Last year, the Department of Energy (DoE) held framework meetings to investigate how efficiency regulations might be established for motor-driven systems in fan, pump, and air compression applications. Since industrial motor efficiency is nearing its theoretical maximum, system efficiency is the next logical focus for improvement. Recent regulations for 1-HP to 500-HP three-phase motors, as well as the Small Motor Rule for 0.25-HP to 3-HP single- and three-phase open drip-proof motors, are expected to complement the system regulations.
The issues the DoE has been discussing include how efficiency would be measured, what components would be in the system, and what installation practices should be followed. Some of these systems are already regulated in Europe, so harmonization with those standards may be a possibility. Industry trade associations for these groups are also involved in the discussions.
There is likely to be a multi-year study before the DoE proposes any standards. However, new negotiated regulation procedures may speed along the process.