motor "premium efficiency" performance by third parties and manufacturers, according to the association. By directly relating motor efficiency to systems application needs, program manufacturers expect market and user confusion to be reduced.

NEMA members are in the energy efficiency business and provide the most innovative and efficient motor products possible, according to Dale Basso, product manager of medium AC motors at Rockwell Automation. "We have elected to broaden the motor program to include motors outside the range now regulated by the (U.S.) federal government in order to better serve the customer in a comprehensive manner."