ErP Legislation that came into effect in January 2013 has been designed to decrease the energy consumption of products across the European Union (EU). In November 2009, the EuP Directive was replaced with the ErP directive, or Energy Related Products Directive which includes fans and ventilation equipment in its scope.
The main aim of the Directive is to maximise the design of products with an eco-friendly objective. The product design is to be made in such a way that maximum performance benefits are achieved and historically, where space constraints or acoustic performance may have governed design intent for a product range, manufacturers will have to re-think their design concepts to target the performance increases that are required.The Directive covers all products with motor input power ratings from 125W up to 500kW.
Legislation effective from January 1st 2013 resulted in the motor and blower components needing to meet specific efficiency levels, so that they could be sold within the EU. This legislation also covered axial type fans and has resulted in a number of products pre-dating 2013, becoming non-compliant for sale within the EU. A buffer timescale for retro-fitting fans was in place allowing products to be replaced up until December 2014.
The level of efficiency required by axial type products and the components used within a fan will then be increased in January 2015, which will require manufacturers to enhance product designs to meet targets.
Further legislation will include box fans and AHU products – including packaged heat recovery units from January 2016. Once in place, all fan and ventilation technology will require compliance with the ErP Directive and will be labelled accordingly with the relevant CE marking and ErP ready label.
The only exceptions currently permitted within the Directive are for the following: products with ambient temperature operation exceeding 100°C; emergency-only smoke extract systems and products requiring ATEX certification.
The Directive also promotes the use of modern technologies such as Electronically-Commutated (EC) fan technology / motors – which is the use of a brushless DC motor.
EC technology is fast replacing the older AC style technology in fan products and can provide efficiency gains upward of 30%. Motors are capable of performing at higher pressure however, a downside to the performance increase is that EC technology typically runs at a very high RPM (rotations per minute) and therefore the level of noise generated by the fan can often be higher.
Fan designs that are compliant to the ErP Directive are likely to have an increase in size to maximise the blower capability whilst an increase in weight may be seen where manufacturers add density to acoustic materials used to dampen acoustic breakout from the product.