Energy efficient room air conditioners – best available technology
More than 5 million room air conditioners (ACs) are sold per year in Europe, 35 million in India. Most air conditioners combine heating and cooling, and sales are expected to grow further. Total annual electricity consumption by air conditioners in Europe is estimated at more than 40 TWh, in India at 200 TWh. The most efficient ACs are split models with a variable frequency drive (VFD). Market shares of variable speed ACs are on the rise both in Europe and in India. They are more efficient at part load conditions than fixed speed (on/off) appliances and can keep the requested room temperature more constant. In India, the efficiency indicator for variable speed ACs (SEER / HSPF) does include part load conditions, while in Europe a part load measurement standard is actually in preparation. The implementation of seasonal efficiency indicators, strict minimum efficiency requirements and an effective energy label is key for the promotion of high efficiency air conditioners. In India, the implementation of MEPS and an energy label for variable speed air conditioners triggered a significant increase in market share and efficiency. A Indian high efficiency AC was tested according to four different measurement standards (European current and future, Indian and US). Results show that the best available technology (BAT) on the European market is comparable to the one in India. Very high SEER results according to the future European standard raise the expectation that several ACs will already reach the A+++ classes of the new energy label.
Benchmarking: Residential air conditioners. February 2011.
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