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Daikin McQuay Commercial AC First to Meet DOE Efficiency Challenge

Daikin McQuay is the first manufacturer to meet the US Energy Department’s rooftop unit challenge, an initiative announced in January 2011 that aims to encourage companies to develop the next generation of cost-effective, high performance commercial air conditioners.

The Daikin Rebel is expected to reduce energy use by as much as 50 percent to 60 percent over currently available equipment, the company said.

Four other manufacturers including Carrier, Lennox, 7AC Technologies and Rheem are participating in the challenge to commercialize highly efficient commercial air conditioners that meet enhanced energy efficiency specifications developed by DOE technical experts and industry partners.

The manufacturers must submit a product for independent evaluation by April 2013. When built to specification, the commercial rooftop units are expected to reduce energy as much as 50 percent over current standards. If all 10- to 20-ton rooftop units in the US met the specification, businesses would save more than $1 billion a year in energy costs, the DOE said.

Members of the DOE’s Commercial Buildings Energy Alliances, which include Target and Walmart as members, have said they’re interested in buying equipment that meets the new energy efficiency specification at an affordable price. The DOE is looking at potential demonstration sites for products that meet the RTU challenge.

The DOE also is developing analytical tools to help businesses more accurately estimate the energy and cost savings of using high performance rooftop units at their facilities.

Daikin McQuay, a unit of Daikin Industries, introduced its Rebel unit rooftop unit last October.  This is the first packaged rooftop system to use a variable heat pump with auxiliary gas heat and an advanced variable invert scroll compressor – technology responsible for increasing efficiency and performance, the company said at the time.

The product is designed to operate efficiently in colder weather and to be quieter than other models, making it well-suited for low-rise commercial buildings, such as schools and office buildings, Daikin said.

Picture of Rebel rooftop unit by Daikin McQuay

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