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
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.