Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) play a far lesser role for chillers than in unitary air conditioning for improving energy efficiency. Building standards and guidelines for planning energy efficient AC chillers are more important.
Few countries have introduced MEPS regarding chillers. Because of the importance of part load operation, MEPS are sometimes also given for Integrated Part Load Values (IPLV) (Australia &New Zealand, USA & Canada). The wide range of chillers is taken into account by different specifications in the MEPS. There are different requirements for air cooled and water cooled chillers, the range of cooling capacities and different compressors. In Australia and the USA, there are higher IPLV requirements for chillers that are primarily run during part-load operation and they need to be equipped with more accurate part-load controls.
There are few differences in the energy efficiency ratio (EER) and IPLV of different countries, but MEPS in Australia and New Zealand, which were introduced later, have more stringent requirements. There are labelling programmes for AC chillers in the EU and China with the Chinese grades requiring slightly higher efficiency.
A difficulty in comparing EER or IPLV values from different countries is that there is no international test standard yet.
The imminent phase-out of HCFCs in developing countries and increasing restrictions on the use of HFCs will lead to significant changes in the refrigerants used in chillers.
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