Introducing FEI—the AMCA Fan Energy Index
by Michael Ivanovich, AMCA Senior Director, Global Affairs
Let me introduce AMCA’s exciting new fan-efficiency metric, Fan Energy Index, a.k.a. FEI, and why it should replace the Fan Efficiency Grade metric in energy codes and standards. FEI was developed by AMCA International and its members in response to a rulemaking initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2011.
Benefits of FEI include:
- clarity for consumers,
- flexible application for designers,
- simpler enforcement for code officials,
- and greater energy savings for everyone.
Let’s look at these benefits in greater detail:
- Clarity to consumers: FEI ratings are true to the actual efficiency of the fan or fan system. Smaller fans, which are inherently less efficient than larger sizes in a given model, will have lower FEI ratings than larger fans for the same duty point. For example, a 20-in fan might have an FEI rating of 0.80 while any larger size would have an FEI of 1.00 or higher. With FEG, the same model could have FEG rating of 85, and that rating would be the same for all fan sizes, even the smaller fans that could have efficiencies 50% less than the rating. FEG’s sizing/selection window would drive selections to larger fan sizes, but this window is not needed with FEI.
- Flexible application: When designers provide a fan selection or duty point, manufacturers software may offer compliant fans of different types, sizes, motors and drives. Any fan they choose will be compliant with the code, but they can also consider higher-than-code savings, acoustics, form factor, and other possibly project requirements
- Simpler enforcement: Because there is no sizing/selection window requiring fans to be sized within 15-percentage points of peak total efficiency, code officials need only check submittals and labels for FEI ratings and the engineer’s selected duty point.
- Greater energy savings: Fans with higher FEI ratings will have higher efficiency over a larger range of operating point than the peak efficiency. Also, FEI covers low-pressure fans, such as power roof ventilators, which are exempt from energy codes and standards. FEI also tilts selections towards more efficient motors and drives. And, FEI encourages more efficient fan types.
Imagine all or a mix of these benefits for every stand-alone fan in every building.
Visit the AMCA FEI microsite for more information. Providing fast and easy to access background information about FEI, links to obtain AMCA Standard 208 at no cost, educational resources and other regulatory updates; use this site to learn more about FEI.