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Motor efficiency regulation changes proposed for Canada; implemented for Mexico

  • June 2016
  • Number of views: 4227
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Rob Boteler, Chair
NEMA Energy Management Committee

Motor efficiency regulations are being amended by both Canada and Mexico. The following is a brief review of these amendments, which will provide EASA members with an understanding of what lies ahead for motor efficiency in the 1 to 500 horsepower range in these countries.

Changes proposed in Canada
Natural Resources Canada (NR Can) issued a series of proposed MEPS [minimum efficiency performance standards] on April 30th covering over twenty product categories including integral horsepower (IHP) electric motors. Canada is very aware of the US Department of Energy (USDOE) standards through their direct communications with the department and National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) motor section members. In keeping with past Canadian standards, the scope of product to be covered in the regulation is consistent with the US regulations. NR Can relies on CSA [Canadian Standards Association] to manage the test methods including the nominal efficiencies tables required, which is somewhat different than the US. Both the US and the Canadian rules cover voltages up to 600 V AC, removing a possible inconsistency. Motor manufacturers will comply with these new standards and nameplate their product accordingly with the appropriate CSA mark. The Canadian rule not only uses NEMA terminology, it also adds International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) terms such as IP [ingress protection] codes to further clarify. NR Can has requested comments through July of 2016. 

Editor's Note: EASA will submit a comment indicating it makes sense to harmonize the rules while continuing to use the CSA 390 test method; EASA also will encourage implementation no earlier than January 1, 2017. 

Review of proposed NR Can IHP rule
One of the more significant additions in both the US and Canadian regulation is the inclusion of partial motors that are used as drivers for gear motors, close coupled pumps, direct drive fans and other commercial and industrial applications. An integral gear assembly means a product that consists of a motor and a gear mechanism that are combined in such a manner that:

  • (a) the end bracket or mounting flange forms an integral part of both the motor and the gear mechanism; and
  • (b) if the motor and the gear mechanism are separated, only one of them remains intact. (assemblage d’engrenages intégrés)

The Canadian rule describes the motor as a machine that converts electrical power into rotational mechanical power and that:

  • (a) is an electric three-phase induction design;
  • (b) is a NEMA design A, B or C with NEMA T or U frame dimensions and a three- or four-digit NEMA frame number;
  • (c) is an enclosed NEMA design with a NEMA frame number of 56;
  • (d) is an IEC design N or H with an IEC frame number of 80 or above;
  • (e) has a nominal output power of not less than 0.75 kW (1 horsepower) and not more than 375 kW (500 horsepower);
  • (f) has a cage or squirrel-cage design;
  • (g) is rated for continuous duty or S1 operation;
  • (h) is designed to operate at a single speed;
  • (i) has a nominal voltage of not more than 600 V AC;
  • (j) has a nominal frequency of 50/60 Hz or 60 Hz;
  • (k) has a two-, four-, six- or eight-pole construction;
  • (l) has an open or enclosed construction; or
  • (m) has an IP code from 00 to 67.

The Canadian rule does not include any of the following:

  • (n) a motor that has a nominal output power of more than 150 kW (200 horsepower) and that is a NEMA design C motor or an IEC design H motor.
  • (o) an air-over electric motor;
  • (p) a liquid-cooled motor; or
  • (q) an inverter-only motor. 

Changes in Mexico effective June 1, 2016
Like Canada, regulators in Mexico have been watching the US DOE rules, holding meetings with local Mexican motor manufacturers to develop an amendment to the current NOM14 motor rule. The amended rule “NOM16” replaces the previous NOM14. NOM16 provides a detailed test procedure that is based on IEEE standards. Like the US and Canada, the scope of covered product has been expanded. The level of performance aligns at NEMA 12-12 premium levels. Mexico’s rule segments the power ranges into six categories as shown in Table 1 for sample testing requirements.


NEMA motor generator section members will be revising products including necessary conformance labels to assure EASA members receive products that comply with both of these amended rules as they take effect. EASA members should feel free to contact their motor supplier or NEMA directly if they have any questions regarding these two rules or the June 1st US DOE rule.


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