The continuing increase in the number of licensees in AHRI’s certification programs is a good indicator of the health of our programs. As the chart below indicates, private brand marketers doing business in North America and international manufacturers lead the way in the certification growth.
The AHRI lab diversification effort is on track to meet the final testing diversification goals. The successful correlation and lab approval of the Unitary Small Heat Pump program completes the diversification plan approved by the AHRI Executive Committee more than three years ago. Members and staff, with the cooperation of independent laboratories, spent many hours on the diversification effort to ensure proper correlation of the test facilities. In 2020, the newly qualified independent laboratories will conduct 50 percent, or about 700, of the tests in the certification programs shown below. Also next year,, AHRI will issue a request for proposals from labs for testing contracts for all 40 certification programs, in an open bidding process without the testing quotas required by the diversification plan.
Expanding AHRI’s Network of Approved Test Facilities
The continued demand and recognition of AHRI certification necessitates an increase in AHRI’s global testing capabilities. In 2019, AHRI’s technical services team completed correlation testing for several programs at the CETIAT laboratory in Lyon, France, and at the GMPI laboratory in Hefei, China. At CETIAT, successful correlation testing for the Unitary Large Equipment (ULE) and the Air Handling Units (AHU, AHUC) programs will allow for testing in 2020 for international participants in these programs . AHRI is also expanding on the success of regional Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) testing at the GMPI laboratory in Hefei by auditing and correlating additional samples to support regional Variable Speed Mini Split (VSMS) testing.
With the expected 2023 regulatory changes in the Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for Unitary Small Equipment and Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps, AHRI has developed an online application for DOE’s energy efficiency descriptors, SEER and HSPF. The app calculates SEER/HSPF in accordance with current AHRI 210/240(2017) and DOE rules, and the new SEER2/HSPF2 that will be in effect in 2023. The application has built-in data visualization and analysis features, in addition to the calculations, to aid engineering and compliance decisions. AHRI members have access to the SEER/HSPF App at http://cert.ahrinet.org.
Certification Program Executive Dashboard
AHRI is excited for its work on the next era of business intelligence for members and certification participants. Using data-driven tools and predictive analytics, we are looking to enhance the value of AHRI certification and shift to a more proactive, rather than reactive, approach, and increase the accuracy of product ratings through early problem identification. Beginning in the first quarter of 2020, senior management of certification program participants will receive online access to an Executive Dashboard that will include information on the company’s certification progress, industry rating overview, and regulatory compliance risk analytics.