Challenge produces a better air conditioner
The UC Davis "Western Cooling Challenge" has produced a better air conditioner.
The first certified winner of the UC
Davis “Western Cooling Challenge” is Coolerado Corp. of Denver. Recent federal tests showed that
their five-ton commercial rooftop unit should be able to air condition a
typical big-box store with less than half the energy needed by conventional
“Coolerado’s entry in the
Western Cooling Challenge was the first to take our rigorous tests at the
Advanced HVAC Lab at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s National Renewable Energy
Laboratory in Golden, Colo.,” said Mark Modera, director of the UC Davis
Western Cooling Efficiency Center.
“We are extremely pleased to
announce that Coolerado’s product exceeded our expectations. While our target
was a 40% reduction in energy use and peak electricity demand compared to
conventional cooling units, the Coolerado H-80 tests indicate almost 80%
energy-use savings and over 60% peak-demand reduction.”
the UC Davis Western Cooling Challenge is a program of activities designed to
help cooling-unit manufacturers deliver better products, and to help building
owners install and use those products in their new and existing low-rise,
nonresidential buildings (such as suburban retail and office buildings).
Many western states are hot and dry,
but use cooling systems that were designed for warm and humid climates. The
Cooling Challenge is based on the premise that Western-specific technologies
should be able to cool using far less energy.
The potential energy savings are
substantial, Modera said: Commercial rooftop air-conditioning units are used to
cool 70% of the floor area in nonresidential buildings in the western U.S.
Coolerado CEO Mike Luby said his
company’s five-ton H-80 rooftop unit is designed principally for light
commercial buildings. One H-80 is able to cool 1,500 to 3,000 square feet of
commercial floor area.
The firm is now taking H-80 orders
for delivery late this year. Luby said, “There will be a higher first cost
associated with this equipment, but with utility rebates, tax incentives and
energy savings, our customers should make up that difference in just two