Amidst the debt crisis situation in the European region, electric motor manufacturers face a number of significant challenges. Developing energy-efficient motors at economic cost is a prime concern. Mandatory energy-efficiency regulations for energy-using products (EuPs) and energy-related products (ErPs) have been enforced by the European Union. To meet the upcoming deadlines for the implementation of these regulations, Lafert have been developing high-efficiency AC motors meeting IE2 and IE3, and permanent magnet electric motors meeting IE4.
Due to the high magnetic flux capacity of permanent magnet motors and the top performance achievable, IE4 PM motors are gaining interest from primarily end-users wanting to achieve efficiencies greater than IE3 or NEMA Premium. IE4 motors have traditionally been used in continuous duty cycle (S1) applications where energy savings can be realized quickly. Synchronous PM motors are used in both commercial and industrial applications as all major industry sectors are taking a serious look at IE4 motors. Despite the premium to purchase these types of motors, the return on investment (ROI) in the form of energy savings is still highly favourable. Unlike LV asynchronous AC induction motors, synchronous PM motors do not have slip and thus, energy losses are greatly minimized. IE4 motors in the industrial environment are not a new concept; however due to current pressure on environmental sustainability, IE4 motors are facing a greater demand providing exceptionally high energy savings potential to the end-users.
There are many advantages to using PM motors; among them:
- They have higher power densities relative to frame size than asynchronous AC induction motors, allowing smaller frame sizes to generate the same power output as a larger frame size AC induction motor of the same power rating.
- PM motors also typically offer a 15-20% increase in energy efficiency compared to an AC induction motor of similar power rating, making them highly preferred in applications where continuous duty is necessary, or where low residual heat is preferred or required.