Using Field-Metered Data to Quantify Annual Energy Use of Portable Air Conditioners

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LBNL performed its field-metering study from mid-April to late October 2014. The study, which monitored 19 sites in the Northeastern United States (4 in upstate New York and 15 near Philadelphia), collected real-time data on PAC energy consumption along with information regarding housing characteristics, consumer behavior, and environmental conditions that were expected to affect PAC performance. Given the limited number of test sites, this study was not intended to be statistically representative of PAC users in the United States but rather to understand the system response to the cooling demand and to some extent, the operating hours of the studied units. Specifically, the primary objectives of the field-metering study were to (1) expand knowledge of the installation, energy consumption profiles, consumer patterns of use, and environmental parameters related to PAC use; (2) develop distributions of hours of PAC operation for three operating modes: standby, an-only, and cooling; and (3) describe how individual consumers’ selection of PAC capacity, the area of the space to be cooled, the temperature set point, and environmental conditions affect energy use. Beginning to understand the energy consumption of PACs operating in American homes and commercial settings will help develop a more accurate energy use profile that characterizes relevant variables

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