IES2: the gold energy efficiency standard for drive systems

variable speed drive compressor schematic

Where does IES2 come from?

IES2 originally comes from the European Standard EN 50598, covering both Part 1 and Part 2. This has now been transferred to the International Standard IEC 61800-9, which details the Ecodesign requirements for drive systems, motor starters, power electronics, and their driven devices.

Why is IES2 needed?

Creating a sustainable power industry is a key goal for the European Union. With approximately 70% of power demand in industrial plants coming from electrically driven systems, there is incredible scope to reduce the environmental impact and energy requirements generated by this industry.
For this reason, classifications such as IES2 are needed to help categorise how efficient a system is.

What does IES stand for?

IES stands for International Efficiency of Systems. An IES class, then, is the energy classification of a drive system. This differs from an IE class, which is solely the energy classification of an electromechanical component.

What’s meant by a drive system?

Traditionally, the standards governing the efficiency classes of motors and systems only covered electromechanical components. As a result, they only considered the role these components had to play in energy efficiency.


effiDrive IES2 logo

So, what actually is IES2?

IES2 is one of a series of classes under the International Standard IEC 618009-2, which define the relative losses of a PDS. A system is either classed as IES0, IES1 or IES2, ranging from the least efficient to the most.

And why is IES2 important?

IES2 is important because it’s the highest efficiency class for a PDS. Essentially, it’s the one you should be looking out for when choosing a compressor. To measure the efficiency of a PDS, a specific reference point is used: this is when the system is operating at 100% motor stator frequency and 100% torque, even for variable speed units.

Ultimately, a PDS rated with an efficiency class of IES0 has 20% higher losses than IES1, whereas a PDS that has an efficiency class of IES2 achieves 20% lower losses than IES1. A PDS that meets IES2 has, therefore, achieved the highest possible standard for energy efficiency.

It’s easy to be confused by the standards and acronyms governing energy efficiency for compressed air systems, but one you do need to be aware of is IES2. Here, we break down everything you need to know about IES2, so you can understand why it’s so important to select a compressor that has achieved this classification. With CompAir, you can have every confidence that our compressors meet IES2 standards. This ensures your compressed air operations are optimised for the greatest levels of efficiency and performance.

Do CompAir’s compressors meet IES2?

Nearly all CompAir’s variable speed compressors include a PDS that meets IES2 standards.

In fact, many of CompAir’s compressor range’s not only meet the requirements of IES2, but they also exceed them.

The CompAir regulated speed (RS) machines (link to RS page) from the L series lubricated screw and Oilfree D,DH and Ultima ranges, meet and exceed IES2 standards.

Why is this?

When it comes to compressed air systems, CompAir’s goal is to not only meet the required standards but go above and beyond them.  From its high-performance airend technology, designed and manufactured at our dedicated Centre of Excellence in Simmern, Germany, to ensuring most of its compressor technologies meet IES2 standards, CompAir is committed to delivering premium products, which deliver premium efficiencies.

Click here to learn more about how variable speed compressors work & to see how a fixed speed compressor can be sequenced with a variable speed machine to precisely match output with network demand to save energy.

Today, the standards not only look at individual components but the whole system too, and what the overall impact is on energy efficiency levels. For example, a power drive system (PDS) in a compressor would cover both the unit’s frequency converter and its motor, and it’s this entire system that an IES class would judge when deciding how energy efficient it is.