Air Conditioning Seasonal Efficiency
As European legislation puts pressure on energy users to cut their energy consumption, improve the energy efficiency of buildings and homes, as well as meeting the Commission’s 20/20/20 targets, the air conditioning (including heat pumps) industry needs to investigate more appropriate ways to evaluate efficiency.
The Eco-Design Directive (ERP) aims to reduce the environmental impact of products in the EU. With this in mind, an implementing measure for air conditioners is currently being developed to introduce a new method for performance specifications – seasonal efficiency – a measurement that will eventually replace the nominal efficiency method, which has its limitations and is now outdated.
Energy efficiency measurements provide consumers with air conditioning performance ratings. The present method, nominal efficiency, has limitations that result in significant gaps between the rated and actual performance. The new proposed method, seasonal efficiency, will correct this by using a more complex calculation method and is being developed by the EU in ERP (PrEN 14825: inquiry version 2010).
There are major differences between seasonal and nominal calculation:
- The seasonal calculation uses several rating temperatures for cooling and heating instead of just one nominal temperature;
- Seasonal efficiency calculations consider the operation at a partial capacity, instead of the nominal calculation of full capacity; and
- The seasonal efficiency method integrates the power consumed by devices in auxillary mode (when the unit is inactive), which can give you a substantial saving over a period of a year.
Therefore, using the seasonal efficiency calculation method will result in a much more accurate estimation of the real life performance of a product.
With this Directive in mind, manufacturers such as Daikin, Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Panasonic, Toshiba and many more are having to look at their various range of products and see ways of improving efficiency, and produce more efficient products.
Daikin have identified their Sky Air® as the product range with the strongest potential environmental impact, with light commercial applications being responsible for the biggest energy use on a yearly basis. Daikin have applied the Eco-Design principle to their Sky Air® range and in the residential market, Daikin is the first to publish seasonal performance values for residential air conditioners.
Although the Eco-Design Directive for Energy Related Products is not due to come into force until 2013, Daikin have integrated the Eco-Design principle in to its light commercial range with the launch of the first Sky Air® range optimised for seasonal efficiency – the Seasonal Inverter.
Daikin also introduces the new RZQG-L series, giving even higher seasonal efficiency:
- Optimised inverter control over the full temperature distribution curve, providing optimum partial load performance, with high ratings in real-life operation conditions;
- Auxillary modes have been re-designed.
Sky Air® outdoor seasonal efficiency-optimised units boasts over 20% improvement on the current Sky Air® Super Inverter in real-life situations, and more than 50% compared to non-inverter systems, which contributes to the EU Commission’s 20-20-20 targets. The units also offer a range of features including wide operation range, the re-use technology and a night quiet mode function (Seasonal Inverter).
The complete range of Sky Air® indoor units can be used in conjunction with the inverter-controlled RZQ-D3V1/D9V1 and RZQ-BW1 models, and capacity ranges from 7kW o 14kW. In addition, the new round flow cassette (FCQG) and ceiling suspended cassette (FHQG) can be used in combination with the new inverter controlled RZQG71, 100, 125 AD 140L models.
*EPB (Energy Performance of Buildings) Directive 2009/91/EC, ERP (Energy Related Products) Eco-Design Directive.