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published 2 August 2021

Nowadays, the term "ecodesign" is used commonly. For manufacturers, it means designing environmentally friendly machinery and equipment in a conscious and sustainable manner. Not only in terms of production and operation, but also concerning disposal and recycling, i.e. throughout the product's entire life cycle.

The legal basis for ecodesign consists in Directive 2009/125/EC adopted in 2009 and establishing a framework for setting ecodesign requirements for energy-related products. Any commodity placed on the market which has an impact on energy consumption during its use is considered to be such a product. The aim of ecodesign is to increase the energy efficiency of equipment and machinery. It is used in the European Union and defines the requirements of maximum energy consumption, capacity, and other factors for selected product groups so as to reduce the negative impact of energy-related devices on the environment. Adopted in 2009, the 2009/125/EC Ecodesign Directive is a framework directive. This means that the Directive provides only general rules for placing ecodesign products on the market, and the executive acts related to this Directive consist in a number of regulations dedicated to specific types of electrical equipment, e.g. TVs, washing machines, furnaces, ventilation systems, etc.

With regard to fans and their required capacity level, the "COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 327/2011 of 30 March 2011 implementing Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to ecodesign requirements for fans driven by an electric motor with a power consumption of 125 W to 500 kW" is currently in force. It establishes the requirements concerning the minimum energy efficiency of fans in two stages: stage 1 has been in force since 2013, and stage 2, which has increased the minimum capacity coefficient, has been in force since 2015 and is still a valid determinant. However, since the introduction of Regulation 327/2011, it has been known that another update and tightening the rules will be inevitable. Recently, the European Union has placed great emphasis on aspects related to environmental protection, reduction of CO22 emissions into the atmosphere, implementing RES technologies and innovative, energy-efficient solutions in every area of our lives. An example of this is the European Green Deal initiative, where all 27 Member States have committed to transform the EU into the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. In order to achieve this goal, they have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to the 1990 levels.

Recent reports from works concerning updating the regulation say that it will see the light of day in January 2023. Then, the minimal level of energy capacity of fans will once again be changed, and the methods and conditions of their measurement are going to be precisely specified. According to reports, the minimum capacity threshold will be achievable only by very efficient devices, such as fans with an electronically commutated EC motor.

But actually, it's not just about meeting the regulations. These fans include a number of advantages which should make them the only choice for every manufacturer. Low noise, reliability, and long service life, as well as simple and smooth rotation speed control are just some of the few advantages of EC fans. They are the next step in the development of electric motors. And in addition to being very energy-efficient, by using them in various types of machines, it is possible to achieve even more efficient and energy-saving systems.

Therefore, not waiting until the aforementioned regulations force a change, already today every manufacturer should consider using EC fans in their devices. This is the best time to go with the times, to show that proprietary devices are designed consciously and in accordance with sustainable development and environmental protection.