Energy Efficiency: The European Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC
The Ecodesign of Energy Related Products Directive (ErP) is a European framework put in place to help the European Union (EU) achieve its target to:
- Deliver energy efficiency improvement
- Lower carbon (CO₂) emission
- Increase the share of renewables
The current Ecodesign Directive has evolved from an older version which dealt with energy using products (EuP) and was extended to include energy-related products (ErP) in 2009.
The particular function of the Ecodesign Directive is to improve design on a product specific level. Eliminating the worst performing products from the market and shifting the economy towards solutions with the least life-cycle costs (i.e. total cost of product ownership throughout its lifespan).
What is the process behind the selection of goods to be covered by the Ecodesign Directive?
- Products with a volume of sales more than 200,000 units per year throughout the internal European market are included within the Ecodesign instruction. The amount of sales is an accumulative total and not one calculated on an individual producer basis.
- Products that have a significant environmental impact in the internal market.
- A present significant potential for improvement in environmental impact without incurring excessive costs.
The Ecodesign Directive defines minimum requirements for energy related products and is transposed into UK law (regardless of the connotations of BREXIT) under the Energy Related Products Regulations 2010 SI 2010 No. 2617.
The specific regulation which covers Airedale products came into law on 1 January 2018 (Tier 1) which was then overtaken by Tier 2 (January 2021).
The Ecodesign Directive is a framework directive, which means:
- It does not set requirements for products by itself
- It is implemented through product group specific regulations
- Relevant products have been divided into “Lots” with specific implementing measures
Airedale products appear under Lot 21 – Central heating products using hot air to distribute heat (other than CHP)
Lot 21 includes:
- Air heating products with a rated capacity not exceeding 1MW
- Cooling products and high-temperature process chillers with a rated cooling capacity not exceeding 2MW
- High-temperature process chillers
- Fan coil units
Lot 21 excludes:
- Condensing units. These feature under ENTR Lot 1
- Low and medium temperature process chillers (supply water temperature <-25°C and <-8°C) – covered under ENTR Lot 1
- Comfort chillers with supply water temperatures <+2°C or >+ 12°C
What does Ecodesign mean for me and my business?
The Ecodesign Directive is an approach to unit design which targets energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions. It rightly encourages manufacturers to consider the environmental impact of a system over the lifetime of the product.
Airedale, as a British Manufacturer, is committed to limiting the environmental impact of its products. We strive to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. With this ethos, we are committed to working with you to ensure Ecodesign Directive conformity and deliver the associated benefits of compliance.
Precision Air Conditioning (PAC)
Close control air conditioners are not exempt if they are applied in comfort applications. By way of Ecodesign conformity, it is stated that “cooling product” must include a “cold generator” and be applied for the “thermal comfort of human beings”.
- Data centres, standard rooms, clean rooms, archives, etc. are excluded as the primary applied function of a PAC unit is not for the thermal comfort of human beings
- Chilled water PAC units are excluded as they do not include a “cold generator”
- DX PAC units applied in comfort applications are included
Therefore, DX PAC units applied in comfort applications must be compliant with Ecodesign.
Must comply with Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards (MEPS) for Seasonal Cooling Energy Efficiency (SSCEE) on Tier 2.
High-temperature Process Chillers
Do not provide cooling of space for the thermal comfort of human beings.
Must comply with Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards (MEPS) for Seasonal Energy Performance Ratio (SEPR) Tier 2.
If a chiller is declared only for high-temperature process cooling according to its documentation, then only the MEPS for SEPR has to be achieved.
If a unit meets the MEPS at the rating condition but is sold at a different condition where it is less efficient that is acceptable as target MEPS was met at the rating condition.
What have Airedale done?
During the lead-up to Ecodesign regulations becoming law, it was estimated by Eurovent that up to 85% of chillers available at the time would be non compliant vs. the Tier 2 minimum requirements.
Airedale are in a more fortunate position than some in that we have always prioritised energy efficiency when designing our products and much of our range was already compliant. However we have invested significantly in our R&D efforts to ensure all applicable products are compliant, introducing new technologies and working with our supply chain to move the industry forward.
Key takeaways I must consider when ordering units to be Ecodesign Directive compliant
- When is the unit required and to be delivered to site?
- The unit must be Tier 2 compliant.
- What application is the product for, process or comfort?
- Airedale, as a manufacturer, does not always know the application of the unit (process vs. comfort).
- It is, therefore, your responsibility to ensure this information is passed along to Airedale with the design selection criteria for the units.
- Water temperature. What supply temperatures do you require?
Airedale’s position on the Ecodesign Directive
As a British Manufacturer, we are driven by quality and efficiency at every stage of our research, development and manufacturing process. We meet the challenges of regulatory changes head on and innovatively.
The Ecodesign Directive is a ‘game changer’. Originally introduced as part of the European framework to help the European Union (EU) achieve its 20-20-20 target for 20% energy efficiency improvement and 20% lower carbon emissions target.
All our ongoing products and systems will be designed to meet current and future Ecodesign and F-Gas regulations regarding energy efficiency and carbon emissions. We recognise that providing our customers with energy efficient solutions is a critical sustainable development opportunity for us all, subsequently it has been a pillar of our business for well over 40 years.
Airedale is committed to sustainability and limiting the environmental impact of our units. For some, less proactive manufacturers, the Ecodesign Directive will cause some sizable headaches.
For Airedale, it is a proposition we welcome and relish, and a great many Airedale solutions are already Ecodesign compliant.