Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.
Decision and Order.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of the decision and order (Case Nos. RF-018, RF-019) that grants to Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (Samsung) a waiver from the DOE electric refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedures for the basic models set forth in its petitions for waiver in Cases RF-018 and RF-019. Under today's decision and order, Samsung shall be required to test and rate these refrigerator-freezers using an alternate test procedure that takes their multiple defrost cycles into account when measuring energy consumption.
This Decision and Order is effective January 10, 2012.
In accordance with Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 430.27(l)), DOE gives notice of the issuance of its decision and order as set forth below. The decision and order grants Samsung a waiver from the applicable residential refrigerator and refrigerator-freezer test procedures in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1 for certain basic models of refrigerator-freezers with multiple
Distributors, retailers, and private labelers are held to the same standard when making representations regarding the energy efficiency of these products. 42 U.S.C. 6293(c).
Title III, Part B of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified) established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, a program covering most major household appliances, which includes the residential electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers that are the focus of this notice.
DOE's regulations for covered products contain provisions allowing a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for a particular basic model for covered consumer products when (1) the petitioner's basic model for which the petition for waiver was submitted contains one or more design characteristics that prevent testing according to the prescribed test procedure, or (2) when prescribed test procedures may evaluate the basic model in a manner so unrepresentative of its true energy consumption characteristics as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(1). Petitioners must include in their petition any alternate test procedures known to the petitioner to evaluate the basic model in a manner representative of its energy consumption characteristics. 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iii).
The Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (the Assistant Secretary) may grant a waiver subject to conditions, including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(l). Waivers remain in effect pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(m).
Any interested person who has submitted a petition for waiver may also file an application for interim waiver of the applicable test procedure requirements. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(2). The Assistant Secretary will grant an interim waiver request if it is determined that the applicant will experience economic hardship if the interim waiver is denied, if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted, and/or the Assistant Secretary determines that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief pending a determination on the petition for waiver. 10 CFR 430.27(g).
On January 27 and July 19, 2011, Samsung submitted petitions for waiver and applications for interim waiver (petitions) from the test procedures applicable to residential electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers set forth in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1. Samsung's petitions were applicable to specified basic models of refrigerator-freezers that incorporate multiple defrost cycles. In its petitions, Samsung requested a waiver from the existing DOE test procedure applicable to refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers under 10 CFR part 430 because the existing test procedure does not account for multiple defrost cycles. Therefore, Samsung has asked to use an alternate test procedure that addresses defrost energy use and multiple defrost cycles in the same way as the new Appendix A test procedure DOE published in an interim final rule (75 FR 78810, Dec. 16, 2010) (codified at 10 CFR 430, Subpart B, Appendix A).
Whirlpool commented in response to Samsung's waiver petition that applying the second part of the interim final rule test to the fresh food defrost of one of these products results in an energy credit. Whirlpool's waiver comments discussed the data from testing performed by the Canadian Standards Association that examined the energy consumption of a Samsung model that uses multiple defrost cycles—Samsung model No. RFG297AAPN. Whirlpool asserted that the test results are illogical because the energy use contribution of the fresh food compartment defrost is negative (
After considering Whirlpool's comments suggesting that DOE modify the second part of the test, DOE reopened the comment period on the interim final rule and specifically requested comment on this topic. 76 FR 57613-57614 (Sept. 15, 2011). Whirlpool commented on the interim final rule and, consistent with its comments on the Samsung waiver, stressed that the end of the second part of the test be moved so that it coincides with the end of a compressor “on” cycle. Whirlpool asserted that this change should be made for all defrosts, whether they are for fresh food compartments or freezer compartments.
Whirlpool's interim final rule comments did not explain how the suggested test period would result in more accurate test results. Instead, the comments stated that the “underlying principle when measuring the energy consumption of any product which operates in cycles is to measure from the same point in one cycle to the same point in a successor cycle,” and asserted that the test procedure of Appendix A set forth in the interim final rule measures from a compressor stop to a compressor start for products with cycling compressors. Whirlpool did not, however, provide any explanation supporting the measurement from a point in one cycle to the same point in a successor cycle. The comments stated that the negative energy use contribution (
More recently, DOE prepared an assessment demonstrating that a test period for the second part of the test both starting and ending at the end of a compressor “on” cycle is consistent with the full-cycle measurement specified for testing non-variable automatic defrost products. This document
On the other hand, the compartment temperature is at its typical steady-state cycling maximum (the higher horizontal line of the temperature plot of figure 1 of 10 CFR 430, subpart B, appendix A) when test period T2 ends. Hence, while the compartment temperature has recovered to the range within which it varies during steady state operation, it has not recovered to the temperature state associated with the start of the test period—
DOE concludes that the test period for the second part of the test specified in the interim final rule for products with cycling compressors and long-time or variable defrost may not accurately account for the energy use associated with defrost, which necessitates a change to enhance the accuracy of the measurement. DOE received no other comments on this topic during the comment periods for the test procedure interim final rule. In light of this new information, and its own review, DOE adopted the approach suggested by Whirlpool in its comments on the Samsung waiver and interim final rule to help ensure the procedure in Appendix A provides a greater level of accuracy. DOE also adopts this approach as the alternate test procedure in this Decision and Order.
DOE consulted with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff concerning the Samsung petition for waiver. The FTC staff did not have any objections to granting a waiver to Samsung.
After careful consideration of all the material that was submitted by Samsung and consultation with the FTC staff, it is ordered that:
(1) The petitions for waiver submitted by the Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (Case Nos. RF-018 and RF-019) are hereby granted as set forth in the paragraphs below.
(2) Samsung shall be required to test and rate the following Samsung models according to the alternate test procedure set forth in paragraph (3) below.
(3) Samsung shall be required to test the products listed in paragraph (2) above according to the test procedures for residential electric refrigerator-freezers prescribed by DOE at 10 CFR part 430, appendix A1, except that, for the Samsung products listed in paragraph (2) only, include:
1. In section 1, Definitions, the following definition:
“Defrost cycle type” means a distinct sequence of control whose function is to remove frost and/or ice from a refrigerated surface. There may be variations in the defrost control sequence such as the number of defrost heaters energized. Each such variation establishes a separate distinct defrost cycle type. However, defrost achieved regularly during the compressor “off” cycles by warming of the evaporator without active heat addition is not a defrost cycle type.
2. In section 4, Test Period, the following:
4.2.1Long-time Automatic Defrost. If the model being tested has a long-time automatic defrost system, the two-part test described in this section may be used. The first part is a stable period of compressor operation that includes no portions of the defrost cycle, such as precooling or recovery, that is otherwise the same as the test for a unit having no defrost provisions (section 4.1). The second part is designed to capture the energy consumed during all of the events occurring with the defrost
18.104.22.168Cycling Compressor System. For a system with a cycling compressor, the second part of the test starts at the termination of the last regular compressor “on” cycle. The average temperatures of the fresh food and freezer compartments measured from the termination of the previous compressor “on” cycle to the termination of the last regular compressor “on” cycle must both be within 0.5 °F (0.3 °C) of their average temperatures measured for the first part of the test. If any compressor cycles occur prior to the defrost heater being energized that cause the average temperature in either compartment to deviate from its average temperature for the first part of the test by more than 0.5 °F (0.3 °C), these compressor cycles are not considered regular compressor cycles and must be included in the second part of the test. As an example, a “precooling” cycle, which is an extended compressor cycle that lowers the temperature(s) of one or both compartments prior to energizing the defrost heater, must be included in the second part of the test. The test period for the second part of the test ends at the termination of the first regular compressor “on” cycle after both compartment temperatures have fully recovered to their stable conditions. The average temperatures of the compartments measured from this termination of the first regular compressor “on” cycle until the termination of the next regular compressor “on” cycle must both be within 0.5 °F (0.3 °C) of their average temperatures measured for the first part of the test. See Figure 1.
4.2.4Systems with Multiple Defrost Frequencies. This section applies to models with long-time automatic or variable defrost control with multiple defrost cycle types, such as models with single compressors and multiple evaporators in which the evaporators have different defrost frequencies. The two-part method in 4.2.1 shall be used. The second part of the method will be conducted separately for each distinct defrost cycle type.
3. In section 5, Test Measurements, the following:
22.214.171.124Long-time or Variable Defrost Control for Systems with Multiple Defrost cycle Types. The energy consumption in kilowatt-hours per day shall be calculated equivalent to:
(4) Representations. Samsung may make representations about the energy use of its refrigerator-freezer products for compliance, marketing, or other purposes only to the extent that such products have been tested in accordance with the provisions outlined above and such representations fairly disclose the results of such testing.
(5) This waiver shall remain in effect consistent with the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(m).
(6) This waiver is issued on the condition that the statements, representations, and documentary materials provided by the petitioner are valid. DOE may revoke or modify this waiver at any time if it determines the factual basis underlying the petition for waiver is incorrect, or the results from the alternate test procedure are unrepresentative of the basic models' true energy consumption characteristics.
(7) This waiver applies only to those basic models set out in Samsung's January 27 and July 19, 2011 petitions for waiver. Grant of this waiver does not release a petitioner from the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR part 429.
Issued in Washington, DC, on January 3, 2012.