Infographic: Results from DOE’s High-Performance RTU Challenge

By Better Buildings Beat Team on May 31, 2018

Rooftop units (RTUs) are used to condition over half of all commercial floor space in the U.S. and constitute the most common HVAC equipment found in low-rise commercial structures.  The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced RTU Campaign estimates that if all 10-20 ton commercial units were replaced with the most efficient units, businesses would save $1 billion each year in energy costs. To stimulate the market for higher-performing RTUs, DOE’s Building Technologies Office issued a challenge to manufacturers to build an RTU 50% more efficient than ASHRAE 90.1 standards. So what happened?

The first RTU to meet the challenge specification was installed in a GSA warehouse in Fort Worth, Texas, and compared, under real-world conditions, with an existing RTU typical of those in the field. Researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Lab found that the advanced RTU delivered 26% energy savings; a concurrent test at two Florida supermarkets showed 31% savings and a 3.8-year payback.

For more details on the field evaluation of the Daiken Rebel, including findings on maintenance costs, installation, and recommended applications, visit GSA’s Advanced Commercial Rooftop Units page. There you can access a summary of the field test results and the full 30-page study.