ARCHIVE: Electric motor product roadmaps
As part of our work on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), we are developing ten product roadmaps to reduce the environmental and social impacts across the life cycle of a range of priority products, including motors.
Why electric motors?
In line with current evidence and EU Product Policy, Energy-using Products (EuP) are a priority product category. EuPs are a category of non-transport related products, which are significant energy users and sold in high volumes in the EU. Examples include:
- heating and lighting products
- electric motors
- domestic and office appliances
- consumer electronics
- air conditioners
In line with the EU Framework Directive on the Eco-design of EuPs, the European Commission have carried out a preliminary study on the environmental impacts of electric motors across the EU. Implementing Measures which set minimum energy efficiency performance standards have since been adopted on Motors and Circulators to address these impacts. There will also be Regulatory Committees with the aim of agreeing Implementing Measures for Pumps and Fans shortly.
- Eco-design of energy-using produtcs: More information on existing and upcoming EuP and energy labelling measures.
The July 2008 status report (PDF 40 KB) concluded that the lifecycle impacts of Electric Motors were so well covered by existing interventions that there would be little to be gained from studying them under the roadmap approach, but that there could be considerable value in considering Electric Motors from a motor driven system perspective.
After initial consultation with a sewage and wastewater industry group in November 2008 Defra have selected sewage pumping systems as a suitable motor driven system for the initial pilot of this approach as waste water pumps use a significant amount of the energy required by all motors systems, and are not yet covered by the EuP Directive.
Further details about this approach can be found in the 2009 update:
- Motors Roadmap Status Update – July 2009 (PDF 40 KB)
Further to this decision an evidence study was commissioned to investigate the lifecycle impacts of wastewater and sewage pumping systems, and the opportunities to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions arising from their operation. The final report from this study can be found here.
The key environmental impacts associated with motors include resource depletion (including precious metals in limited supply and fossil fuels), greenhouse gas emissions, and end of life waste (including hazardous waste). The key impact is the energy in use.
- Without intervention, the total motor driven systems electric energy consumption is forecast to increase from 149.7TWh in 2007 to 159.2TWh in 2020.
- Over 2.1 million electric motors and associated equipment are supplied into industrial and commercial markets in the UK each year. Within this group over 0.9 million motors are in the size range 0.75 – 400kW with 80 percent of systems powered by motors sized 7.5kW or smaller.
- Applications are diverse and on a ranking by energy consumption include pumps (32%) fans (22%), air compressors (8%), refrigeration, (7%) air conditioning (7%), and others (24%) which includes applications such as materials handling (lifts, conveyors and elevators), crushing & grinding, and machine tools.
- The largest market for motor driven equipment is within buildings, followed by the metal products machinery & equipment sector, the chemicals sector, other manufacturing industries and the water industry.
Page last modified: 15 October 2009