DOE Wants Less Refrigerants in HVAC

October 13, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

DOE Energy ManageThe Energy Department is spending nearly $8 million to support research and development of the next generation of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies.

The R&D will focus on developing regionally appropriate HVAC to offer more energy savings for new and existing buildings and on developing innovative approaches to replace current vapor compression HVAC technologies and their use of refrigerants.

Currently, HVAC systems account for the largest proportion of energy used in buildings, consuming almost 14 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) of primary energy annually – or nearly 30 percent of all energy used in commercial and residential buildings, says DOE. Developing non-vapor-compression HVAC systems could potentially lead to an estimated 40 percent primary energy savings over current technologies.

In addition to focusing on improving the efficiency of technologies using established ratings as measured by the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) and/or the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER), the research is aimed at developing technologies or systems that improve partial load efficiency, as HVAC systems operate at partial load most of the time.

The Energy Department seeks proposals from businesses, universities, non-profits, and national laboratories.

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