Growing concern for the environment has changed standards for energy efficiency in both commercial and industrial buildings. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has taken major steps to ensure that buildings across the country use efficient heating and cooling systems by introducing a new set of standards meant to reduce waste, pollution, and expenditures for utilities.
The department’s new standards for household products will save over 500 billion dollars for consumers and cut greenhouse gas emissions by other 2 billion metric tons through 2030. 1 Let’s take a look at what these new standards are.
How Will the Phase Out Occur?
The commercial side of air conditioning will occur in two phases. The first of the new standards is in 2018, an introductory phase that is expected to cut electricity consumption by about thirteen percent overall. The second phase begins in 2023, when the consumption figure will drop by a further fifteen percent.
The new standards will increase the use of variable fixture drives, a motor system that runs on variable powers so that it need not operate at full capacity during the entirety of its lifespan. Current rooftop HVAC manufacturers are already increasing the part-load performance of their products, employing tandem compressors in order to achieve better efficiency and developing discharge mechanisms that minimize over-compression. 2
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The next generation of rooftop HVAC units will include features like tandem bases and low-GWP refrigerants. Furthermore, experts suggest that there will be an increasing importance on indoor air quality (IAQ) as the customer base seeks out systems that not only cost less power and money, but also improve living conditions.
Implications for the Future
The next years and decades will likely see a huge increase in energy efficiency from new standards and systems for HVAC units. A well-rounded HVAC program can help future technicians understand the skills and knowledge needed to work on current and next-generation units in commercial and industrial facilities.
Since these standards are pacing the energy market, HVAC students should keep track of government regulations which may give them a competitive advantage over their peers and find gainful employment working on these advanced heating and cooling systems.
1 – http://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-announces-largest-energy-efficiency-standard-history
2 – http://www.achrnews.com/articles/132707-efficiency-standards-prompt-rooftop-innovations
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