Variable Refrigerant Flow



Department of Energy

The Department of Energy (DOE) regulates the energy efficiency of small, large, and very large commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps, which includes variable refrigerant flow products. Commercial air conditioners and heat pumps are air-cooled, water-cooled, evaporatively-cooled, or water source unitary air conditioners or heat pumps that are used for space conditioning of commercial and industrial buildings.

Ongoing Rulemakings
Negotiated Rulemaking for Variable Refrigerant Flow Multi-Split Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Summary: The Department of Energy is giving notice that it intends to establish a negotiated rulemaking working group under the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act to negotiate proposed test procedures and amended energy conservation standards for variable refrigerant flow multi-split air conditioners and heat pumps.

Type of Regulation: Test Procedure and Energy Conservation Standard

Rulemaking Link: Rulemaking Webpage

Docket ID: EERE-2018-BT-STD-0003

UPDATES:

Comment Period Close Date: Closed

Where to Comment: EERE-2018-BT-STD-0003

AHRI Comments to Previous Stages of Rulemakings:

Future Regulations

N/A




Current Efficiency Standards

Current Standard:

For the purposes of this regulation, standards cover air-cooled, evaporatively-cooled, and water-cooled and water source commercial packaged air conditioners and heat pumps.

Commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 10 CFR 431.92, must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 431.97. Compliance dates and minimum efficiencies are found in the following tables.



Table 1. Minimum Cooling Efficiency Levels for Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps (including Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems)

Equipment Type

Cooling Capacity

Sub-Category

Heating Type

Efficiency Level

Compliance Date

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled, 3 Phase)

< 65,000 Btu/h

AC

All

SEER = 13

6/16/2008

HP

All

SEER = 13

6/16/2008

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

65,000 Btu/h and < 135,000 Btu/h

AC

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.2

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 11.0

1/1/2010

HP

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8

1/1/2010

Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

135,000 Btu/h and < 240,000 Btu/h

AC

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8

1/1/2010

HP

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 10.6

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.4

1/1/2010

Very Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

240,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

AC

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 10.0

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 9.8

1/1/2010

HP

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 9.5

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 9.3

1/1/2010

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Water-Cooled, Evaporatively-Cooled, and Water-Source)

< 17,000 Btu/h

AC

All

EER = 12.1

10/29/2003

HP

All

EER = 11.2

10/29/2003

17,000 and < 65,000

AC

All

EER = 12.1

10/29/2003

HP

All

EER = 12.0

10/29/2013

65,000 Btu/h and < 135,000 Btu/h

AC

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.3

10/29/2003

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 11.3

10/29/2003

HP

All

EER = 12.0

10/29/2003

Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Water-Cooled, Evaporatively-Cooled, and Water-Source)

135,000 Btu/h and < 240,000 Btu/h

AC

All

EER = 11.0

10/29/2003

HP

All

EER = 11.0

10/29/2004

Very Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Water-Cooled, Evaporatively-Cooled, and Water-Source)

240,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

AC

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0

1/10/2011

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8

1/10/2011

HP

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0

1/10/2011

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8

1/10/2011




Table 2. Minimum Heating Efficiency Levels for Commercial Package Heat Pumps (including Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems)

Equipment Type

Cooling Capacity

Efficiency Level

Compliance Date

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled, 3 Phase)

< 65,000 Btu/h

HSPF = 7.7

6/16/2008

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

65,000 Btu/h and < 135,000 Btu/h

COP = 3.3

1/1/2010

Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

135,000 Btu/h and < 240,000 Btu/h

COP = 3.2

1/1/2010

Very Large Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Air-Cooled)

240,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

COP = 3.2

1/1/2010

Small Commercial Packaged Air-Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Water-Source)

< 135,000 Btu/h

COP = 4.2

10/29/2003



For further guidance or to submit questions related to the implementation of this standard, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.



Table 4. Energy Conservation Standards for Variable Refrigerant Flow Multi-Split Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps*

Equipment Type

Cooling Capacity

Heating Type

Efficiency Level

Compliance Date

VRF Multi-Split Air Conditioners (Air-cooled)

< 65,000 Btu/h

All

SEER = 13.0

6/16/2008

≥ 65,000 Btu/h and < 135,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.2

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 11.0

1/1/2010

≥ 135,000 Btu/h and < 240,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8

1/1/2010

850 and < 1,500

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

4.42 - 0.00028H

200 - 0.022H

≥ 240,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 10.0

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 9.8

1/1/2010

VRF Multi-Split Heat Pumps (Air-Cooled)

< 65,000 Btu/h

All

SEER = 13.0
HSPF = 7.7

6/16/2008

≥ 65,000 Btu/h and < 135,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 11.0
COP = 3.3

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.8
COP = 3.3

1/1/2010

≥ 135,000 Btu/h and < 240,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 10.6
COP = 3.3

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 10.4
COP = 3.2

1/1/2010

≥ 240,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

No Heating or Electric Resistance Heating

EER = 9.5
COP = 3.2

1/1/2010

All Other Types of Heating

EER = 9.3
COP = 3.2

1/1/2010

VRF Multi-Split Air Conditioners

< 17,000 Btu/h

Without Heat Recovery

EER = 12.0
COP = 4.2

10/29/2012 (EER Level)
10/29/2003 (COP Level)

With Heat Recovery

EER = 11.8
COP = 4.2

10/29/2012 (EER Level)
10/29/2003 (COP Level)

≥ 17,000 Btu/h and < 65,000 Btu/h

All

EER = 12.0
COP = 4.2

10/29/2013

≥ 65,000 Btu/h and < 135,000 Btu/h

All

EER = 12.0
COP = 4.2

10/29/2013

≥ 135,000 Btu/h and < 760,000 Btu/h

Without Heat Recovery

EER = 10.0
COP = 3.9

10/29/2013

With Heat Recovery

EER = 10.0
COP = 3.9

10/29/2013

*Variable Refrigerant Flow Equipment were previously covered under the broader classes of small, large, and very large commercial package air conditioning equipment before being distinguished as separate equipment classes in the May 16, 2012 final rule. 77 FR 28991.

Links:



Current Test Procedure

To determine compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedures specified at 10 CFR 431.96 for commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps manufactured or distributed into commerce on or after January 8, 2007.

AHRI comments to rulemaking:

For further guidance or to submit questions related to the implementation of this test procedure, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.




EPA ENERGY STAR

Current Product Specifications:

Light Commercial HVAC Program Requirements Version 3.1


In Development:

There are no new versions currently in development.


Applying for Energy Star:

To qualify a new product, contact an EPA-recognized Certification Body (CB) to have the product's performance certified. A list of EPA-recognized CBs, as well as an overview of EPA's third-party certification procedures, is available at Third-Party Certification. AHRI is an EPA-recognized CB. Email AHRICert_EnergyStar@ahrinet.org for more information.


More Information:

Energy Star Light Commercial HVAC Website