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Enquiring minds lead to test procedure for measuring blower energy efficiency

October 10, 2013 - Several years ago, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency Inc. (CEE) says it identified an opportunity to advance the interests of its members and their industrial programs through high-efficiency industrial blowers and packaged blower systems.


October 10, 2013
By Anthony Capkun

Specifically, CEE members participating in the CEE Water and Wastewater Initiative saw that industrial blower manufacturers were claiming large energy savings from high-speed technologies introduced to the Canadian and American markets. While member experience installing these blowers in local water treatment plants was encouraging, the lack of an industry-accepted energy performance test standard was a real roadblock for CEE and its members to claim savings.

Unlike motors, explains CEE, blowers are often custom-packaged systems and highly variable depending on the manufacturer and purpose. Without an independent, comprehensive test procedure and equipment performance data to analyze, it was difficult for CEE to have a basis for setting a voluntary performance specification for member programs.

As such, CEE says it convened blower manufacturers at an industry partner meeting, where everyone explored the potential benefits of a test procedure for measuring the energy efficiency of blowers. One outcome of the meeting was a list of program considerations for blower efficiency. A few months later, the CEE board issued a letter to blower manufacturers encouraging them to move forward with test procedure development that took into consideration the provisions identified during the Industry Partner meeting.

Blower manufacturers came together through the Compressed Air & Gas Institute (CAGI) to develop what is now known as CAGI BL 5389. (The final version is expected to be available by Spring 2014.)

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The test procedure, which covers five blower types and multiple components, provides a basis for blower manufacturers to provide standard reporting on credible and comparable energy performance, says CEE. Once blower manufacturers provide energy performance data through CAGI data sheets, program administrators, engineers and customers will have the basis for comparing the energy efficiency of blowers.

CEE is a consortium of efficiency program administrators from Canada and the United States, whose members work to unify program approaches across jurisdictions to increase the success of efficiency in markets. By joining forces at CEE, individual electric and gas efficiency programs are able to partner not only with each other, but also with other industries, trade associations and government agencies.