Energy consumption labelling for new air-conditioning and ventilation systems
September 2019 – March 2021
Commissioned byGerman Environment Agency
schiller engineering (project management)
Climate neutral building stock
The energy concept and the energy turnaround resolutions of the German government stipulate that the building stock shall be almost climate-neutral by 2050. Air-conditioning and ventilation systems, such as those typically used in non-residential buildings, consume considerable amounts of energy and thus offer great potential for energy savings. How can such systems be planned, installed and operated in an energy-efficient manner that is tailored to requirements? This project develops a quality assurance process with energy labelling for new air conditioning and ventilation systems in order to improve the energy efficiency of the systems.
Energy labelling for existing installations
Refrigeration and air conditioning systems offer high energy-saving potential both in new buildings and in existing buildings: the systems are often oversized and the operating settings suboptimal. In addition, many existing systems are outdated and their components are inefficient. For this reason, the “Efficiency Calculator for Air Conditioning and Ventilation” was developed in a previous project to assess existing systems: It transfers the efficiency classes known and proven from EU energy labels to the complex area of air conditioning and ventilation systems. For energy inspections of existing systems, the Efficiency Calculator thus improves the pertinence of results and helps giving better insights to clients.
Energy consumption labelling for new air conditioning and ventilation systems
There is a similar need for new installations: The building technology of non-residential buildings is usually complex and demanding in terms of planning, commissioning and operation. This applies in particular to air conditioning and ventilation technology.
Energy labelling for new installations can make clients more willing to invest in efficient systems, while at the same time being a crucial aid to quality assurance from planning to installation and commissioning. It therefore has the potential to be an effective instrument for energy saving.
Focus on quality assurance
In contrast to the efficiency calculator for air conditioning and ventilation for existing plants, which was developed in the previous project, the energy consumption labelling for new plants is not a snapshot of the current energy quality of the plant. Rather, it represents a process for quality assurance, which extends from the various planning phases to the awarding of contracts, to operations monitoring and support. This quality assurance and inspection process is at the heart of energy labelling for new installations.
For new plants, the method must be able to deal with technical unknowns: at the beginning of the process, the exact characteristics of the components are still unclear. At the end of the process, the plant is built and commissioned – now it must be evaluated whether the goal set at the beginning has been achieved. It is in the interest of all those involved to maintain quality assurance throughout the planning and construction phases in such a way that there are no unpleasant surprises during the commissioning test.
Energy labelling for new installations will be voluntary. It is essential that it is communicated so that stakeholders will use it. The present project therefore exchanges with planners, building owners and other stakeholders and elaborates guidelines and information that enable them to apply the label. The label itself must also be adapted to the requirements of new air conditioning and ventilation systems. Communication measures should address the important stakeholders in order to spread the label in the market.