As we enter the final stretch of 2019, I’m reflecting on the year’s innovations that should benefit our region’s pipeline of efficient products. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but merely items that I think are particularly interesting. What innovations from 2019 are high on your list? I’d love to hear from you.
Variable Capacity Heat Pump Test Method: In March 2019, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group) published CSA EXP-07, a load-based test method for variable capacity heat pumps. It includes procedures for testing heat pumps in all climates. Early 2019 testing shows that the test method does a great job of identifying heat pumps that work best in climates relevant to the Northwest. We expect manufacturers to use this test method to innovate and maximize the value of their heat pumps for each climate zone, delivering predictable real-world savings and helping the region reduce its residential HVAC load.
Luminaire Level Controls for HVAC and Plug Loads: For years, luminaire level lighting controls have promised the ability to also control HVAC and plug loads. In 2019, NEEA staff launched a field study to test this capability. Our hypothesis is that luminaire level controls (lighting, HVAC and plugs) will provide unmatched occupant comfort while saving energy without the need for special programming, leading to significant savings for lighting, HVAC and auxiliary loads.
Primary and Secondary Windows: In 2019, the Attachment Energy Rating Council (AERC) launched a residential window attachment certification process and label. A similar certification process is in development for commercial window attachments and is scheduled for launch in early 2020.In response to these independent certification processes, we are seeing significant innovation in both primary and secondary window products for residential and commercial buildings including suspended film window attachments, thin triple pane primary and secondary windows, and low-e films. In 2020, there will be a greater variety of window treatments than ever before enabling building owners to choose efficient options to meet their needs for comfort, security, sound attenuation, and aesthetics.
Please don’t hesitate to connect with me if you have questions about our emerging technology portfolio or if you have ideas for products we should consider.
~ Mark Rehley, Sr. Manager ~