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DOE Issues Corrected Energy Test Procedures for Packaged Boilers, Welcomes Additional Input on Residential Furnaces

The U.S. Department of Energy has withdrawn a 10 November 2016 final rule amending its energy test procedures for commercial packaged boilers because it contained a number of errors and has replaced it with a corrected rule. The final rule takes the following actions:

  • incorporates by reference certain sections of the American National Standards Institute / Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute Standard 1500, “2015 Standard for Performance Rating of Commercial Space Heating Boilers”;
  • incorporates amendments that clarify the coverage for field-constructed commercial packaged boilers and the applicability of the DOE’s test procedure and standards for this category of commercial packaged boilers;
  • provides an optional field test for commercial packaged boilers with rated input greater than 5,000,000 Btu/h;
  • provides a conversion method to calculate thermal efficiency based on combustion efficiency testing for steam commercial packaged boilers with rated input greater than 5,000,000 Btu/h;
  • modifies the inlet water temperatures during tests of hot water commercial packaged boilers;
  • establishes limits on the ambient temperature during testing; and
  • standardises terminology and provisions for “rated input” and “fuel input rate.”  

The final rule changes will be mandatory for representations related to energy efficiency or energy use starting on 4 December 2017.

Separately, the DOE has extended from 22 November 2016 to 6 January 2017 the deadline for submitting comments on a 23 September 2016 supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking pertaining to proposed energy conservation standards for residential furnaces. In that notice, the DOE responded to comments received to date and proposed a modified approach regarding amended energy conservation standards for the subject residential furnaces, including a separate small furnaces product class. The supplemental notice also proposes clarifications to the certification and reporting requirements of standby mode and off mode values for non-weatherised oil furnaces (including mobile home oil furnaces) and electric furnaces to provide direction on the rounding of standby mode and off mode values and clarify the level of precision for the furnace and boiler standards.

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