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IMS Research Predicts ac Induction Motor Market Growth to Triple by 2011

IMS Research Predicts ac Induction Motor Market Growth to Triple by 2011

Market research firm IMS Research says a government-led movement toward higher efficiency motors will affect the worldwide ac induction motor market over the next few years.

According to the firm, governments have introduced legislation, or encouraged voluntary industry agreements, that will shift the market away from EPAct and EFF2 motors to higher efficiency motors. The U.S. government has been a leader with the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, according to the firm.

The law, which takes effect Dec. 19, 2010, says all general-purpose motors of at least 1 hp and not more than 200 hp will have to meet or exceed NEMA premium motor-efficiency levels. Governments and trade bodies in the EU, China, Korea and Australia have enacted similar legislation or agreements, according to IMS.

IMS Analyst Steve Odom says three-quarters of the world's industrial ac induction motors being sold each year do not meet the efficiency standards that will be required under the new law.

"EISA impacts only new motors sold. The installed base of motors is quite large. The average lifetime of an industrial motor is probably 18 to 20 years, so new motors sold represent just a fraction of the install base," he says. "Replacing an older motor with a NEMA premium motor will save something like 3 to 8 percent in electricity per year. That works out to a payback period of around two years, so it's a good investment. However, induction motors are already very efficient; it's a very mature technology. There's a much greater opportunity for savings by looking at the whole system – leaks, correct sizing, using variable speed drives."

Odom says NEMA premium motors currently have about a 20-percent price premium. "I expect that differential to come down closer to parity with standard efficiency motors as we approach 2011," he says. "This is what happened when EPAct motors were required in the 1990s – their price premium eroded to parity with standard efficiency motors."

IMS Research collected year-end ac induction motor market data through 2007 from manufacturers and found revenues were up 6.8 percent in the U.S., according to Odom, who says estimates suggest revenue numbers grew only 2 percent in 2008. He says the 2009 forecast shows revenue to be down 7 percent in the U.S.

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