Measurement of Airflow in Residential Furnaces

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In order to have a standard for furnaces that includes electricity consumption or for the efficiency of furnace blowers to be determined, it is necessary to determine the airflow of a furnace or furnace blower. This study focused on airflow testing, in order to determine if an existing test method for measuring blower airflow could be used to measure the airflow of a furnace, under conditions seen in actual installations and to collect data and insights into the operating characteristics of various types of furnace blowers, to use in the analysis of the electricity consumption of furnaces. Results of the measured airflow on furnaces with three types of blower and motor combinations are presented in the report. These included: (1) a forward-curved blower wheel with a typical permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor, (2) a forward-curved blower wheel with an electronically-commutated motor (ECM), and (3) a prototype blower, consisting of a backward-inclined blower wheel matched to an ECM motor prototype, which is being developed as an energy-saving alternative to conventional furnace blowers. The testing provided data on power consumption, static and total pressure, and blower speed.

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


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