The EU EcoDesign Energy Efficiency Regulation for Fans 327/2011, which sets EcoDesign requirements for fans, is going through its final stages of preparation. It has raised an important issue that impacts on car park ventilation schemes.
A self-defeating measure
In its current state, the regulation includes jet fans and sets the lower limit of static efficiency for them at 0.50. Unfortunately most jet fans used for car park ventilation would fall below this limit, which would mean having to adopt ducted systems with large, high kW fans. Such systems would be far less efficient than the jet fans excluded by the Regulation.
The European Ventilation Industry Association (EVIA) has raised this issue, pointing out that the data used to establish the limit is flawed. According to EVIA, only 13 out of the 169 fans that were analysed were below 5 kW. No car park ventilation jet fans are rated at above 5 kW, and the data used to establish the limit was pre-dominantly for much larger tunnel fans. So, the minimum efficiency limit would exclude 92% of the fans available for use to ventilate car parks.
Why jet fans are efficient
Jet fans for car park ventilation remove harmful fumes in an energy efficient manner. In car park schemes the fan control system maximises energy efficiency by turning the fans off during low use, generally running them at half speed or less and only using them at full power in an emergency. Switching to the more energy-consuming, higher pressure loss ducted systems would simply defeat the purpose of the Directive, which is to reduce the usage of energy.
EVIA has presented its views and recommends that the limit be lowered to 0.48, which would enable most jet fans to be included.
What happens now
The revision of the Regulation is nearing completion and the final vote by the European Commission Member States is expected in the autumn. We will be following this issue closely and will be pressing for EVIA’s recommendation to be accepted and integrated in the final Directive, and will update you when there are new developments.
In the meantime, if you wish to find out about the Directive and this issue in more detail, you can visit the website of EVIA’s Fan Working Group, where all the latest updates relating to this issue are described, at http://www.evia.eu/en/Our-Industry/Fans/Fans-News-Updates.
To find out more about Colt car park ventilation systems, click here.
Conor Logan is a Technical Manager of Colt UK, Smoke and Climate Control Division. Conor designs innovative smoke control and HVAC systems and is also Chairman of the Smoke Control Association.