IEA 4E: Annex Electric Motor Systems. Working period 2017 - 2019

The goal of the Annex Electric Motor Systems is to raise awareness on the large savings potential in motor systems, while showing the realization method of such a path. After publishing the „Policy Guidelines for Electric Motor Systems“ and recommendations for carrying out energy audits for motor systems based on international standards Austria analysed the impact of industrial automation on electricity consumption and the motor market.

Short Description

Current Situation and Motivation

Motor systems account for 69% of electricity consumed in the industry. These include, for example, pumping-, fan-, cooling and compressed air systems. At the same time, 20% of electricity consumed could be saved by economic optimization measures. Over the last years, many political activities in the field of international efficiency and minimum performance standards were set (e.g. EU Ecodesign-Directive, efficiency classification in the IEC 60034-30-1) consideringmainly induction motors without control. In the meantime, new technologies have also been included in standards for energy efficiency.

The extensive digitalization of production will in the future enable all relevant factors of production (human and equipment) to be integrated in the production process and to communicate via intelligent networks. On the one hand, intelligent networks of supply and demand will decrease energy consumption of motor systems, while on the other hand, consumption will increase by further installation of electric motors and control equipment.

Targets, Methodology

Austria examined within a subtask of the Annex Electric Motor Systems of the IEA TCP 4E whether new developments in the field of industrial automation have an impact on electricity consumption in industrial companies and which effects are expected for the technological development of electric motors. For this purpose, studies, scientific papers and presentations were analysed and stakeholders (suppliers, users and energy consultants) were interviewed.


The key findings are that Industry 4.0 technologies will have a major energy-saving effect on traditional electric motor systems (compressed air, pumps, fans) and special motors for automated applications are still a marginal issue.

All relevant manufacturers offer products for capturing data from electric motors and electric motor systems using sensors and calculation models to make them "intelligent". These sensors collect data and pass it on. This can already lead to increased efficiency within the system, but also to enhanced transparency at the level of the company with regard to the largest energy consumers and their current level of efficiency. In this context, frequency converters represent a central interface between data acquisition and control. By means of transmission and presentation of the data on site or in the cloud, these data can then be analyzed manually or via algorithms with respect to abnormalities and optimization possibilities. Furthermore, this data can be compared with "digital twins" of the respective equipment or system.

The results were presented at a conference and an expert workshop of "Plattform Industrie 4.0" (platform on industry 4.0). Industry involvement was achieved via stakeholder interviews, newsletter and direct contact. Furthermore, knowledge of how international energy efficiency standards, minimum performance standards, testing standards and testing procedures are being developed, was disseminated to Austrian companies and through the "klimaaktiv" energy consultant network, esp. by a workshop on drive systems.


Australia, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, United States

Contact Address

Österreichische Energieagentur
Mag. DI Konstantin Kulterer
Mariahilfer Straße 136
A-1150 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 586 15 24-114