Carrier Corporation has unveiled its newly designed central air conditioning system for the U.S. market, to be manufactured at its expanded facility in Collierville, TN.
The new system will be optimized for the 13 SEER U.S. Department of Energy efficiency standard that takes effect in January 2006.
Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the expansion of the Collierville facility Carrier President Geraud Darnis said the corporation anticipates more than 30 new patents for this redesigned cooling system. Carrier's innovations make the product more energy efficient while reducing the size by 20%, weight by 30% and refrigerant charge by 40% compared to today's 13 SEER unit.
Recalling the invention of modern air conditioning in 1902 by Dr. Willis Carrier, Darnis said, "We like to think that innovation is in our genes, and today we're reinventing air conditioning."
Carrier is investing $250 million in this product line for advanced technologies and features, and the expansion and retooling of their Collierville facility. SEER -- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating -- estimates the energy used by a unit over the course of one cooling season. 13 SEER is the new federally mandated minimum efficiency standard, 30% higher than today's standard of 10 SEER. Darnis emphasized that the 13 SEER standard is the right environmental choice providing significant energy savings for the country while reducing energy bills for homeowners.
"The new standard represents an environmental leap for energy efficiency that will benefit the nation and consumers," he said. The Department of Energy estimates the new 13 SEER standard will save the equivalent power used in one year by 26 million U.S. households by 2030 and reduce 33 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, or the equivalent of 3 million cars per year. Carrier has consistently led the industry in environmental stewardship, he added.
"In 2010, the federal government will require the phaseout of R-22 refrigerants, mandating a shift to refrigerants that eliminate ozone-depleting hydrochloroflurocarbons (HCFCs)," said Darnis, "Carrier's Puron(R) systems have led the transition to non-ozone depleting alternatives."
Darnis noted more than 1 million Carrier Puron(R) residential systems have been installed since 1996. With the 300,000 square feet expansion, the Carrier facility in Collierville will have a total of over 800,000 square feet. With a capacity of approximately 3 million units, it stands as the largest residential air-conditioning manufacturing facility in the world. More than 300 jobs will be added, bringing total employment to more than 2,500 people. Carrier will also use the new platform to redesign its existing product line that delivers higher than 13 SEER efficiency.
"These new higher efficiency systems will be available to meet expected increases in Energy Star's efficiency standards to 14 SEER and more," said Halsey Cook, president of Carrier North America Residential. "This new product line will provide consumers even greater control over varying gas and electricity rates with an all new 'dual fuel' system featuring a heat pump for electric heating and cooling combined with a gas furnace. These dual fuel products enable customers to select the most cost effective heating and cooling based on local gas and electric utility rates to save as much as 40 percent in energy bills."