Energy Efficiency Indicators for Domestic Electric Appliances.
Recent technological advances in the field of refrigeration systems, embedded electronics and new materials in general have been incorporated in the modern household appliances. The use of these technological improvements increases consumers' comfort and creates business opportunities for manufacturers in the retail market. Nevertheless, it is possible to speed up the technological innovation and its contribution to reduce electricity consumption and environmental impacts associated with electricity production. In this context, energy efficiency labels and standards for household appliances have been more widely adopted.
In Brazil, until recently the energy consumption labels were used on a voluntary basis. However, the Brazilian law 10.295/2001 set the guidelines for the “National Energy Conservation Policy and Rational Use of Energy”. The law requires the development of minimum efficiency standards in the next years for all energy-consuming equipment sold in the country.
The main objective of this study is to provide technical background to support the establishment of energy efficiency standards for refrigerators. The technical improvements suggested in the present study were evaluated in an experimental setup in a specialized refrigeration laboratory.
Also the study considers the additional manufacturer costs for producing more efficient refrigerators, the cost for the end-user and the reduced environmental impacts due to reduced demand for electricity from the power plants running on natural gas. The present analysis is based on Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) methodology that consists of applying engineering statistics and economic approaches to analyse environmental and economic impacts.
Initially, tests were performed to get basic information about a popular refrigerator model found in the Brazilian market. Technical variables related to the refrigeration system were monitored and recorded. Finally, the dataset obtained was compared with the results obtained from the simulation of the refrigerator's mathematical model. It is concluded that the energy performance of the refrigeration system can be improved by the use of a more energy efficient compressor, a better insulation on the suction line and partially moving the condenser away from the backside of the refrigerator. .
To read more about the project and its results, take a look on the published work available for download in our Report section.