Standard to Manage Internal Heat Gains from Plug Loads

New Standard Provides Method for Determining Heat Gain of Office Equipment

ACHR News, May 25, 2015. Image credit: Gazebo

Growing use of plug loads in buildings as well as insufficient data on how much energy they generate present a challenge to engineers in determining how to best cool a building. ASHRAE has announced a new standard that provides guidance to meet that challenge. ASHRAE/ANSI Standard 203-2014, Method of Test for Determining Heat Gain of Office Equipment Used in Buildings, prescribes methods of test to determine the range and average operating heat gains of electrical equipment for use in cooling load calculations. The standard applies to plug-load type electrical equipment.

Plug loads (computers, monitors, printers, projectors, etc.) are estimated to use between 20 to 50 percent of building energy use. They have evolved to become a larger percentage of a building’s overall heat.

Engineers optimize HVAC equipment selections by performing cooing load calculations. Internal heat gains from plug loads are a significant portion of those calculations.

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