SEAD assessment results out

Efficient air conditioners could help make huge energy savings.
According to a recent assessment commissioned by the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Super-efficient Equipment and Alliance deployment (SEAD) initiative, deploying optimally energy-efficient air conditioners (AC) could reduce energy use by 35-50% (compared to market averages) in a group of selected countries.

With possible savings over 192 TWh/yr by 2020, this is roughly the amount produced by 64 medium-sized power plants and the equivalent of the total output of renewable sources such as wind and solar.

The 11 economies studied are all members of SEAD and include those currently dominating the sales of room AC systems: China, India, Brazil, Japan and the EU. Additional countries are Australia, Canada, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States. The average energy efficiency of unducted mini-split ACs or heat pumps (the majority of global residential air-conditioners in every country except the United States) varies from an average Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 4.1 W/W in Japan to an average of 2.8 in India, 2.79 in Russia and 2.69 in the UAE. High-EER countries include Canada (3.6) and Korea (3.78). The Japanese market generally has the most efficient air-conditioners available, with a maximum commercially available EER of 6.67 W/W.

The efficiency of a heat exchanger can improve by up to 28.6% when optimal technology is used, that of compressors by 18.7% and that of inverter/variable speed drive by 24.8%. If a whole series of improved energy-efficiency options were employed, a high efficiency room AC system could save from around 60-72% energy compared to a base model.

“Cooling the planet: Opportunities for Deployment of Superefficient Room Air Conditioners”, April 2013