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Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Notice of Petition for Waiver of Samsung Electronics America, Inc. From the Department of Energy Residential Refrigerator and Refrigerator-Freezer Test Procedure, and Grant of Interim Waiver

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AGENCY:

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Notice of petition for waiver, notice of grant of interim waiver, and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This notice announces receipt of and publishes the Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (Samsung) petition for waiver (hereafter, “petition”) from specified portions of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for determining the energy consumption of electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers. Today's notice also grants an interim waiver of the test procedures applicable to residential refrigerator-freezers to additional Samsung basic models. Through this document, DOE also solicits comments with respect to the Samsung petition.

DATES:

DOE will accept comments, data, and information with respect to the Samsung petition until, but no later than May 17, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by case number RF-014, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: AS_Waiver_Requests@ee.doe.gov. Include either the case number [Case No. RF-014], and/or “Samsung Petition” in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J/1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit one signed original paper copy.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Please submit one signed original paper copy.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and case number for this proceeding. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, Portable Document Format (PDF), or text (American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)) file format and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption. Wherever possible, include the electronic signature of the author. DOE does not accept telefacsimiles (faxes).

Any person submitting written comments must also send a copy of such comments to the petitioner, pursuant to 10 CFR 431.401(d). The contact information for the petitioner is: Mr. Michael Moss, Samsung Electronics America, Inc., 18600 Broadwick St., Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220, Phone: (310) 900-5245, E-mail: mikem@sea.samsung.com.

According to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit two copies to DOE: one copy of the document including all the information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document with the information believed to be confidential deleted. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination.

Docket: For access to the docket to review the background documents relevant to this matter, you may visit the U.S. Department of Energy, 950 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., (Resource Room of the Building Technologies Program), Washington, DC 20024; (202) 586-2945, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Available documents include the following items: (1) This notice; (2) public comments received; (3) the petition for waiver and application for interim waiver; and (4) prior DOE waivers and rulemakings regarding similar central air conditioning and heat pump equipment. Please call Ms. Brenda Edwards at the above telephone number for additional information regarding visiting the Resource Room.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Michael G. Raymond, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mail Stop EE-2J, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-9611. E-mail: Michael.Raymond@ee.doe.gov.

Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Mail Stop GC-71, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103. Telephone: (202) 586-7796. E-mail: Elizabeth.Kohl@hq.doe.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Authority

Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (“EPCA”) sets forth a variety of provisions concerning energy efficiency. Part A of Title III provides for the “Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles.” (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309) Part A includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation standards, and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers. Further, Part A authorizes the Secretary of Energy to prescribe test procedures that are reasonably designed to produce results which measure energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated operating costs, and that are not unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) The test procedure for residential refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers is contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1.

The regulations set forth in 10 CFR 430.27 contain provisions that enable a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for covered consumer products. A waiver will be granted by the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (the Assistant Secretary) if it is determined that the basic model for Start Printed Page 19960which the petition for waiver was submitted contains one or more design characteristics that prevents testing of the basic model according to the prescribed test procedures, or if the 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(l). 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. 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iii). The Assistant Secretary may grant the 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).

The waiver process also allows the Assistant Secretary to grant an interim waiver from test procedure requirements to manufacturers that have petitioned DOE for a waiver of such prescribed test procedures. (10 CFR 430.27(a)(2)) An interim waiver remains in effect for a period of 180 days or until DOE issues its determination on the petition for waiver, whichever is sooner, and may be extended for an additionally 180 days, if necessary. (10 CFR 430.27(h))

On September 9, 2009, Samsung filed a petition for waiver and application for interim waiver from the test procedure applicable to residential electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers set forth in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1. The products covered by the petition employ adaptive anti-sweat heaters, which detect and respond to temperature and humidity conditions, and then activate adaptive heaters as needed to evaporate excess moisture. DOE published Samsung's petition for waiver for residential refrigerator-freezers with adaptive anti-sweat heaters, as well as its grant of interim waiver to Samsung for these products, in the Federal Register on December 15, 2009. 74 FR 66340. DOE granted Samsung's petition for waiver on March 18, 2010 (75 FR 13120).

II. Petition for Waiver

On February 1, 2010, Samsung informed DOE in a petition dated January 20, 2010, that after it filed its petition for waiver in September 2009 it developed additional basic models with adaptive anti-sweat heater technology. Samsung asserted that these new products function and operate the same way as the basic models listed in Samsung's September 2009 petition with respect to the properties that made those products eligible for a waiver. Therefore, Samsung requested that DOE add these models to the list of basic models for which the interim waiver was granted. In addition, Samsung requested that DOE grant a new waiver for these additional basic models. The following additional products are covered by the January 2010 waiver request:

RB***H***, RF***H***, RF#***H***, RS***H***, RS#***H***.

The additional basic models of refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers contain variable anti-sweat heater controls that detect a broad range of temperature and humidity conditions, and respond by activating adaptive heaters, as needed, to evaporate excess moisture. Samsung's technology is similar to that used by General Electric Company (GE), Whirlpool Corporation (Whirlpool), and Electrolux for refrigerator-freezers which were the subject of petitions for waiver published April 17, 2007 (72 FR 19189), July 10, 2008 (73 FR 39684), and January 28, 2010 (75 FR 4539), respectively. GE's waiver was granted on February 27, 2008 (73 FR 10425); Whirlpool's waiver was granted on May 5, 2009 (74 FR 20695); and Electrolux's waiver was granted on March 11, 2010 (75 FR 11530). Samsung seeks a waiver from the existing DOE test procedure applicable to refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers under 10 CFR Part 430 because it takes neither ambient humidity nor adaptive technology into account. Therefore, Samsung stated that the test procedure does not accurately measure the energy consumption of Samsung's new refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers that feature variable anti-sweat heater controls and adaptive heaters.

DOE notes that Samsung's January 2010 petition to extend its interim waiver and petition for waiver also includes an alternate test procedure for testing products equipped with adaptive anti-sweat heaters. The alternate test procedure submitted in the January 2010 petition is identical to the one contained in Samsung's September 9, 2009 petition. The alternate test procedure is the same in all relevant particulars as that prescribed for GE, Whirlpool, and Electrolux refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers that are equipped with the same type of technology. The alternate test procedure applicable to the GE, Whirlpool, and Electrolux products simulates the energy used by the adaptive heaters in a typical consumer household, as explained in the GE Decision and Order that DOE published in the Federal Register on February 27, 2008. 73 FR 10425. DOE believes that it is in the public interest to have similar products tested and rated for energy consumption on a comparable basis.

III. Application for Interim Waiver

Samsung also requests an interim waiver for these additional basic models. An interim waiver may be granted if it is determined that the applicant will experience economic hardship if the Application for 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 of the petition for waiver. (10 CFR 430.27(g))

DOE determined that Samsung's application for interim waiver does not provide sufficient market, equipment price, shipments, and other manufacturer impact information to permit DOE to evaluate the economic hardship Samsung might experience absent a favorable determination on its application for interim waiver. DOE understands that absent an Interim Waiver, however, Samsung's products would not be tested and rated for energy consumption on a comparable basis with equivalent GE, Whirlpool, and Electrolux products where DOE previously granted waivers, and would be required to represent a higher energy consumption for essentially the same product. DOE also determined that it appears likely that Samsung's petition for waiver will be granted and that it is desirable for public policy reasons to grant Samsung immediate relief pending a determination on the petition for waiver. As stated above, DOE has already granted similar waivers to GE, Whirlpool, and Electrolux because the test procedure does not accurately represent the energy consumption of refrigerator-freezers containing relative humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters. The rationale for granting these waivers is equally applicable to Samsung, which has products containing similar relative humidity sensors and anti-sweat heaters. DOE has also concluded that it is in the public interest to have similar products tested and rated for energy consumption on a comparable basis. In sum, Samsung seeks a waiver that is very similar to the ones DOE granted to GE, Whirlpool, and Electrolux for the same sensors and controls and alternate test procedure.

For the reasons stated above, DOE grants Samsung's application for interim waiver from testing of the additional Start Printed Page 19961basic models of refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers containing relative humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters. Therefore, it is ordered that:

The Application for interim waiver filed by Samsung is hereby granted for Samsung's additional basic models of refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers containing relative humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters, subject to the specifications and conditions below.

1. Samsung shall not be required to test or rate the additional basic models of refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers containing relative humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters on the basis of the test procedure under 10 CFR part 430 subpart B, appendix A1.

2. Samsung shall be required to test and rate the additional basic models of refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers containing relative humidity sensors and adaptive control anti-sweat heaters according to the alternate test procedure as set forth in section IV, “Alternate test procedure.”

The interim waiver applies to the following basic model groups:

RB***H***, RF***H***, RF#***H***, RS***H***, RS#***H***.

This interim waiver is conditioned upon the presumed validity of statements, representations, and documents provided by the petitioner. DOE may revoke or modify this interim waiver at any time upon a determination that the factual basis underlying the petition for waiver is incorrect, or upon a determination that the results from the alternate test procedure are unrepresentative of the basic models' true energy consumption characteristics.

III. Alternate Test Procedure

For the duration of the interim waiver, Samsung shall be required to use the test procedures for electric refrigerator-freezers prescribed by DOE at 10 CFR Part 430, Appendix A1, except that, for the Samsung products listed above only:

(A) The following definition is added at the end of Section 1:

1.13 “Variable anti-sweat heater control” means an anti-sweat heater where power supplied to the device is determined by an operating condition variable(s) and/or ambient condition variable(s).

(B) Section 2.2 is revised to read as follows:

2.2 Operational conditions. The electric refrigerator or electric refrigerator-freezer shall be installed and its operating conditions maintained in accordance with HRF-1-1979, section 7.2 through section 7.4.3.3. except that the vertical ambient temperature gradient at locations 10 inches (25.4 cm) out from the centers of the two sides of the unit being tested is to be maintained during the test. Unless shields or baffles obstruct the area, the gradient is to be maintained from 2 inches (5.1 cm) above the floor or supporting platform to a height one foot (30.5 cm) above the unit under test. Defrost controls are to be operative. The anti-sweat heater switch is to be “off” during one test and “on” during the second test. In the case of an electric refrigerator-freezer equipped with variable anti-sweat heater control, the result of the second test will be derived from the calculation described in 6.2.3. Other exceptions are noted in 2.3, 2.4, and 5.1 below.

(C) New section 6.2.3 is inserted after section 6.2.2.2.

6.2.3 Variable anti-sweat heater control test. The energy consumption of an electric refrigerator-freezer with a variable anti-sweat heater control in the “on” position (Eon), expressed in kilowatt-hours per day, shall be calculated equivalent to:

EON = E + (Correction Factor)

Where E is determined by 6.2.1.1, 6.2.1.2, 6.2.2.1, or 6.2.2.2, whichever is appropriate, with the anti-sweat heater switch in the “off” position.

Correction Factor = (Anti-sweat Heater Power × System-loss Factor) × (24 hrs/1 day) × (1 kW/1000 W)

Where:

Anti-sweat Heater Power =

A1 * (Heater Watts at 5%RH)

+ A2 * (Heater Watts at 15%RH)

+ A3 * (Heater Watts at 25%RH)

+ A4 * (Heater Watts at 35%RH)

+ A5 * (Heater Watts at 45%RH)

+ A6 * (Heater Watts at 55%RH)

+ A7 * (Heater Watts at 65%RH)

+ A8 * (Heater Watts at 75%RH)

+ A9 * (Heater Watts at 85%RH)

+ A10 * (Heater Watts at 95%RH)

Where A1-A10 are from the following table:

A1 = 0.034A6 = 0.119
A2 = 0.211A7 = 0.069
A3 = 0.204A8 = 0.047
A4 = 0.166A9 = 0.008
A5 = 0.126A10 = 0.015

Heater Watts at a specific relative humidity = the nominal watts used by all heaters at that specific relative humidity, 72 °F ambient, and DOE reference temperatures of fresh food (FF) average temperature of 45 °F and freezer (FZ) average temperature of 5 °F.

System-loss Factor = 1.3

IV. Summary and Request for Comments

The Department has reviewed Samsung's petition and its request to extend its interim waiver to additional models. The additional models contain the same anti-sweat heater controls and relative humidity sensors as the models listed in Samsung's September 2009 petition. The alternate test procedure is also valid for these additional models. Given that the basis for granting an interim waiver to the additional basic models is the same as the basis for granting the interim waiver for the models listed in Samsung's September 2009 petition, DOE finds that it is appropriate to grant an interim waiver for the additional models listed in this petition. Accordingly, DOE extends the prior grant of interim waiver to the models listed in this petition.

Through today's notice, DOE announces receipt of Samsung's petition for waiver from certain parts of the test procedure that apply to additional basic models of refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers with variable anti-sweat heater controls and adaptive heaters manufactured by Samsung. DOE is publishing Samsung's petition for waiver in its entirety pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv). The petition contains no confidential information. The petition includes a suggested alternate test procedure and calculation methodology to determine the energy consumption of Samsung's specified refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers with adaptive anti-sweat heaters. DOE is interested in receiving comments from interested parties on all aspects of the petition, including the suggested alternate test procedure and calculation methodology. Pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv), any person submitting written comments to DOE must also send a copy of such comments to the petitioner, whose contact information is included in the ADDRESSES section above.

Start Signature

Issued in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2010.

Cathy Zoi,

Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

End Signature

January 20, 2010

Catherine Zoi, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585

Subject: Petition for Waiver and Application for Interim Waiver, Samsung Refrigerator-Freezers with Adaptive Anti-Sweat Heaters

Dear Assistant Secretary Zoi: Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Samsung), respectfully submits this Petition for Waiver and Application for Interim Waiver to the Department of Energy (DOE) for refrigerator-freezer Start Printed Page 19962models incorporating adaptive anti-sweat heater technologies, pursuant to 10 CFR Part 430.27.

The 10 CFR Part 430.27(a)(1) allows a person to submit a petition to waive for a particular basic model any requirements of § 430.23 upon the grounds that the basic model contains one or more design characteristics which either prevent testing of the basic model according to the prescribed test procedures, or the 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. Additionally, 10 CFR Part 430.27(b)(2) allows an applicant to request an Interim Waiver if economic hardship and/or competitive disadvantage is likely to result absent a favorable determination on the Application for Interim Waiver.

Reasoning

Samsung designed refrigerator-freezers with anti-sweat heater technologies that react according to different ambient conditions such as humidity and temperature. This anti-sweat technology allows the heater to variably activate depending on relative ambient humidity levels. Samsung believes that the current test procedure, Appendix A1 to Subpart B of Part 430, prevents Samsung from accurately evaluating its refrigerator-freezers that feature this adaptive anti-sweat heater technology. The models requested in this Application and Petition have the same anti-sweat designs as other Samsung models which the Department had granted an Interim Waiver [1] for.

Samsung's adaptive anti-sweat heater technology is similar to that used by General Electric Company (GE) and Whirlpool Corporation (Whirlpool) for refrigerator-freezers which were the subject of Petitions for Waiver published April 17, 2007 and July 10, 2008, respectively. 72 FR 19189; 73 FR 39684. GE's waiver was granted on February 27, 2008. 73 FR 10425. Whirlpool's waiver was granted on May 5, 2009. 74 FR 20695.

The current testing method prescribes that the refrigerator-freezer be tested without any prescription for humidity levels. Lacking the prescription of a humidity level, current refrigerator-freezers employ an anti-sweat technology that engages at predetermined intervals to prevent moisture build-up according to an assumed, fixed algorithm. Lacking the proper sensors to effectively detect and engage the heater at specific dew points, a general assumption is made for the scheduled activation of anti-sweat heaters. General assumptions and timed action sequences are inefficient methods to control condensation; the adaptive anti-sweat heater technology will take the guesswork out of anti-sweat heater activation and will base activation on real-time environment conditions for the purpose of energy efficiency.

Since adaptive anti-sweat heater technology was not available during the development stage of the current DOE requirements, and since the existing requirements do not fairly represent energy consumption for refrigerator-freezers containing this technology, an exception relief is warranted.

Test Method

In a manner similar to GE in their Petition [2] , Samsung proposes to run the energy-consumption test with the anti-sweat heater switch in the “off” position and then, because the test chamber is not humidity-controlled, to add to that result the kilowatt hours per day derived by calculating the energy used when the anti-sweat heater is in the “on” position.

“[GE] in an effort to establish a national average of energy used by a variably controlled anti-sweat heater, the population-weighted humidity values were grouped into 10 bands, each with a range of 10% relative humidity. The table below sets out the percent probability that any U.S. household will experience the listed average humidity conditions during any month of the year.” Those 10 bands are as follows:

% RHProbability (%)Constant designation
1. 0-103.4A1
2. 10-2021.1A2
3. 20-3020.4A3
4. 30-4016.6A4
5. 40-5012.6A5
6. 50-6011.9A6
7. 60-706.9A7
8. 70-804.7A8
9. 80-900.8A9
10. 90-1001.5A10

Similar to GE, Samsung determined that additional energy required to operate the anti-sweat heater control and related components, and the additional energy required to increase compressor run time to remove heat introduced into the refrigerator compartments by the anti-sweat heater have a “system-loss factor”. Samsung has also determined that this “system-loss factor” is 1.3. Therefore, Samsung proposes that the energy consumption results should be calculated with the anti-sweat heater switch in the “off” position and with the correction factor taken into account. The correction factor should be as follows:

Correction Factor = (Anti-sweat Heater Power × System-loss Factor) × (24 hours/1 day) × (1 kW/1000 W)

The national average power in watts used by the anti-sweat heaters is then calculated by totaling the product of constants A1-A10 multiplied by the respective heater watts used by a refrigerator operating in the median percent relative humidity for that band and standard refrigerator conditions: ambient temperature of 72 °F, fresh food (FF) average temperature of 45 °F, and freezer (FZ) average temperature of 5 °F.

Anti-sweat Heater Power = A1 * (Heater Watts at 5% RH) + A2 * (Heater Watts at 15% RH) + A3 * (Heater Watts at 25% RH) + A4 * (Heater Watts at 35% RH) + A5 * (Heater Watts at 45% RH) + A6 * (Heater Watts at 55% RH) + A7 * (Heater Watts at 65% RH) + A8 * (Heater Watts at 75% RH) + A9 * (Heater Watts at 85% RH) + A10 * (Heater Watts at 95% RH)

Start Printed Page 19963

Samsung requests that DOE prescribe an alternate test procedure, whereby the test procedure were modified to calculate the energy of the unit by testing the unit with the anti-sweat heaters in the “on” position as equal to the energy of the unit tested with the anti-sweat heaters in the “off” position plus the Anti-Sweat Heater Power times 1.3, similar to those prescribed within waivers granted to GE [3] and Whirlpool,[4] to allow Samsung to accurately evaluate the energy consumption for the following Samsung refrigerator-freezer models:

RB***H***

RF***H***

RF#***H***

RS***H***

RS#***H***

Conclusion

On the grounds that current test methods for refrigerator-freezers will result in inaccurate evaluation of energy consumption, Samsung requests that, until a final rule prescribing a test method for adaptive anti-sweat heater technologies, a waiver is granted for Samsung refrigerator-freezer models which utilize adaptive anti-sweat heater technologies.

By granting Samsung the requested waiver and interim waiver, DOE will ensure that advancements in technologies are not hindered by regulations, and that similar products are tested and rated for energy consumption on a comparable basis.

Affected Persons

Primarily affected persons in the refrigerator-freezer category include BSH Home Appliances Corp. (Bosch- Siemens Hausgerate GmbH), Electrolux Home Products, Equator, Fisher & Paykel Appliances Inc., GE Appliances, Haier America Trading, L.L.C., Heartland Appliances, Inc., Kelon Electrical Holdings Co., Ltd., Liebherr Hausgerate, LG Electronics Inc., Northland-Marvel, Sanyo Fisher Company, Sears, Sub-Zero Freezer Company, U-Line, Viking Range, W. C. Wood Company, and Whirlpool Corporation.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers is also generally interested in energy efficiency requirements for appliances, including refrigerator-freezers. Samsung will notify all these entities as required by the Department's rules and provide them with a version of this Petition.

  Sincerely,

Michael Moss,

Senior Manager.

End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

[FR Doc. 2010-8772 Filed 4-15-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6450-01-P