Proposed air conditioner, heat pump efficiency regulations cause concern

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It’s not just hot water heating systems and boilers that face increased energy efficiency requirements under Amendment 15 to Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations. This amendment will introduce or update energy efficiency standards and, where applicable, test methods and associated reporting and compliance requirements, for 17 product categories.

Proposed efficiency improvements for air conditioners and heat pumps under 19 kW have manufacturers worried, reports the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI). NRCan has posted a notice on its website outlining the regulatory changes being considered. It includes a maximum average off-mode power consumption that covers electricity consumption of both single and three-phase units. This goes beyond U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regulations that do not include three-phase units.

HRAI and the U.S.-based Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) have written to NRCan expressing concerns about using the same off-mode power use requirements for single and three-phase equipment, citing several reasons why it is not feasible to include three-phase equipment, reported Caroline Czajko, HRAI Manufacturers Division manager.

The associations have recommended that NRCan consider excluding three-phase air-conditioning equipment from off-mode power requirements, or at least looking at the use of an alternative efficiency determination method in lieu of actual testing and/or extending single-phase results by calculation to simulate the off-mode power consumption for three-phase air-conditioners and heat pumps.

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