High-efficiency commercial air conditioners

The U.S. Department of Energy is joining with the private sector to develop and deploy high-efficiency air conditioners for commercial buildings. The new rooftop units are expected to reduce energy use by as much as 60 percent, according to the DOE.

02/10/2011


Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) is joining with the private sector to support market-based efforts to develop and deploy next-generation high-efficiency air conditioners for commercial buildings. As part of a voluntary program, the Department worked with members of the DOE Commercial Building Energy Alliances, including Target and Walmart, to develop new performance criteria for 10-ton capacity commercial air conditioners, also known as rooftop units (RTUs). When built according to the requirements of the new specifications, these high-efficiency rooftop units are expected to reduce energy use by as much as 50-60 percent over the current equipment. Commercial buildings account for 18 percent of U.S. energy use and include significant opportunities for energy and financial savings that can help American companies be more competitive on a global scale.

To help achieve the best-in-class rooftop units requested by industry partners, DOE National Laboratories, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Lab, will provide technical assistance to manufacturers or developers who want to build the more efficient units. Interested manufacturers will reportedly receive assistance in designing, constructing, measuring, and testing the new air conditioner units produced to this specification.

Manufacturers nationwide have a strong motivation to produce the more efficient units, allegedly, since participating commercial building owners have expressed an interest in buying the new units if manufacturers can meet the new energy efficient specifications at an affordable price with the range of features the companies need.

The new performance criteria were developed by industry partners and facilitated by DOE technical assistance. The rooftop units resulting from this specification will have an Integrated Energy Efficiency Rating (IEER) of 18 and use 50-60 percent less energy compared to the current ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standard, depending on location and facility type, according to the DOE. Nationwide, if all the 10-ton commercial units sold in a given year were built using these criteria, businesses could reportedly save about $50 million a year in energy costs.

Additionally, the units will include advanced controls that support automated communication and diagnostics, enabling wireless communication to the owners' automation systems and ensuring that the units operate at top energy and operational performance levels throughout their service life, according to the DOE.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
integrated building networks, NFPA 99, recover waste heat, chilled water systems, Internet of Things, BAS controls
40 Under 40; Performance-based design; Clean agent fire suppression; NFPA 92; Future of commissioning; Successful project management principles
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me