Advanced Energy-Efficient Filtration: Fan-Filter Unit

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With the expectation that the development of a standard method or procedure for testing and reporting performance of fan-filter units (FFUs) will continue in the industry, LBNL proposed to provide technical assistance in the testing method development in this project.

At the early stage of this project, LBNL investigated the levels of interests, expertise, and resources of a list of standard-setting organizations, which potentially would be interested in developing a national, voluntary standard for testing the performance of FFUs. LBNL communicated with the officials or members in the following organizations: Air Movement and Control Association International (AMCA), American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), American Society for Testing and Material International (ASTM International), Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST), and other relevant entities. Based upon the evaluation of the levels of interests, availability of expertise and resources, we identified the following key parties and players:

  • Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan.
  • The Air Movement and Control Association International (AMCA).
  • Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST).
  • FFU suppliers and users.

Upon further discussion with the interested parties, and stakeholders that include the members of the Project Advisory Committee and the California Energy Commission, LBNL decided to interact closely with these key players and to develop a draft standard method for testing and reporting energy performance of fan-filter units.

In November 2003, IEST created and formalized a Working Group (WG) consisting of approximately twenty or more experts associated with the industries, standard-setting entities including AMCA, and the government. The IEST WG started to develop the scope of an industrial Recommended Practice (RP) document on the standard method for testing FFU performance. The WG, which is titled Testing Fan Filter Unit, has since met twice a year and established the collaboration and made voluntary effort by the WG members to develop a Recommended Practice (RP) document for testing FFUs in laboratory setting.

Establishing a testing method to consistently report the energy performance of fan-filter units (FFUs) will help cleanroom owners and designers to make informed choices that consider energy efficiency among other important considerations. Being able to providing comparative performance information to owners and designers can facilitate the selection of more energy efficient FFU models. Energy efficiency practice can be encouraged through utility incentive programs, which can be made possible by using the performance data reported from standardized testing, or by establishing minimal performance rating criteria.

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