Circulators are pump devices used to circulate fluid in a closed system, such as hot water in heating systems or cooling water in cooling distribution systems. Most standard circulators operate continuously, regardless of heating needs. It is estimated that there are 14 million circulators placed on the EU market annually, which, without any regulatory measures, would entail a predicted electricity consumption of 55 TWh by 2020, comparable to the residential electricity consumption of Sweden and Portugal combined.
WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN UNION DOING?
The European Commission regulation (EC) No 641/2009 on Ecodesign Requirements for Glandless Standalone Circulators and Glandless Circulators Integrated in Products was published in August 2009, and the ecodesign requirements entered into force in January 2013. By 2020, energy efficiency rules for circulators will lead to annual energy savings of 23 TWh in the European Union, reducing CO2 emissions by 11 million tonnes.
A review study was finalised 2018, which concluded on a substantial remaining potential of annual savings of 3.06 TWh resulting in 2030 by lowering the EEI to 0.18 in 2022. This translates into energy consumption reduced by 10%, which is certainly not negligible.
The European Commission, however, presented a weaker revision proposal and should follow up on the review, with regulatory discussions and votes planned in 2019 and 2020.
WHAT DOES THE COOLPRODUCTS CAMPAIGN WANT?
- More ambitious energy efficiency requirements
- Include drinking water circulators in the scope for performance requirements;
- Limit the exemption for the circulators for replacement to avoid loopholes in the regulation;
- Highlight the presence of rare earth materials in permanent magnet motors. This is important for reuse and recycling purposes;
- Resource efficiency requirements, for instance in the form of information on the energy label (e.g. repairability/durability score).