Fanning the Flames of Efficiency

Visitors from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory joined the Arlington Heights, Ill.-based Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) last month to announce a new public-private partnership that will promote fan-system efficiency and develop new assessment tools for fan systems...

04/26/2001



Visitors from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory joined the Arlington Heights, Ill.-based Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) last month to announce a new public-private partnership that will promote fan-system efficiency and develop new assessment tools for fan systems. These partners had previously joined forces to publish a handbook on fan systems.

The announcement, made jointly by AMCA's executive vice president, Peter Hanly, and the DOE's Denise Swink, deputy assistant secretary of Industrial Technologies, follows in the tradition of numerous programs launched over the last several years by DOE and other trade groups. As with recent programs aimed at motors, pumps and compressed-air systems, the new fan alliance will focus mainly on energy efficiency in manufacturing plants.

According to Swink, fans consume about 15 percent of the energy used in the industrial sector, or the equivalent of that produced by 66 (500 megawatt) power plants. 'A 20-percent savings would be the equivalent of 13 power plants,' says Swink, adding that if that energy were available, 'California wouldn't have its energy problem today.'

With AMCA's help, DOE is targeting fan systems in some 300,000 U.S. plants, with its main focus on the 30,000 plants believed to consume about 60 percent of all manufacturing energy used. The program's efforts are aimed at achieving energy-efficiency through assisting consulting and plant engineers that specify, design and operate large fan systems, as well as owners, architects and contractors involved in component selection and system design. Short-term goals include publishing Improving Fan System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry ; identifying fan-system projects for case studies; and disseminating new software and assessment tools.

Although AMCA has been independently developing a certification program for fan-efficiency ratings with its members, both Hanly and Swink point out that the program underscores the importance of evaluating systems rather than individual components.

AMCA's role is similar to that played by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association as a partner in the 'Motor Challenge,' a broadly publicized program aimed at motor efficiency that launched a few years ago. More information can be found at www.amca.org .





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