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Energy-Saving Proposals Target Cooling Towers, VAV

By CP Editorial Staff September 2007 - Energy Efficiency

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is considering proposals that would address energy-savings measures related to variable air volume and cooling towers for Standard 90.1.

ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of buildings except low-rise residential buildings. Fourteen proposed addenda to the standard are open for public comment.

Under one proposed addendum, closed-circuit cooling tower requirements to help reduce energy use would be added to the standard. The addendum would add minimum efficiency and certification requirements for both axial- and centrifugal-fan closed- circuit cooling towers, also known as fluid coolers.

Also open for public comment is an addendum that extends variable air volume (VAV) fan requirements for large, single-zone units. VAV fan control now is required in the standard for multiple-zone systems. Extending VAV control to single-zone units would save energy by reducing fan energy use when space cooling loads are reduced.

The change would take effect in 2012, giving makers of air conditioning units time to redesign and test their units. Manufacturers now are redesigning to meet the 2010 phase-out of certain refrigerants.


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