ACHRNEWS

DOE Outlines HVAC Opportunities

April 13, 2009


Bill Craddick, deputy director for the United States Department of Energy (DOE), who is in charge of the DOE Building Technologies Research and Integration Center, addressed the HVACR industry about new programs as they pertain to the HVACR industry. Craddick discussed the future green collar economy jobs while giving his keynote address, March 9 at the 2009 HVAC Excellence National HVACR Educators and Trainer Conference in Las Vegas.

Craddick began his presentation by stating the importance of having skilled technical personnel for making the potential benefits of energy-efficiency equipment a reality.

According to Craddick, President Obama plans on investing billions of dollars into weatherization.

Weatherization is the practice of modifying a building to reduce energy consumption and optimize energy efficiency. “The president is handing the HVACR industry a gift, those who decide to learn about the programs and adapt will be the winners in the green collar economy.”

Many of the DOE’s initiatives, partnerships, and current projects were discussed. Much of the DOE research is accomplished through the Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL). ORNL is DOE’s largest science and energy laboratory and is performing research and development across the energy sector in the areas of generation, distribution, and consumption.

Building energy use is large and growing, it accounts for 72 percent of electrical consumption and 55 percent of natural gas consumption in the United States, according to Craddick. He said the mission of the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMA) is to reduce the cost and environmental impact of the federal government, provide technical assistance to agencies applying advanced technologies in their energy projects (financed or direct-funded), and to create a Super Energy Savings Performance Contract program.

In the area of weatherization, the DOE is working to develop audit programs, weatherization assistance development and maintenance, state evaluation assistance, and lead-safe work practices.

Craddick said that the DOE Building Technologies strategic goal is net zero energy buildings. A net zero energy building uses 60 to 70 percent less energy because of efficiency gains, with the balance of energy needs supplied by renewable technologies.

The targets for zero energy technology being adopted in the markets are: residential by 2020, and commercial by 2025. The HVAC and Water Heating Program supporting goal is to develop equipment that has the potential to reduce HVAC/water heating energy use by 50 percent while providing better indoor humidity control with no increase in net monthly costs for mortgage and utilities.

The DOE entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement on High Efficiency Water Heating with General Electric (GE) in 2008. GE is targeted to introduce a hybrid electric water heater product to the U.S. market that meets Energy Star® criteria in the fourth quarter of 2009. ORNL is also working with other strategic partners, ClimateMaster and Lennox, to bring an integrated heat pump (IHP) to market. The IHP will provide space heating or cooling, dedicated water heating, dedicated dehumidification and/or humidification, and ventilation air pre-treatment. These systems are expected to provide energy savings of 45 to 55 percent. Prototypes were installed in the winter of 2009 with sales expected to begin in 2011.

The power point presentation from the United States Department of Energy can be downloaded at www.hvacexcellence.org. Click on the conference banner, then follow the links to the 2009 conference PowerPoint® presentations.

Publication date: 04/13/2009