Friday, August 28, 2009

Coolerado Hybrid A/C Wins Cooling Challenge Using 60 Percent Less Energy

* Coolerado unit beat 2010 DOE efficiency standard by 60 percent
* Cooling capacity increases as outside temperature increase
* wo-year payback possible through energy savings, utility rebates and tax incentives

University of California, Davis issued a challenge to manufacturers to build more efficient air conditioners for the Western U.S. The objective was to exceed the 2010 U.S. Department of Energy efficiency standards by an aggressive 40 percent. Coolerado Corporation, the first certified winner of the UC Davis Western Cooling Challenge, entered the program with its new hybrid commercial rooftop unit - a system using its proprietary indirect evaporative technology in concert with a traditional compressor and refrigerant system. DOE laboratory testing indicates that Coolerado's new system, the Coolerado H80, beat the 2010 standards by 60 percent at peak demand and will use 80 percent less energy overall.

Testing revealed that the new H80 also has the Coolerado signature; cooling capacity increases as outside temperature increases - not typical of other systems. Eric Kozubal, senior mechanical engineer at the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory, conducted the testing and said, "In western climates, the Coolerado H80 provides cooling and ventilation for buildings at efficiency far above standard equipment available today. Laboratory testing shows that the H80 provides consistent cooling performance even when temperatures rise above 95 degrees."

"The UC Davis challenge also targeted water conservation, limiting water use for technologies that use evaporation as part of the cooling process," said Mark Modera, director of the UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center. "The water allowance in the challenge was set such that water used at the air conditioner should be mitigated by the savings in water required to produce less power. DOE/NREL determined that the water use for the Coolerado H80 is less than the objective set by UC Davis and is about the same amount of water that will be used to generate electricity for a traditional air conditioner meeting the new DOE 2010 standard."

The H80 is the first system Coolerado is offering that includes dehumidification, recirculation and an option for heating. The H80 delivers over five tons of air conditioning at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which is equivalent to larger traditional systems that lose capacity as outside temperatures climb. In some extreme operating conditions and climates, the Coolerado H80 will deliver as much cooling as an eight-ton conventional system and will have an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) over 20.

Coolerado began taking H80 orders in August for delivery late this year and is currently building several units which will be delivered to Australia for installation during its cooling season (December). Customers may expect to realize a two-year payback on the price of the H80 through energy savings, utility rebates and tax incentives.

The unit that was initially tested at the DOE lab in Golden, Colorado is operational on a building at a college in Sacramento, California. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) will be monitoring the energy savings of the unit during the next several years.

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