REHVA Technical Seminar, October 28, 2011, Brussels, Belgium
Air conditioning product regulations with input > 12 kW is another major preparatory study of the Ecodesign Directive ENTR Lot 6, which will be completed in March 2012. Products in the scope are air conditioners and air conditioning condensing units, various types of chillers for air conditioning applications, fan coils and products within the cooling systems, such as cooling towers and dry coolers. Interestingly, the chillers account for 60% of all the cooling capacity sold on the market, equal to almost 19 GW. These chillers, made predominantly from ferro metals, are mainly installed in offices, retail units and hotels. Second place in sales goes to VRF systems and non-ducted single-split systems accounting for 14% of total market shares, i.e. about 2.6 GW. The results from the study show that there is no particular focus on the effectiveness of the product – it simply must work. Being environment-friendly is another factor of the study and the results show that the large capacity units are more interesting to recycle than smaller units. On the other hand, there is a problem with the identification of product components, which is a major obstacle to better recycling. The study also shows that the heat exchangers should preferably follow certain criteria such as increased heat transfer intensity and heat area at a fixed kWh (and flow) rating/level, decreased pressure drop and reduction of heat exchanger volume.
Part of the study are also single fan exhaust (or supply) units, double-fan balanced units including air handling units (AHU) and central heat recovery units (CHRV). Test standards must establish the ideal performance test resulting in comprehensive, realistic and fair testing. Despite that the testing aims only on the unit, not at the entire system, which should also include ducts, dividers, terminal units and dehumidifiers. The consistency and compatibility of testing of residential and non-residential ventilation products are problematic as the both types of tests use different sets of test standards. Specific Power Input SPI (residential) and the Specific Fan Power SFP (non-residential) are incomplete. SPI is inaccurate in terms of external pressure drop. SFP does not take into account differences in internal pressure drop and does not include auxiliary energy. The public building sector offers the largest potential for efficient mechanical ventilation, especially in new efficient buildings to ensure healthy indoor environment, and although the units are consuming electricity, they can save up to 4 times as much primary energy in space heating (and cooling). The study also addresses and discusses occupancy and control strategy, running costs, BAT ventilation fans including efficiency, filters, heat recovery, among others.