Sources for American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) say chiller efficiencies for air and water cooled chillers would be boosted to more than 20% under a proposed addendum to the ASHRAE/IES energy standard.

Proposed addendum ch to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, changes the requirements for air and water cooled chillers as defined in section 6.4.2.1 and the efficiency requirements listed in table 6.8.1C. This change is a continuation of the efficiency improvements that were implemented in 2010 by further improving the efficiency requirements, according to Dick Lord, a member of the committee who developed the proposal through a working team of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) chiller section.

Addendum ch is open for public review from Nov. 30, 2012,-Jan. 14, 2013. For more information, visit THIS LINK.

In 2010, a Path B was added to the standard for part load intensive water cooled chillers. Proposed addendum ch would expand Path B by adding requirements to include air cooled chillers. Also as part of this change, efforts were made to bring the efficiency requirements for water cooled positive displacement and centrifugal chillers together while considering the available technology, and to chillers to be applied at other application conditions where one technology may better suited than the other. If approved, the new efficiency requirements would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

The proposed efficiency requirements in addendum ch increase annual energy savings to 23.1% vs. Standard 90.1-2004 and 8.3% vs. Standard 90.1-2010. In 2010, the overall weighted average savings resulted in a 16.2 percent improvement in chiller annualized energy use vs. Standard 90.1-2004.

Lord noted the average payback was calculated at 6.3 years, given some units that exceed the scalar limits. Chiller manufacturers are aware of this and know that redesign and cost reduction will be required, but do support the proposal, he said. Lord also noted that we are reaching maximum technological limits at a component level and that in the future the industry will have to look at the full HVAC system for further improvements. AHRI is in the process of forming a new working group to address systems approaches for efficiency improvements and will work closely with Standard 90.1.

High-lift, heat reclaim chiller applications often use a different compressor and sometimes a different refrigerant.

In addition, improvements also were made to the requirements to clarify their use. AHRI has recently updated the AHRI 550/590 rating standard that is used for the rating of chillers and its certification program. As part of this effort, AHRI developed a hard metric standard with slightly different rating conditions than the inch pound (I-P) ratings and have released it as AHRI 551/591. For the International System of Units (SI) rating, the change was reflected in the ratings as well as revising the reference to the AHRI rating standard to include AHRI 551/591.

The Standard 90.1 committee also opted to exclude chillers when the leaving condensing temperatures are greater than 115F from the equipment efficiency requirements of Table 6.8.1C. This proposed clarification stems from the fact that high-lift, heat reclaim chiller applications often use a different compressor and sometimes a different refrigerant. The intention of using heat reclaim chillers is to increase system efficiency, but the effect on overall system efficiency cannot be assessed at standard cooling design conditions, Lord said. AHRI is developing rating requirements, test procedures and certification for heat reclaim chillers as well as heat pump chillers.