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Are You Ready for Mandated Fan Efficiency?

Posted May 07, 2013 1:00 AM by larhere
Pathfinder Tags: airhandlers codes-standards fans

Over the past few years ASHRAE, AMCA and ISO have all created standards that can and will be used to mandate minimum fan efficiency via specifications and codes starting NOW or 2014.

AMCA Standard 205 covers fans with an impeller diameter of 5 inches or larger and a fan shaft power of 1 hp and above. The AMCA Standard 205 has created a FEG fan efficiency grade) rating which takes into account the fact that smaller diameter fans are less efficient than larger fans and therefore would allow for a particular family of fans to have a single FEG rating.. The ISO Standard 12759 has FEG grades, but also a FMEG grade which looks at the combined fan/motor efficiency. The European Commission recently published a fan efficiency regulation that uses the FMEG metric.

The 2012 International Green Construction Code adopted the AMCA 205-10 stand for supply, return and exhaust fans greater than 1 hp for buildings with less than 25,000 square feet. The code requires a minimum FEG of 71 and a fan sizing selection window of 10 percentage points from peak total or peak static efficiency.

ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 which will be published this year has the following requirements and exceptions:

Requirements

  • Minimum FEG of 67 or higher as defined by AMCA 205.
  • Total efficiency of the fan at the design point of operation shall be within 15 percentage points of the maximum total efficiency of the fan.

Exceptions

  • Single fan with a motor nameplate horsepower of 5 hp or less.
  • Multiple fans in serious or parallel (e.g. fan arrays) that have a combined motor nameplate horsepower of 5 hp or less and are operated as the functional equivalent of a single fan.
  • Fans that are part of equipment listed under 6.4.1.1 Minimum Equipment Efficiencies - Listed Equipment - Standard Rating and Operating Conditions.
  • Fans included in equipment bearing a third-party-certified seal for air or energy performance of the equipment package.
  • Powered wall/roof ventilators (PRV).
  • Fans outside the scope of AMCA 205.
  • Fans that are intended to only operate during emergency conditions.

The above ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 is a good first step and will help fan manufacturers, HVAC designers, owners and code officials address the issue of fan efficiency. The next step will be to increase the FEG rating, lower the window percentage, eliminate the exception for PRV fans and address the FMEG issue as it pertains to motors with VFDs and EC motors. When new standards and codes change to FMEG ratings direct driven fans will become even more prevalent.

The US Department of Energy is just beginning to look into creating a fan efficiency standard. We can only hope the DOE will follow the lead of ASHRAE and AMCA.

The above is a somewhat simplified overview of the coming mandate for more efficient fans and fan selections. If you desire to know more about this subject please go to the April 2013 issue of the ASHRAE Journal.

CR4 would like to thank Holcombe Kelly of GEA Consulting for contributing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

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Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 2100
Good Answers: 79
#1

Re: Are You Ready for Mandated Fan Efficiency?

05/08/2013 1:54 PM

We can only hope to get the government out of our knickers. Why not let the market determine which efficient (insert product here) is worth the money spent? If there are voluntary standards by which products are evaluated, I'm all for that. Let the end user decide which is best for them. What scares me is when clueless bureaucrats see an idea and decide that it must apply to everyone.

Case in point: Why can't I buy an inexpensive 100W incandescent lightbulb to put in my attic that gets illuminated twice a year for about 10 minutes each?

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