Congress Cool with VSDs

By Staff January 1, 2006

With recent passage of the new Energy Policy Act, some congressional officials are putting their money where their mouth is. A new variable-speed drive for small heating and cooling air-handling units was placed in the Longworth House of Representatives Office Building in Washington, D.C., part of the U.S. Capitol building complex.

While large institutions are generally aggressive in pursuing central plant energy efficiency, individual room AHUs, according to Carrier, the drive’s manufacturer, have been frequently overlooked as a potential source of savings, especially in retrofits of older buildings, where, frankly, there can be lack of a solution that does not require the entire replacement of inefficient systems.

The upgraded energy-saving unit provides precise heating or cooling to the occupied space based on comfort needs. For this one unit alone, Carrier estimates the operating costs will be reduced by at least 45% or more than $1,000 over 10 years of use.

Besides energy savings, the Comfort-Plus Drive Fan Coil VSD all but eliminates the distracting noise found in most fixed-speed units, critical in meeting rooms of Congress and elsewhere.

“This is a classic win-win situation,” said Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-24th-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Science Committee. “Opto-Generic Devices, which is manufacturing the new units in my congressional district, is creating many new jobs in upstate New York, but is also helping our nation reduce its energy usage and helping consumers save money on their energy bills.”