ST. LOUIS - NV Energy, a utilities company based out of Las Vegas, conducted an efficiency field test of the 21 SEER 4-ton Frigidaire iQ Drive air conditioner as part of its Market and Technology Trials Program. The program is designed to measure and verify the energy savings achievable in a Nevada residential application. For this trial, they compared the performance of a 4-ton iQ Drive air conditioner to that of a 5-ton 13-SEER unit at the same home.

Homeowner Steve Schmid saw a 39 percent energy savings with the Frigidaire iQ Drive, a point greater than his anticipated 38 percent based on the 21 SEER rating.

“I expected a reduction of 38 percent,” said Schmid. “Once the results were provided, I was happy to see that the energy savings was 39 percent. On one similar-day comparison, the savings were 46 percent.”

To monitor energy usage and eliminate any variables that would alter data, NV Energy installed current sensors, current loggers, recording power meters, and split-core current transformers in Schmid’s home. Data loggers were installed throughout the home at return and supply registers, one at the thermostat, one at the condenser, and one to monitor outdoor temperatures. Voltage, current, power (kW), and energy (kWh) were measured for the condenser and indoor blower. Both units were measured for six weeks.

Schmid’s results also showed that the 4-ton 21-SEER unit provided a reduction in peak electrical demand during critical times. “The data collected showed the largest energy savings (about 50 percent) were during the peak hours of 1 to 7 p.m.,” he said. “By switching to the Time Of Use plan available from NV Energy, I believe the energy savings will be even larger.”

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Publication date:07/06/2009