AMCA International inmotion Magazine - Summer 2012 - (Page 3)

from the executive director A 2020 Vision for Regulating Air System Efficiency By WaDE SMItH, PE, Executive Director, AMCA International chose to support the DOE in this effort, believing that regulation was inevitable with or without our support, and that our industry would fare better if AMCA and its members were proactive. On December 19, 2011, AMCA board members met with John Cymbalsky, who heads the DOE Appliance and Equipment Efficiency program. John suggested, and AMCA DOE’s Simple Metric—watts/cfm agreed, that AMCA work with key industry stakeholders, such On May 16, 2012, the DOE issued its proposed regulation for as American Council for an Energy residential furnace fans, which is based on a Estimated Fan Efficient Economy, ASHRAE, and others, system-oriented metric of watts per cfm. If Energy Savings Potential to develop a joint proposal on what a fanthis metric was modified for variable comFan Efficiency efficiency regulation would look like. This Drive mercial fan pressures based on simple field process is now underway. measurements, our industry would deliver Efficiency System the largest savings available from the least Leakage At the same time, many mechanical prodcost investment by 2020. It seems simple Fan System ucts are approaching what some call “max enough, but doing so will require a seismic Selection Design tech”—the point at which the Law of shift from regulations and enforcement Diminishing Returns makes further effibased solely on laboratory measurements to ciency improvements too costly. Consequently, building inregulations that include field measurements. dustry groups are now considering how to transition from regulating HVAC system component efficiencies, to instead There is strong support for this shift within ASHRAE and measure and control installed system efficiency. Outcomeamong environmental advocates. If this happens, our industry based and performance-based codes, standards and regulations will change current practice over the next eight years: are therefore being considered. 1. System effects at the fan and in the duct system will be better Vision 2020 documented, and incorporated into design software. In the case of air systems, a great deal more energy can be saved by altering design and installation practice than by driv2. Fan selections will be based on total pressure, taking full ing manufacturers to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of advantage of duct static regain. fans. Certainly, fan product efficiency will be regulated in the same manner as appliances, light bulbs and air conditioners. 3. Air system leakage will be dramatically reduced. DOE estimates that about 20% of energy consumed by industrial and commercial fans, blowers, and fume hoods can be 4. Airflow measurement and energy use submeters will be saved through equipment-efficiency regulation. However, such added to system designs. dramatic improvements in fan aerodynamic efficiency will yield unattractive returns on investment (ROI) compared to the 5. Periodic or continuous monitoring of fan energy, flow, and ROI available from system design changes that a) properly size pressure will show initial regulatory compliance, and feed and select fans; b) minimize system effects at the fan and diagnostic algorithms to preserve air system efficiency over within the duct systems; and c) minimize system leakage (see time. figure). Vision 2020—Will It Happen? So the stars are aligned to support a change in how efficiency Many are skeptical. Some are optimistic. Others persist in deis regulated for air systems and components. While AMCA nial. Personally, I am guided by a quote from William Arthur supports practical fan product efficiency improvements, a sysWard that hangs in my office under a painting of a small sailtem level approach will yield greater savings. On this point, the boat in a stormy sea, which says, “The pessimist complains facts are clear to all who might be party to a consensus agreeabout the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist ment. The challenge for those who will draft air adjusts the sails.” w w w. a m c a . o r g On June 29, 2011, the Department of Energy issued a public notice of their intent to regulate the efficiency of fans, blowers and fume hoods, requesting comments. AMCA system efficiency regulations is to determine what regulation and enforcement regimen will work to dramatically reduce fan energy of projects installed in 2020. The long-term 2020 perspective accommodates DOE’s regulation-development process and the time required to build a broad-based consensus among stakeholders—manufacturers, engineers, regulators, building owners, contractors, etc. Essentially, we need to consider what air systems can and should look like in 2020, how well they can perform, and how regulations can be easy to understand and enforce. a m c a I n t e r nat I o na l inmotion Summer 2012 3 http://WWW.AMCA.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AMCA International inmotion Magazine - Summer 2012

AMCA International inmotion Magazine - Summer 2012
President’s Message
From the Executive Director
Code Watch
The Role of Fan Efficiency in Achieving Energy Reduction Goals
Fan Motor Efficiency Grades in the European Market
Performance and Reliability Assurance of Custom Engineered and Manufactured Fans for Industrial and Utility Applications
Smoke Damper Testing and Maintenance for Service Life and Performance Assurance
Advertisers Index

AMCA International inmotion Magazine - Summer 2012