NEMA Standards
The National Electric Manufacturers Association's standards for electric motors.

In 2007, President George W. Bush approved Congress’ Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), a law that aimed to encourage energy efficiency through resource preservation and pollution reduction. As a large consumer of electricity, almost 60% of all energy consumption in the U.S., motors became a target for change. In conjunction with the EISA, NEMA introduced its Premium Efficiency Electric Motors program, a new set of standards endorsed by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) designed to promote energy efficient motors by maximizing performance, minimizing energy expense and boosting system accuracy (Motors).

The Motor Generator Section of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) established the NEMA Premium program for four main reasons:

1. Electric motors have a significant impact on the total energy operating cost for industrial, institutional, and commercial buildings.

2. Electric Motors vary in terms of energy efficiency. The NEMA Premium program will help purchasers identify higher efficient motors that will save them money and improve system reliability.

3. NEMA Premium labeled electric motors will assist users to optimize motor systems efficiency in light of power supply and utility deregulation issues.

4. NEMA premium motors and optimized systems will reduce electrical consumption thereby reducing pollution associated with electric power generation.

Premium efficiency is determined based on a number of factors including motor type, the number of poles, horsepower and efficiency (Product Scope, 2009). There are two general overarching types of motors: open and enclosed. While open motors use an external source of air as a cooling mechanism, enclosed motors rely on an internal source, such as a fan.

In 1998 the European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power systems (CEMEP) issued a voluntary agreement of motor manufacturers on efficiency classification, with three efficiency classes:

Eff 3 for Low Efficiency

Eff 2 for Standard Efficiency

Eff 1 for High Efficiency

All Premium efficiency motors must have higher efficiency than EFF1 motors. All types of manufacturers have Premium efficiency motors – Baldor, Toshiba, GE and more.

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