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Laboratory Opens HVAC/R Performance Test Center

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Oct. 20, 2009 – Underwriters Laboratories (UL) announced today the opening of its HVAC/R Performance Test Center in Plano, Texas. The newly expanded facility and the introduction of new cutting edge testing equipment doubles UL’s testing capacity and enhances its HVAC/R performance testing capabilities.

At a time when global demand for energy efficient equipment is on the rise, UL is opening a new state-of-the-art testing chamber complex. When fully equipped, the facility will house seven dual cell psychrometric testing rooms that provide service to a variety of HVAC/R equipment requiring precise temperature and humidity control including package terminal heat pumps, commercial icemakers, remote commercial refrigerated displays merchandisers and variable refrigerant flow multi-split equipment. Additionally, the new facility is connected to the Internet, enabling UL customers from around the world to observe real-time testing and engage in an online dialogue with UL’s HVAC/R engineers. This increase in capacity and testing capabilities will help manufacturers meet mandated requirements and achieve energy conservation program goals.

“UL is making significant investments in HVAC/R performance testing to better serve our customers,” said Simin Zhou, vice president and general manager of UL’s global appliances and HVAC business.  “Our new Texas facility has the capacity to provide comprehensive testing services for HVAC/R products and systems, both small and large, including compliance with Department of Energy  (DOE), California Energy Commission (CEC), National Resources Canada (NRCan) and other regulatory bodies’ requirements. UL is playing a critical role in helping manufacturers meet stricter, mandatory energy efficiency performance regulations while cutting overall costs.”

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UL’s new Plano, Texas HVAC/R performance test center will accommodate three existing dual cell psychrometric testing chambers from its previous facility and a fourth, larger chamber. This new, 60-by-32-foot chamber is already operational and is designed to provide maximum flexibility to accommodate customer needs and expectations. The new chamber is divisible into four independent dual cell psychrometric rooms each with the capability to measure over 200 thermocouple points, has a temperature range of 10 degrees to 132 degrees Fahrenheit and has the capability to test either 50 or 60 Hz equipment.

“UL is committed to serving this industry and will continue to invest in providing the tools needed for HVAC/R manufacturers to bring safe, energy efficient products to market faster and more efficiently,” said Zhou. “We look forward to helping support the growth of the HVAC/R industry in North America and around the globe with our existing facility in Suzhou, China, and now our new facility that employs cutting edge equipment and superior engineering talent.”

The facility in Texas will test to all major national and international standards for safety and performance, such as UL, IEC, AHRI and ASHRAE standards as well as customer-specific energy efficiency requirements. UL’s engineers and staff will be relocated to the new facility and more technical staff will be hired in the near future.

This announcement aligns with UL’s increasing, companywide focus on energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly products and technologies. In January 2009, UL launched UL Environment, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary that tests and validates environmental claims including energy performance.

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