# HVAC Efficiency Definitions

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1 HVAC Efficiency Definitions Term page EER - 2 SEER - 3 COP - 4 HSPF - 5 IPLV - 6 John Mix May 2006 Carrier Corporation 1

2 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) The energy efficiency ratio is used to evaluate the equipment s efficiency while in the cooling mode. EER is defined as the net cooling capacity (in Btuh) divided by the total electrical power input (in watts), as shown in EQ 1. EER is calculated at a single very specific operating point and is typically only applied for commercial equipment > 6 nominal tons. EER = NetCapacity( Btuh) PowerInput( kw ) (see supplemental equations EQ 3-6) For applicable units, manufacturers must rate their units per the ARI defined operating conditions. This must officially be determined EER from actual laboratory test measurements, and results in an EER ARI. The ARI defined EER conditions are: Evaporator Entering Air (EAT) = 80/67 o F Ambient air (condenser air) = 95 o F Specific static pressure requirements that vary with the tonnage. No outside ventilation air is specified. No specific indoor airflow rate. However, the same equation can be applied at any other specific operating condition. In this case the resulting value is an application specific EER value, or EER App. Care must be taken not to confuse the two any application specific conditions which incur a larger load on the unit than what the ARI conditions impose, will result in a lower energy efficiency ratio value. Since the value for EER is expressed in Btuh/watts, it is not dimensionless, and is an efficiency ratio not a value of efficiency. Since the units are typically not mentioned when quoting EER values, it is important not to interpret this as a percentage or actual efficiency. For example, a 9.7 EER value does not meant that the unit is 9.7% efficient. In order to obtain an actual value for efficiency, the units must be converted so they are similar terms in both the numerator and denominator. For example, if a unit produces 220,000 Btuh of cooling with 22 kw of power input: ex: % Energy Efficiency = 220,000Btuh 22,000( watts) x3.414( Btuh / watt) EQ-1 =2.9 % EQ-2 This means that for every Btuh of electrical energy supplied, 2.9 Btuh of heat can be absorbed. The EER rating evaluates how a unit will perform at one specific point. A higher value for EER represents a higher efficiency at standard conditions. Net Capacity = Gross Capacity indoor fan motor heat Bhp 746( watts / Bhp) Indoor fan motor heat = x(3.414btuh / watt) motor _ efficiency EQ-3 EQ-4 Total Power Input = compressor watts + Indoor fan motor watts + condenser fan motor watts EQ-5 actual _ power( Bhp) x746( watts / Bhp) Fan motor input (watts) = x( number _ of _ fans) motor _ efficiency EQ-6 2

3 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is similar to the EER in that its purpose is to represent the efficiency of the unit while in the cooling mode. However, there are two major differences between them. First, the SEER attempts to take into account the energy consumption due to the cycling of the fan motors and compressors. Second, EER is calculated only at one point (the ARI standard conditions) where SEER is calculated at two different points that simulate operation at higher and lower humidity levels for entering conditions. According to the industry definition, the SEER rating is only defined for units 5 tons and less that operate on single phase current. Nonetheless, it is industry convention to apply the SEER rating to single and three phase equipment that are < 5 tons. Also, just like an EER App the SEER formula is sometimes calculated for larger equipment. The SEER calculation requires performance testing and measurements at two different points, as outlined below. The first point is intended to simulate dry coil conditions and is evaporator entering air (EAT) of 80/57 o F and ambient air of 82 o F. The unit is operated at this point and performance measurements are taken. Next, the unit is cycled on and off and power measurements are taken. Then, the same procedure is done at EAT = 80/67 o F with 82 o F ambient, to simulate wet coil conditions. Calculating SEER involves laboratory testing, in a similar manner to all other rating values, with the exception that SEER requires power measurements to be recorded while the unit is in steady state operation, upon start-up and while the unit is at rest (there can still be some amp draw even while the compressors are not running due to potential operation of the fan motor, crankcase heaters, etc). SEER is impossible to calculate without a considerable amount of specific test data. Similarly to EER, the SEER is not a dimensionless value, but is always quoted as a pure number (i.e. no units). SEER weighted average of EER values at all four measurement conditions EQ-7 Many times people try to derive the SEER value from the EER value. However, this is impossible without laboratory test data. To do so requires calculating of a Degredation Factor ( C D as shown in EQ 8), which can only be determine from laboratory testing at the various SEER defined operating conditions. SEER = EER ( 1 C D /2 ) where C D = the Degredation Factor EQ-8 The SEER evaluates a unit s performance under two different conditions ; high and low humidity with less than design ambient conditions. A higher value of SEER represents a higher cooling efficiency. 3

4 Coefficient of Performance (COP) The coefficient of performance is used to measure the unit s efficiency while in the heating mode and is applied to heat pumps, of any nominal cooling capacity, that operates on three phase current. To evaluate a heat pump s efficiency while in cooling mode, EER or SEER must be used. The COP is a dimensionless value defined as the energy produced by the heat pump (in watts) divided by the energy consumed by the heat pump (in watts). In an air to air heat pump, the evaporating refrigerant moves heat from the outside air (when in heating mode) and this heat plus the heat equivalent of the work of compression is rejected to the recirculated air flowing over the condenser coil and to the space to be heated. There is always heat energy in the outside air, however, at lower temperatures, it becomes more difficult to extract. Therefore the COP decreases at lower ambient and the ARI COP rating is calculated at two different ambient temperatures (47 o F and 17 o F). The formula for calculating COP is shown below in EQ 9. Net Capacity (watts) (Gross Cooling capacity) (Supply fan heat) COP = = EQ-9 Power Input (watts) supply fan + compressor(s) + condenser fan(s) Thus, a heat pump with a COP = 2.5 would produce two and a half times as much heat than the heat equivalent of the watts input. If electrical resistance heat is used to condition the space, it is by definition, 100% efficient. In this case only 1 watt of heat would be obtained for every watt input, and the resulting COP would be equal to 1. COP represents the efficiency of a heat pump while in the heating mode. A higher value of COP reflects a higher heating efficiency. 4

5 Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is used to measure a unit s efficiency while in the heating mode and applies only to heatpumps. It is defined as the total heating output (including supplementary electric heat) divided by the total electric power necessary to maintain building heating requirements for its normal annual usage period. The units are Btuh divided by Watt-hours for the same period. The HSPF is only applied to heat pumps (in heating mode) that operate on single phase current and have a nominal cooling capacity of less than 5.5 tons. Since HSPF represents a seasonally corrected heating efficiency, the first step in the calculation involves the hours of operation for different geographic locations and different modes of operation. To accomplish this, the country has been broken up into different regions reflecting the amount of time spent in a particular mode of operation. The heating regions map is shown in Figure 1, and a similar map exists that represents hours spent in cooling mode. By factoring in the total hours of operation in each mode, as well as the design conditions for each area, the HSPF can be calculated using EQ-10. HSPF = (total heating output during normal usage period) (total electric power input during normal usage period) EQ-10 Fig. 1 HSPF Heating Zones 5

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