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Replacing an unregulated heating pump with a high efficiency pump often pays for itself in just a few years.
© WILO SE
European Ecodesign Directive comes into force
05.10.2012

Highly efficient pump technology becomes obligatory

The age of unregulated, glandless circulation pumps is coming to an end. Several technically outdated series with electronic controls will also no longer be available next year. They do not meet the strict efficiency requirements of the new EU ordinance subject to the European Ecodesign Directive (ErP), which comes into force in 2013. With the exception of any remaining stock, it will then only be permitted to sell exceptionally power-saving, high-efficiency pumps for heating and air conditioning purposes anywhere in the European Union. In 2015 and 2020, the efficiency requirements for glandless circulation pumps will then be tightened in two stages.

As a result of these changes, the range of pumps available on the market will considerably alter from 1 January 2013. Around 90 per cent of all currently available unregulated heating circulator pumps will then no longer be permitted on the market. Many ranges will therefore no longer exist. The EU Commission estimates that the total electricity consumed by all glandless circulation pumps used for heating and air conditioning in the European Union can be halved by 2020 if these less efficient pumps are excluded. By 2020, it will be possible to reduce the European electricity requirement by 23 TWh. That corresponds to the entire electricity consumption of Ireland and will reduce CO2 emissions across Europe by 11 million tonnes.
Two other EU ordinances under the Ecodesign Directive (ErP) apply to larger, glanded pumps. On 16 June 2011, an ordinance already came into force in all EU Member States that relates to the efficiency of electric motors. Since then, glanded pumps equipped with conventional electric motors may only be sold on the market if the motor has at least efficiency class IE2, whereby this ordinance only relates to the electric motor used for the drive. The requirements will be tightened in two further stages in 2015 and 2017.

Requirements for glanded and glandless circulation pumps

A further EU ordinance for the glanded pump itself, i.e. without the electrical drive, applies from 1 January 2013 onwards. It defines the minimum requirements for the hydraulic efficiency. This is because the greater the hydraulic efficiency of the pump, the less electricity is required to achieve the necessary pump output. The new ordinance will come into force in two stages. This means that the limit values that apply from 2013 will be once more tightened from 1 January 2015. This is aimed at initially banning 10 per cent and later 40 per cent of the currently inefficient water pumps from the market and replacing them with more efficient follow-up models.

Requirements for integrated circulation pumps

Efficiency requirements for circulation pumps integrated in new heat generators and solar thermal systems do not apply until 1 August 2015. Devices may only then be placed on the market when their integrated pumps are “ErP ready”. When replacing integrated circulation pumps in heat generators and solar thermal systems placed on the market before 1 August 2015, the efficiency requirements do not apply until 1 January 2020. The pumps supplied by manufacturers as original replacement parts for older devices must also then adhere with the strict limit values.

From research to practice

The EU’s Ecodesign Directive is in line with the technological progress. More than ten years ago, the BINE Information Service reported on the research work being conducted on what were then innovative high-efficiency pumps for heating and solar thermal systems. In the project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the Wilo pump manufacturing company developed glandless circulators with a new motor technology. Even the prototypes were able to almost halve the electricity requirements compared to conventional pumps with asynchronous motors. This sudden jump in efficiency is now standard for a whole raft of mass-produced products.

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