Results of efficiency testing
The GEMS Regulator has completed efficiency testing on four models of solar boosted air conditioner (three solar thermal and one solar photovoltaic).
The test results indicated the solar thermal boosted models did not meet the performance claims of manufacturers and suppliers.
In recent years several air conditioners supplied in the Australian market claimed enhanced performance and energy savings through the application of solar-boosting technologies. As a result, the GEMS Regulator tested four models of solar-boosted air conditioners to determine if:
- they complied with the GEMS Act 2012 GEMS level (MEPS) and GEMS labelling requirements
- the claims of solar-boosted enhanced performance and energy savings were warranted.
When tested in accordance with the GEMS Act 2012, that is with solar-boosting inputs minimised or disconnected,
- three solar thermal boosted models failed to meet GEMS level requirements in addition to a number of GEMS labelling requirements
- the solar photovoltaic boosted model met all GEMS level and labelling requirements
As such, the GEMS Regulator cancelled the registrations of two of the solar thermal boosted models. The third model had not yet been supplied in Australia and was therefore not registered.
These results were compared to the results of the tests conducted with the solar-boosting inputs connected, activated, and operational in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. In most cases, the solar thermal boosted models performed worse, with the solar-boosting inputs making the air conditioners less efficient than they would have otherwise been without the solar-boosting inputs connected.
The test results indicated the solar thermal boosted models did not meet the performance claims of manufacturers and suppliers and that solar thermal boosting appears to be a marketing gimmick offering no improvement in the performance or amenity of the air conditioner.