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Title: Evaluation of Retrofit Variable-Speed Furnace Fan Motors

In conjunction with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Proctor Engineering Group, Ltd. (PEG), the Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB) has evaluated the Concept 3™ replacement motors for residential furnaces. These brushless, permanent magnet (BPM) motors can use much less electricity than their PSC (permanent split capacitor) predecessors. This evaluation focuses on existing homes in the heating-dominated climate of upstate New York with the goals of characterizing field performance and cost effectiveness. The project includes eight homes in and near Syracuse, NY. Tests and monitoring was performed both before and after fan motors were replaced. Results indicate that BPM replacement motors will be most cost effective in HVAC systems with longer run times and relatively low duct static pressures. More dramatic savings are possible if occupants use the fan-only setting when there is no thermal load. There are millions of cold-climate, U.S. homes that meet these criteria, but the savings in most homes tested in this study were modest.
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  1. Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Norwalk, CT (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Norwalk, CT (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Country of Publication:
United States
residential; Residenial Buildings; CARB; Building America; brushless permanent magnet motor; air handler unit; cfm; electronically commutated motor; ECM; HVAC; permanent split capacitor motor; retrofit furnace fan; variable speed; energy efficiency