Test facility evaluates heating and cooling in buildings

A test facility has been built in Australia to evaluate the electrical, cooling and heating performance of buildings.

The National Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Performance Test Facility, located at the CSIRO Energy Centre in Newcastle, New South Wales, is able to simulate the climate conditions of a winter to a tropical summer.

Nearly three-quarters of Australian households have air conditioners and heating, cooling and ventilation accounts for up to 40 per cent of business energy bills.

Air conditioning also contributes significantly to peak load pressure on the electricity network and is driving the demand for upgrades to the existing electricity infrastructure.

CSIRO is developing solar cooling technologies using this facility to cut emissions and reduce seasonal peak load.

Its engineers have designed and commissioned an air-conditioning test facility to evaluate the electrical, cooling and heating performance of conventional and solar-powered systems.

’For the large number of HVAC systems available in the Australian market, only a few test facilities exist to validate manufacturer’s claims regarding the thermal and electrical performance of their product,’ said project lead Dr Stephen White.

The facility can undertake spot-checks on products already on the market and validate products, giving accurate information that can eventually be used for product labelling.