DOE Funds WCEC UC Davis-Industry Partnership to Enhance Building Efficiency
Building Future Leaders in Energy Efficiency
As part of the Building University Innovators and Leaders Development (BUILD) awards, this funding will support energy efficiency research through undergraduate student engagement combined with industry guidance to create and improve market ready energy efficiency technologies.
WCEC will hire undergraduates to work with manufacturers on a long term research project to increase the viability and usability of a new EnergyPlus solution to model evaporative systems. This model will integrate the function of multiple cooling elements to gain climate-specific advantages in comfort and efficiency.
The project is an excellent opportunity for WCEC to further one of its primary missions, to train future leading engineers
in the creation/evaluation of market ready energy efficient HVAC technologies. Read more about this unique partnership »
Reducing Global Warming Potential and Increasing Efficiency: Is It Possible With Just a Refrigerant Replacement?
The ever increasing global climate combined with the modernization and economic growth in countries like China and India have led to an even larger marketplace for vapor compression cooling—and a larger overall carbon footprint and global warming potential (GWP). Because of the inevitable increase in vapor compression cooling throughout the world, solutions to reduce the global warming potential of each of these units can have a significant impact on our environment.
One part of that solution is to reduce the global warming potential of the refrigerants used in these systems. Accidental release of refrigerant to the atmosphere is inevitable with these systems so it is imperative to identify a working fluid that has low GWP while also achieving acceptable performance and low safety risk to occupants.The predominant refrigerant used in air conditioning equipment today is R-410A. While R-410A provided a good alternative to R-22, recent advances in refrigerant blends are showing further reductions in global warming potential, while also demonstrating comparable performance.
Preliminary results show greater efficiency, less refrigerant charge and less global warming potential than R-410A refrigerant.
WCEC is currently laboratory testing a new refrigerant from Ingersol-Rand that can be used as a direct replacement for R-410A. Preliminary WCEC laboratory test results are promising, with energy savings over 5% at AHRI test conditions, and with less overall refrigerant charge needed than R-410A. Final results and analysis will be available in the coming months.