Right-Sizing Laboratory Equipment Loads

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Laboratory equipment such as autoclaves, glass washers, refrigerators, and computers account for a significant portion of the energy use in laboratories. However, because of the general lack of measured equipment load data for laboratories, designers often use estimates based on nameplate rated data, or design assumptions from prior projects. Consequently, peak equipment loads are frequently overestimated. This results in oversized HVAC systems, increased initial construction costs, and increased energy use due to inefficiencies at low part-load operation. This best-practice guide first presents the problem of over-sizing in typical practice, and then describes how best-practice strategies obtain better estimates of equipment loads and right-size HVAC systems, saving initial construction costs as well as life-cycle energy costs.

This guide is one in a series created by the Laboratories for the 21st century (Labs21) program, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. Geared towards architects, engineers, and facilities managers, these guides provide information about technologies and practices to use in designing, constructing, and operating safe, sustainable, high-performance laboratories.

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