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EU Labelling on Room Air Conditioners

aircon-energy-label

aircon-energy-label

With so many products now available on the market it is more important than ever to ensure your new Air Conditioning System is energy Efficient.

 

As you would have seen with new refrigerators and other domestic appliances for years prior to now – all new air conditioning systems must have an Energy Rating to enable you make an informed decision about your potential purchase.

All of our quotations will show clearly the Energy Rating of the air conditioner in Cooling mode (and if applicable in Heating/Heat-Pump mode).

Below is an extract from The National Energy Foundation’s website which explains the theory…

Room Air Conditioners (RACs) are being increasingly used in the UK, especially in small computer rooms in otherwise naturally ventilated offices or factories. As part of its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions under the Kyoto protocol, the European Union has required member states, including Britain, to introduce a common EU Energy Label on RACs.

BackgroundRoom Air Conditioners are generally used to cool areas of up to 100m2 in industry and commerce; they are only rarely used domestically. Four main types of units are covered by the new labelling regulations:

Single-packaged units
Split-packaged units
Multi-split-packaged units
Single-duct air-conditioners
The units may be air or water cooled and there are separate standards for each main type. The regulations do not apply to portable spot air-conditioners, dehumidifiers or evaporant or desiccant coolers.

The performance is generally measured using an energy efficiency ratio (EER), where:

EER = Pc / Pe

and Pc is the cooling capacity of the air conditioner and Pe the electrical consumption, both measured in kW.

The LabelIn common with other, mainly domestic, equipment covered by EU energy labels, room air-conditioners are graded on a scale from A-G, where A represents the best equipment that is widely available, and G the worst. The EU also intends the use the labelling process to introduce mandatory minimum standards at a later date.

If you are intending to purchase or specify room air-conditioning equipment, there are two main questions that you should ask:

Is it necessary to use any air-conditioning?
What is the energy label of the proposed equipment?

The first question is not as stupid as it may seem. Small computer servers can often operate without being in a cooled environment. If there is a general problem with overheating in summer (not just for operating computers), this may sometimes be alleviated by providing external shading or heat-reflecting films to glazed areas. If the over-heating is not severe, it may also be possible to use a simple extract fan without artificial cooling. And it is always worth checking that if there is also heating to a computer room, then the systems are properly controlled so that the heating does not come on unnecessarily, creating an enhanced requirement for cooling.

If, on the other hand, it seems that some form of cooling is necessary to ensure an acceptable comfort level or guaranteed operating temperature within a manufacturer’s specified range, then you should look carefully at the new energy rating. Equipment with a higher rating may cost a little more initially, but G-rated equipment will use 50% more electricity under normal operating conditions than A-rated units. The energy label will also show estimated annual energy consumption in kWh; comparing two labels on different RACs will enable the annual cost saving between one and the other to be calculated quite simply.

If you don’t know how long an RAC will be used for, we suggest using 500 hours as a very broad average, although in the USA – where the climate is generally warmer in summer – a figure of 750 hours is regarded as normal.

Heating ModeSome room air conditioners have a heating mode where, in essence, the internal systems can be reversed for use in winter to produce warm air for the room and to expel cooled air outside. RACs with this function must quote a second A-G rating for the heating mode, based upon the coefficient of performance (CoP): in simple terms the CoP expresses how many more times useful heat is produced than electricity is used to drive the system. Water-based systems generally have higher coefficients of performance, with packaged units being better than split systems on this measure.

The Energy Label for Room Air Conditioners with an input power of less than 12kW was first introduced on 1 January 2003, and was significantly revised for equipment sold after August 2005. All RACs offered for sale after that date (except second-hand equipment) must have a label displayed clearly on the unit, as well as being provided with an accompanying fact sheet.

Link to SI 2005 No. 1726 defining the information to be displayed on the Energy Label.

Main body of content from: http://www.nef.org.uk/energysaving/roomair.htm
All rights reserved.

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