DOE Department Circular 2020-12-0026 encourages energy efficiency and conservation

On February 19, 2021, the Department of Energy published Department Circular 2020-12-0026 which promotes energy efficiency and conservation for large buildings.
 
The policy specifically covers buildings with at least 112.5 KVA of electric load or at least 10,000 square meters of total gross floor area, whether new or undergoing expansions or modifications. Exempted however are areas with industrial/manufacturing processes.
 
The circular covers three main parts: 
  1. Thermal performance of the Building Envelope
  2. Mechanical Systems including air conditioning and ventilation, and hot water systems
  3. Electrical Systems including lighting, electrical motors, distribution and use of renewable energy systems
At Amici, we are glad the government is pushing for policies that improve energy efficiency and conservation. 
 
We have been active since 2005 in promoting energy efficient systems for air conditioning and ventilation, hot water systems, and water pump systems. Below are some solutions we offer that will help building developers and building owners comply with the new DOE regulations.

Air Conditioning and Ventilating System

For centralized air conditioning systems, Amici distributes Saiver AHU and FCU that can be fitted at the factory with UV germicidal irradiation and MERV 6 filters to provide efficient disinfection without increasing the blower horsepower. 
 
Saiver AHU and FCU can be fitted with EC fans and integrated with the building management system (BMS).
 
We also have energy recovery heat wheel for buildings with centralized air supply systems. This allows moving heat from intake air to the exhaust, so that incoming air will be cooler already.
 
For cool water or chilled water pumps, we offer high efficiency low-speed pumps with IE2 high efficiency electric motors from Pentair Fairbanks Nijhuis. These can be controlled with VFD drives for more efficient operations.
 
Where hot water demand is also very high, condenser heat from chillers can be recovered through water to water heat exchangers and heat pumps.

Hot Water System

The DOE circular mentions that point-of-use water heaters such as instant electric heaters and small storage heaters shall be used only when it is the most energy efficient option.
 
The DOE regulation encourages heat recovery from steam boilers or steam generators.
 
In the absence of steam, the DOE circular promotes direct-fired hot water generators with efficiency of 85% and above over electric water heaters.  A. O. Smith has up to 98% high efficiency direct fired full condensing water heaters since 1996. They've been in use in some hotels, laundries, and gyms in the Philippines already and they allow much more energy saving than the current standard.
 
To further reduce energy use, DOE puts an emphasis on the use of solar water heaters with backup 3kw electric elements. The backup 3kw element is important because solar collection is not efficient on cloudy and rainy days as well as night time. Since the use of hot water is prevalent very early in the morning or at night, heat recovery is also regularly out of phase with the demand for hot water. Due to the availability issues for direct sunlight, we recommend heat pump water heaters over solar water heaters. 
 
In fact, even though the DOE encourages heat recovery from steam boilers or steam generators, Amici has been working with large hotels since 2005 to replace steam boilers with heat pump water heaters to save more energy and also reduce cost of operation for hotel owners. 
 
We have installed Fireflux and A. O. Smith heat pump water heaters to over 200 hotels nationwide. Heat pump water heaters work by harnessing heat from the ambient air and moving the energy to the water very efficiently. Heat pump water heaters are ideal for the Philippine climate because they can function as primary hot water generators the whole day. When compared to electric heaters, heat pump heaters reduce energy use between 60 to 80%.
 
In the USA, residential heat pump water heaters are already required if the requirement is 50 gallons and above. However in the Philippines, this is not yet the case. Customs tariffs for heat pump water heaters are still high at 5-7%. To promote energy efficient water heating, it would be preferable if tariffs for renewable energy-based heaters are lowered.

Electric Motors and Water Pump Systems

The circular covered policies on electric motors which are used for blowers, fans and water pumps. Motor efficiency should meet at least the IE2 high efficiency standard. The recommended start up methods for motors are through soft starters for constant speed application and through VFD for variable speed application. Pump efficiency should also be sized to run at near peak efficiency (80-100% of Best Efficiency Point).
 
Amici provides Sta-rite and Fairbanks Nijhuis commercial pumps that meet the DOE standards. We incorporate VFD pump controls to provide inverter pump systems for domestic pump applications.
 
For swimming pool applications, we offer Pentair Sta-Rite variable speed and variable flow pool pumps that are designed to reduce energy use by up to 80%.

Renewable Energy Systems

News on the DOE circular paid the most attention to the renewable energy systems section. The policy states that covered buildings should now source at least 1% of their expected energy requirements from renewable energy. Building owners can achieve this through the use of solar photovoltaic systems, wind power, solar water heaters, solar air conditioners and solar powered lighting.
 
Amici provides both solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters that use renewable energy and reduce our electricity use.
 
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