ETL refrigeration thresholds to be tightened

The Carbon Trust is proposing a series of changes to the way commercial refrigeration units are listed under the Energy Technology List (ETL), including the tightening of energy performance thresholds.

Industry stakeholders are now being invited to give their comments on the proposals before the new criteria is submitted to the government in late June. Products on the ETL list qualify for the ECA Scheme, which aims to encourage the purchase of higher efficiency equipment.

Standard refrigeration cabinets that are used to store, but not display, foodstuffs have been listed as ‘Commercial Service Cabinets’ on the ECA scheme up to now, but under draft proposals circulated yesterday the category would be renamed ‘Professional Refrigerated Storage Cabinets’ to align with Eco-Design terminology.

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The document also outlines plans to tighten the Energy Efficiency Index (EEI), which is defined as the total electrical energy consumption (in kWh) of the product over a 48-hour test period divided by the product’s net volume (in m3).

In a nutshell, the EEI performance threshold for single door cabinets must be less than or equal to 14 (kWh/48 hrs/m3) for chilled food and 34 for frozen food.

The threshold for double door units would be amended to 10 (chilled) and 30 (frozen), and 18 and 35 for under-counter and counter cabinets.

Finally, the proposals suggest a reworking of the definition of the internal volume of a commercial refrigeration cabinet.

The new wording is as follows: “Net Volume is as defined in Section 3.7 of BS EN 441-1: 1995. The net volume should be calculated as follows: the usable shelf area that food can be loaded onto, multiplied by the usable height into which food can be loaded minus the height of the shelves.

“If the shelf has clip supports or moulded supports that do not impinge into its area, the whole shelf can be considered available for loading, and included as usable shelf area. If the shelf is supported by ‘C’ sections, the area covered by the supports can be included as long as they do not restrict loading of foodstuffs.

“Where the shelf is recessed into the cabinet wall, the recessed area is unavailable for food loading and should not be included in the calculation of usable shelf area. Where shelf supports do impinge on the shelf area, only the usable shelf area available for food loading (i.e. excluding the area covered by the supports) can be included. The volume of any other protrusions into the usable space must be deducted from net volume calculated.”

Refrigeration manufacturers have until June 2 to submit any feedback. The updated criteria is expected to come into force in late summer or early autumn.

As of the end of last year, there were 13 separate refrigeration manufacturers on the ETL’s list and collectively they have 245 individual items listed.

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