Having spent some time analysing the reams of latest information about the EU Energy Related Products directive (ERP), I sat down and asked the most pertinent question of all for a salesman: what do my customers really need to know about ERP?
It’s actually pretty simple – there are only three issues which you need to be concerned with.
1. Is recovery efficiency affected by ERP in 2016 or 2018?
Yes – in 2016 it should be 67% for plates and thermal wheels, and in 2018 it will be 73%.
2. Which products will be obsolete?
In simple terms, all commercial ventilation units that do not have EC fans or backward curved impellers.
3. What are the Ecodesign requirements for electric motors?
From 1st January 2017, motors with a rated output of 0.75 to 375kW shall be no less efficient than IE3 level, or meet IE2 level using VSD drive.
And that’s it! That’s the sum total of what customers need to know about ERP. It’s up to the manufacturers ourselves to deal with the detail of what it means for product development. It’s very much our responsibility to comply with the relevant legislation.
So what do customers REALLY need to know?
With manufacturers taking care of all the nitty gritty of compliance with regulations and ensuring that the products they supply are fully in line with the legislation, what do customers REALLY need to know? Looking through all the information, it seems to me that the most important thing is that SIZE MATTERS!!
No longer can architects and end clients deny adequate plant space to consultants designing compliant projects. No longer can the mechanical plant be shoehorned into spaces not designed to accommodate them.
My customers will need to educate their clients, so they accept and understand that the mechanical ventilation products in their buildings are growing in size in order to adhere to the new rules.
As manufacturers, we are doing everything we can to meet the new regulations, by manufacturing products at the optimum sizes to meet the specific fan powers, motor efficiencies and heat exchange efficiencies.
It would be a huge help to all manufacturers if accurate system pressure loss calculations were made available, rather than a ‘finger in the air’, ‘best guess’ assessment with a large safety factor built in. For example, the difference in a heat recovery unit above a school ceiling designed at 200pa, when in reality the accurate system resistance is nearer 100pa can be a drop in 1 or 2 unit sizes!
The bottom line is that size matters, and to demonstrate this, the dimensions of Nuaire’s compliant units compared to their previous versions are markedly different. The very successful DAVE fan is now nearly 50% wider and heavier, while the new compliant AVT fan, due to its innovative in-series fan design is almost as shallow, uses 20% less width but is nearly 350mm longer and 25% heavier.
The biggest difference is with Heat Recovery Units. The old unit is no longer efficient and has been replaced by our award winning XBC unit with up to 92% efficiency via its counterflow block and patented summer bypass section. It is now the UK’s best-selling range!
The need for acoustic versions for school BB93 noise levels has led to a double skinned construction with high grade acoustic infill. The net result is a unit 200mm longer, more than 400mm wider, 130mm deeper, but most importantly nearly 2.5 times heavier. It demonstrates how much more ceiling void space and structural support is required to accommodate these compliant units.
So to summarise, my final message to my customers for ERP2016 and beyond, would be:
- Please put minimum heat exchange efficiency requirements in your specification
- Specify fans with IE2 motors with VSD as standard
- Advise me of accurate, calculated system pressure losses
- Discuss plant spacial requirements at the earliest design stage, because in order to obtain building regulations, SIZE MATTERS!