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WEG introduces IE3-compliant motor switching and protection

26 April 2015

WEG has introduced IE3-compliant switchgear to ensure reliable operation of IE3 high-efficiency motors, despite their higher inrush currents compared with those of IE2 motors.

With European Regulation 640/2009/EC coming into force last January, motors with rated power from 7.5 to 375kW sold in Europe must now achieve at least IE3 energy efficiency levels or IE2 standards if they are equipped with a variable speed drive.

Although using premium efficiency motors is now mandatory, the choice of low-voltage switchgear, such as motor protection circuit breakers, is still left to the user. To ensure reliable equipment operation despite higher inrush and starting currents typically found in IE3 motors, users should now consider IE3 compatibility when selecting low-voltage switchgear.

Of all motor protection devices, motor protection circuit breakers are particularly exposed to the higher inrush and starting currents of premium efficiency motors, due to their high sensitivity.

With this in mind, WEG has raised the trip level of its MPW series of motor protection circuit breakers from 12 times to 13 times the maximum rated operating current to ensure IE3-compliance and is planning to raise it further to 15 times the maximum rated operating current to meet future IE4 regulations.

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