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Let the buyer beware - new legislation now in force
Published:  07 March, 2013

Elta Fans is warning specifiers of ventilation products to make sure they are up to date with what they need to know when sourcing fans, now that the first phase of the Energy Related Products (ErP) Directive is in force.

The new Directive was officially implemented on 1 January 2013 and will mean a number of changes in the provision of HVAC in buildings, most notably that certain fans will no longer be permitted under the new legislation. Manufacturers and specifiers are required to ensure that the fans meet the minimum efficiency levels established by the new Directive. This applies to a wide range of different fan types which have an input power from 125W to 500kW, with the efficiency level required dependent on the category into which the fan falls.

Alan Macklin is group technical manager at Elta and recognises that there will inevitably be a degree of confusion as people come to terms with the implications. He said: “As with any new legislation, it takes time for people to understand what it entails but this Directive is now in place and ignorance is no defence. That is why we have been working up to this point for over two years, introducing fans in advance of the deadline to ensure we are ahead of the game. The new products we have already introduced are all fully compliant, with products such as our Raptor range having had the new FE2owlet impeller in place for more than 12 months. We are now moving onto the next phase of our product development plan to incorporate the best available technology in our new and existing product ranges.”

Useful information on the Directive and what it means to those who are specifying fans is available at www.erpfans.co.uk – a website set up by Elta to deal with the subject. Two of the most significant developments are the increased importance of the terms specific fan power (SFP) and fan motor efficiency grade (FMEG).

SFP is used as a means of quantifying the energy efficiency of a fan. It is a measure of the electric power required to drive a fan relative to the amount of air the fan circulates. It is not a constant for a given fan but changes with both airflow rate and rises in fan pressure.

FMEG is based on a fan’s performance characteristics at a speed not higher than the maximum safe operating speed to obtain its optimum efficiency point. Both terms will increasingly be used in identifying the correct fan for a given application and must therefore be prominent in the fan specification details, not only in marketing literature and on websites but also in the product labelling and packaging for the fans themselves.

Macklin continued: “During the bedding-in period for the new Directive, there will inevitably be people out there with questions and we are happy to answer them, either through the FAQs on the website or if people want to pose their questions directly to us. Specifiers should certainly be checking the labels on fans as the Directive clearly states that the necessary information should be clearly displayed and, if they are in any doubt, then they should check.”