New Delhi, July 27 (IBNS): The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has released a new study report which shatters the myth of star-rated ACs. “We wanted to find out how AC units perform under different outdoor temperature conditions and how that affects the energy savings from the star labeling programme of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE),” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), while releasing the Centre’s latest study on air conditioners here on Wednesday.
The CSE released the results of its lab tests of energy performance of popular 5-star rated split room air conditioners (RACs) under normal and maximum temperature conditions. The tests were carried out in a National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratory (NABL)-accredited laboratory based in Delhi.
The tests indicate that when the outdoor temperature increases to 40oC, a 5-star rated RAC starts performing like a 2-star rated RAC; at above 45oC, it is worse than a 1-star RAC. In peak summers, when temperatures are in the 40-50oC range, a 5-star RAC can start consuming 10-28 per cent more power than its declared capacity -- thus adding to the peak load demand on the electricity grid.
Said Roychowdhury: “These tests have been carried out in view of the fact that air conditioners are responsible for peak energy consumption across cities. Their use increases when outside temperature is high.”
In Delhi, air conditioning accounts for about 28 per cent of the total monthly electricity consumption during the hottest months. According to the BEE, ACs are responsible for almost 60 per cent of the Delhi’s peak electricity demand."
CSE researchers point out that while it is not unusual for RACs to consume more power to cool and suffer energy efficiency losses under climatic stress, the BIS and the BEE will have to address this with more stringent standards and test procedures to minimise deterioration in the real world. This, especially when extreme weather events and heat waves are expected to get more intense in future in many parts of India.