DENVER - The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) issued a challenge to manufacturers to build more efficient air conditioners for the western United States. The objective was to exceed the 2010 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency standards by 40 percent.

Coolerado Corp., the first certified winner of the UC Davis Western Cooling Challenge, entered the program with its new hybrid commercial rooftop unit - a system using its proprietary indirect evaporative technology in concert with a traditional compressor and refrigerant system. DOE laboratory testing indicated that Coolerado’s new system, the Coolerado H80, beat the 2010 standards by 60 percent at peak demand and uses 80 percent less energy overall.

“In western climates, the Coolerado H80 provides cooling and ventilation for buildings at efficiency far above standard equipment available today,” said Eric Kozubal, senior mechanical engineer at the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which conducted the testing. “Laboratory testing shows that the H80 provides consistent cooling performance even when temperatures rise above 95 degrees.”

The H80 is the first system Coolerado is offering that includes dehumidification, recirculation, and an option for heating. It delivers over five tons of air conditioning at 105°F, which is equivalent to larger traditional systems that lose capacity as outside temperatures climb.

“The UC Davis challenge also targeted water conservation, limiting water use for technologies that use evaporation as part of the cooling process,” said Mark Modera, director of the UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center.

“The water allowance in the challenge was set such that water used at the air conditioner should be mitigated by the savings in water required to produce less power. DOE/NREL determined that the water use for the Coolerado H80 is less than the objective set by UC Davis and is about the same amount of water that will be used to generate electricity for a traditional air conditioner meeting the new DOE 2010 standard.”

Coolerado began taking H80 orders in August for delivery late this year.

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Publication date:09/07/2009