The Impact of ECM furnace motors on natural gas use and overall energy use during the heating season at CCHT research facility

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ConferenceGas Technology Institute's First Annual Natural Gas Technologies Conference and Exhibition: 29 September 2002, Orlando, Florida
Pages166; # of pages: 66
Subjecttwin-house testing, efficient furnace fan motors, residential heating, energy measurement, consumption, space heating, energy performance; Heating
AbstractCCHT has been used to evaluate the impact of electronically commutated motors (ECM) on electrical and gas energy. An energy simulation model was used to generalize the results to an entire year, for both mid- and high-efficiency furnaces for R-2000, typical new, typical existing, and typical row housing. In general, the results for houses that operate the furnace fan in continuous circulation mode can be summarized as follows:In Winnipeg, which has the lowest electricity (and gas) prices, net savings due to an ECM are the smallest, ranging from $14 to $30 per year without air conditioning, and $81 to $106 with air conditioning. In Moncton, with the highest electricity (and gas) prices, the net savings in houses without air conditioning are the highest at $38 to $75, but the net savings with air conditioning are intermediate at $144 to $182. In Toronto, with intermediate electrical (and gas) prices, the net savings without air conditioning are intermediate ($40 to $ 68), but the savings with air conditioning are the highest ($147 to $180). So net annual savings from an ECM can vary from $14 to $180 depending on the price of electricity and other factors. In detached houses, net savings are almost always higher in the more energy-efficient ones, and are higher with high-efficiency furnaces. In addition, ECMs would allow the types of houses tested to switch to continuous circulation with no significant increase - usually a decrease - in utility bills. Continuous circulation provides benefits of more even distribution of fresh air and temperatures, and is especially important in houses that use the furnace fan to distribute fresh air to the house. Thus, ECMs can be part of a package promoting better circulation, comfort and health. The results demonstrated that ECMs can save the typical homeowner money on overall energy costs, and offer benefits to the environment through reductions in greenhouse gases associated with conventional electric power generation. The results also demonstrate the usefulness of the CCHT houses for carrying out important research projects on overall energy use, and their very sensitive ability to measure secondary and tertiary results of a very small change in one of the houses.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number38443
NPARC number20378861
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Record identifier97997ac4-834d-44ff-a5ec-fd4a3f890d39
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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