Exporting machinery to USA? Something new to worry about

22 July 2009

If you’re exporting machinery to the USA, take note: next year the border guards will start inspecting your products to see if you are using an appropriate energy-saving motor. The new Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), passed in 2007 and taking effect on 19 Dec. 2010, sets stringent efficiency standards for a broad range of three-phase motors – including explosion proof, severe duty and brake motors – with power ratings from 0.75 to 375 kW.

Baldor's Super-E motors
Baldor's Super-E motors

After this date, says the new law, imports of equipment containing non-compliant motors will be rejected at the port of entry.

The EISA was signed into US law on December 19, 2007, and takes effect three years after that date. Canadian legislation is underway to become mandatory across Canada in 2011. Similar energy efficiency standards will be implemented across the European Union in 2015.

The relevant part of the EISA - section 313, 'Electric Motor Efficiency Standards - effectively replaces the current 1992 Energy Policy Act (EPAct) legislation that covers low voltage, general-purpose (Subtype I), 3-phase electric motors in the 1 to 200 HP (0.75 to 150 kW) range. It raises the minimum energy efficiency requirements of these motors from NEMA 'Energy Efficient' to NEMA 'Premium Efficient' (equivalent to the recently-created IEC 60034-30 standard, 'IE3 Level of efficiency').

It also encompasses Subtype II motors not previously within the EPAct scope, such as close-coupled pump motors, vertical motors and motors from 201 to 500 HP (150 to 375 kW), all of which must now be rated to at least NEMA 'Energy Efficient'.

Five years ahead of Europe
The U.S. is five years ahead of Europe in this type of motor efficiency legislation. As Mark Crocker, Baldor UK's Marketing Director, points out, ‘We've heard a lot recently about forthcoming mandatory minimum efficiency standards for motors in Europe, but not many people are aware that the USA is moving even more quickly, and upgrading from current levels to EISA Premium Efficiency levels in less than 15 months’ time!

Mr. Crocker says Baldor will make its EISA-compliant motors directly available to European OEM exporters, enabling them to stay ‘one step ahead of the game.’ The NEMA three-phase motors that meet the increased energy efficiency demands are what Baldor calls its Super-E motors, and includes nearly 1,000 different standard models. (NEMA stands for National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association.)

The Super-E motors meet or exceed the NEMA 'Premium Efficient' levels mandated by the EISA for 1 to 200 HP Subtype I motors.

For the Subtype II motors, Mr. Crocker says Baldor's existing line of Standard-E motors will meet the NEMA 'Energy Efficient' rating for this classification.

‘Machinery exporters consequently need to start thinking about this now,’ says Mr. Crocker. ‘Baldor is the leading manufacturer of NEMA motors in the U.S. and we're offering advice to help OEMs make the transition.’

For Baldor’s white paper on the U.S. energy legislation, CLICK HERE

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