- Posted by studio55
- On 03/01/2015
- 0 Comments
- ErP 2015, Fairhaven H&V Services
On 1st January 2015 the latest phase of the Energy Related Products (ErP) Directive for commercial fans came into effect, bringing even more stringent minimum efficiency levels for air movement products sold in Europe. Whilst responsibility for compliance with the new limits is primarily placed on the fan and AHU manufacturers, M&E contractors and consulting engineers need to be aware of the changes and ensure that all fans specified and installed are ErP 2015 compliant.
The new efficiency levels are specified according to fan type (centrifugal, axial, mixed flow, etc), and take into account the realistically achievable efficiencies for each type of fan according to the current technologies available. All fans with input powers from 125W to 500kW fall under the regulations, providing they are primarily intended to be used for moving air around a building to provide ventilation. The efficiency of each fan must be measured by the manufacturer using a new ISO test procedure. This efficiency, expressed as a Fan Motor Efficiency Grade (FMEG) must be clearly shown on the product labelling, helping to ensure the specifier & installer are aware what they are fitting.
For larger commercial fans and AHUs with 3-phase motors, the new regulations can generally be met through the use of existing high-efficiency AC motor technology driven by the latest variable frequency drive (VFD) controllers. For small commercial fans with single phase motors, the
new regulations will accelerate the shift from traditional AC motors to the latest EC (Electronically Commutated) motor technologies, also known as “brushless DC”. EC motors are able to operate with over 90% efficiency, and more importantly can do this even when operating below nominal speed, making them ideal for use in variable speed, demand controlled ventilation systems. When used in this way, EC powered fans can deliver up to 75% energy savings compared to traditional AC motored fans, easily offsetting the increased capital costs. They also generally provide built-in speed control capability, allowing easy commissioning or BMS control without the need for a separate controller. S&P have already launched EC motored versions of most of their small commercial and domestic fan products, all badged with the “ECOWATT” suffix.
Whilst all fans supplied from now on should be ErP compliant (and CE marked), the contractor needs to be aware that older, non-compliant products will still be in the supply chain, therefore it is important to check with your supplier prior to purchasing.
The primary consideration from the specifiers point of view will continue be installed Specific Fan Power (SFP). This figure must be below set limits in order to comply with local building regulations, and the responsibility for ensuring compliance with this requirement falls at the feet of the designer/specifier/installer. System design is as important as fan efficiency in meeting this requirement. Once again, it is important to fully understand the information provided by the manufacturer when specifying fans or choosing between alternatives. Many manufacturers will quote SFP at the fan’s nominal maximum airflow, rather than at the system design duty point. The two figures are often very different, especially in applications where there are high system resistances. Utilising S&P’s latest “EasyVENT” fan selection application, we can select a suitable fan and calculate as-installed SFP and noise levels within minutes.
If you have any doubts about how to ensure compliance with the latest regulations, or what type of fan is best suited for your application, please do not hesitate to contact us for information and advice.