ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - The symposium “Methods and Effects of Improving Efficiency of Unitary Equipment to Meet New Energy Efficiency Requirements” discussed the cost and benefit tradeoffs of moving to 12 or 13 SEER equipment.

The first speaker, Gregory Rosenquist of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, talked about consumer life-cycle cost. He concluded that the research showed that both 12 and 13 SEER look attractive for heat pumps. For air conditioning units, 12 SEER looked good, but 13 is not attractive because it negatively impacts consumers.

The next speaker, John Richardson Jr., P.E., of the Tennessee Valley Authority, talked about the development of a frostless heat pump. Working on methods related to air-source heat pumps, his project was able to validate experimentally a technology that reduced defrost cycles and improved indoor comfort, and was cost efficient.

Clark Hubbard, a professor at the University of Illinois, then talked about modulating blower and compressor capacities for comfort control. He concluded that you can increase energy efficiency by reducing temperature lift, mainly on the high side. This requires a variable speed blower to maintain comfort.

Publication date: 01/14/2002