Glancing Back: Pure Energy

May 26, 2001
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Case Studies

An article by David Adrian in the May 29, 1986 News gave a synopsis of a survey taken by the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI’s) Energy Committee. The committee questioned six supermarket chains on the usage of reach-in, multideck, and island refrigeration units. Clive Samuels presented the results of the survey at FMI’s annual convention and show that year.

The most energy efficient of the three types surveyed was the island case, drawing 4.1 kWh/ft/da, with 70% of the cost attributable to the refrigeration system, 15% to anticondensate heaters, 10% to defrost, and 5% to fans. Multi-decks were found to be the least efficient, drawing 9.4 kWh/ft/da, with 69% of the cost attributable to the refrigeration system, 15% to fans, 6% to anticondensate heaters, 6% to defrost, and 4% to lighting. Glass-door reach-ins drew 5.8 kWh/ft/da, with 44% of the cost attributable to the refrigeration system, 37% to anticondensate heaters, 9% to lighting, 7% to fans, and 3% to defrost, pointed out Samuels.

The study also compared these types of cases in terms of “air conditioning credits” — how much each reduced a store’s air conditioning load by removing latent and sensible heat. Typical 60-ft installations of islands, reach-ins, and multidecks reduced the load by 2.06, 2.25, and 5.12 TR, respectively. Samuels stressed the point that it is cheaper to remove humidity via the air conditioning system than by the refrigeration system.


More than A Shooting Star

In the spring of 1995, the Energy Star program, the EPA’s designation for items that meet certain criteria for energy efficiency, was expanded to allow manufacturers to qualify residential products for the program, according to a May 29, 1995 News article. Products listed included central air conditioners, electric heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, a gas-fired heat pump, and furnaces.

The last impediment to qualifying products was the EPA’s proposal that products in the program have a certain warranty period, but it was omitted when manufacturer organizations argued that the government should not get involved in setting warranties.

The qualifying rating established for heat pumps was 7.0 HSPF and 12.0 SEER was the standard for a/c units.

The EPA projected that air conditioners that qualified for Energy Star could save consumers more than $350 million by the year 2000. The EPA noted that geothermal pumps offered energy consumption savings of 25% to 75%.

A goal of the program was to achieve a 15% to 30% market share by 2000, with upgrades to 50% of all homes by 2010. In new construction, EPA’s goal was to work with builders to make homes that are at least 30% more efficient than the 1992 Model Energy Code, with an aim to have a 10% market share by 2000 and 100% by 2010. Should the government raise the minimum efficiency standard of air conditioners to either 12 or 13 SEER, then by 2006 all air conditioning units will qualify for the “Energy Star” label.

Publication date: 05/28/2001

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