New Study Analyzes Highly Efficient Rooftop HVAC System

A commercial rooftop HVAC unit, the Daikin Rebel, was one of two units to meet DOE’s Rooftop Challenge, a competition for manufacturers to create rooftop units that exceed existing U.S. DOE manufacturing standards. The super-efficient rooftop unit reduces energy costs an average of about 41 percent compared to units in operation today. If widely adopted, the energy savings of such units would be like taking 700,000 cars off the road every year, according to a new report from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

The reduced energy draw from using the units could idle about eight average-size coal-fired power plants in each of those 10 years. The DOE said that if all rooftop units with a cooling capacity of 10 to 20 tons were replaced immediately with the Rebel or a similar unit, cost savings could equal $1 billion annually. Nearly half of cooling-conditioned commercial floor space in the U.S. features rooftop units.

Daikin Applied, who makes the Rebel, is also using big data in the units: the company is able to seamlessly connect Rebel units to the cloud and securely aggregate, filter and share data. This helps Rebel users to proactively manage the performance of their buildings and makes them aware of HVAC issues before they happen.

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