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Round Robin Testing for Room Air-Conditioners Evaluates Lab Capacity and Accuracy of Energy Label in China

04-Jul-2010

In China, room air-conditioners (RACs) are a mature technology in a mature industry and market, with a wide range of usage, fast growing production, large energy consumption and great energy-saving contribution. However, testing technology is not unified, and differences are apparent in laboratory testing facility conditions and capabilities. Furthermore, international air conditioner energy efficiency standards and labeling efforts lack international alignment. These factors all highlight the urgency and importance of conducting consistent comparisons of energy efficiency testing data from RACs, thus improving laboratory testing capabilities and ensuring the accuracy of energy efficiency labeling information.

Conducting round-robin testing of room air conditioners’ energy efficiency data is a means towards the self-development and improvement of the air conditioning industry and the transformation of our markets towards energy-efficient products; an effective way to improve the energy efficiency testing capabilities of laboratories in China; a necessary guarantee for the effective implementation of China Energy Efficiency Label System (CEELS); and an essential impetus for the coordination and mutual recognition of international standards and labeling.

RRT Results and Overall Impacts

As the testing items of this RRT are routine in testing laboratories’ regular energy efficiency testing, the RRT reflects the actual level of participant laboratories and verifies the effect of their ongoing quality control measures. Based on this RRT, the participating laboratories have established relatively comprehensive quality control systems, and consistent monitoring ability is in place. Some problematic and unsatisfactory results still exist. Therefore, much more emphasis should be placed on enhancing quality monitoring efforts, calibration and upgrading of testing equipment, and improving the testing skills and capabilities of related personnel.

In this RRT of air conditioners, a relatively complete implementation scheme was developed, which lays a solid foundation for conducting similar RRT among industry laboratories, third-party laboratories and future participation in related international RRT program. The RRT has helped enhanced the communication amongst participant laboratories and improved the testing capabilities and expertise of laboratory staff. The RRT has also contributed to identifying problems and the necessary related improvements. The RRT has helped raise awareness of energy efficiency and RRT activities in related industries and has actively contributed to expanding the impact of CEELS and its effective implementation.

Authors: Cao Ning; China National Institute of Standardization. Andre Pierrot; CEIS. Nan Zhou, David Fridley, Nina Zheng; LBNL Environmental Energy Technologies Division.