When equipment like air conditioning units use less energy, homeowners and businesses save on utility costs and billions of dollars can be put back into the American economy. To meet national goals of reducing energy use and improving energy efficiency, researchers at PNNL support the U.S. Department of Energy in the development of energy conservation standards and test procedures for a wide range of residential and commercial appliances and equipment.
The Appliance & Commercial Equipment Standards team
PNNL provides expertise in economics, engineering, and energy markets to support development of congressionally mandated energy conservation standards. The team works to determine the cost effectiveness of more efficient technologies and corresponding energy, water, and other national impacts. In addition to staff expertise, PNNL has laboratory facilities, including psychometric chambers and test equipment, to support the development and evaluation of energy efficiency test procedures.
The team’s capabilities include market assessment, energy use analysis at both the per-unit and national scales, a variety of economic approaches, regulatory writing, and equipment testing. Detailed economic analyses are used to establish consumer prices, life-cycle costs, and national economic impacts (such as net present value) at different potential standard levels as well as other national-scale impacts such as effects on utilities and air pollutant emissions.
In addition to general laboratory space, PNNL is equipped with adjacent 20-ton environmental chambers that can be used to evaluate the efficiency of commercial air conditioners and heat pumps as well as to support environmental testing of other equipment. These chambers can be used to evaluate technology performance under a wide range of environmental conditions as well as to test procedure development.