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How New DOE Standards Impact the Refrigeration Products You Buy 

article Published on 2019-04-30

The effects of the upcoming January 1, 2020, Department of Energy (DOE) regulations will resonate across specific product lines in the refrigeration industry. These changes will shape how the products are manufactured, installed, and serviced. The overarching goal of the new DOE standards is to make the equipment more energy efficient, while being cost effective over time. In this blog we will answer important questions regarding how the new 2020 DOE standards affect unit coolers and condensing units.

What are the changes to unit coolers to meet 2020 DOE standards?

One of the goals of the new Department of Energy regulations is to compel manufacturers to increase the energy efficiency of unit coolers.

  • Meeting the new DOE regulatory compliance standards will require manufacturers to make changes to the efficacy of electrical motors.
  • Changes will be made to influence the heat exchange capacity of evaporator coils.

Once testing and review of the newly optimized equipment has been completed, end-users should benefit from having a more cost effective and energy efficient unit.

What are the changes to condensing units to meet 2020 DOE standards?

Improving overall system efficiency for condensing units is a balancing act which requires manufacturers to find an optimal combination of changes to the compressor, condenser, head pressure control system, and fan motors inside the unit.

  • Compressors will need to be able to efficiently do the same work, with less electrical power.
  • Condenser coils will need to be designed to reject heat while requiring limited airflow.
  • Head pressure will need to be designed to provide lowest possible compression ratio, while providing stable year round operation.
  • Air-mover efficiency will have to improve through optimization of the fan and motor.

Key Compliance Dates to Remember:

  • January 1, 2020 - medium temperature condensing units and medium temperature self-contained units.
  • July 10, 2020 - low temperature condensing units, low temperature self-contained units and both medium and low temperature unit coolers.