Water dispensers are now ordinary in many commercial and institutional buildings. Workplace kitchens usually have a dispenser of boiling water for coffee and tea preparing, and may have a machine or ‘bubbler’ to supply chilled drinking water. Water coolers may be from the mains water supply or they may use bottled water.
The latest models are tending to merge supply of both chilled and boiling water, often positioned discretely under kitchen work surfaces feeding dedicated taps by the sink. These types of water dispensers are also excellent for use in households.
Today in Australia there are an estimated 450,000 water machines in use, consuming approximately 350 GWh of electricity every year, with boiling water machines responsible for more than 70% of energy use. Since the market for these products is progressively increasing, annual energy-consumption by dab rigs under dispensers is projecting to reach 570 GWh by 2020 with no intervention. By this time, the role of combined chilled and boiling water dispensers will have risen considerably in proportional terms.
Most water coolers waste large time in preservation mode, keeping the water at the desired temperature. Many units do not automatically switching off during the night nor offer a hard button for user involvement. The use of enhanced insulation levels, and time clocks or similar automated controls, can reduce the energy-consuming by fifteen or even twenty-five percent economically. However, there is no obvious trend toward neither such technology nor apparently little marketplace interest in or knowledge of these possible technical developments.
Specified this lack of market motivation to get better product effectiveness, and the important growth rate predicted for water dispensers in Australia, NAEEEC (NATIONAL APPLIANCE AND EQUIPMENT ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM) think about the introduction of effectiveness standards for dispensers as a priority.
In keeping with the policy of corresponding world’s best regulatory practice, NAEEEC plans to bring in energy performance requirements in water cooler standards, which are equal to levels, used in North America. NAEEEC has examined the regulations in California and Canada and the in United States the ENERGY STAR criteria used. Australia plans to implement MEPS levels for combined chilled and boiling dispensers, equal to those used by the US Environment Protection
For chilled water dispensers, Australia also plans to adopt MEPS levels equivalent to the ENERGY STAR criteria. For boiling, water dispensers, which actually are less frequent overseas, Australia plans to apply new MEPS levels supported on discussions with Australian stakeholders. In the absence of a clear international test method, Australia will include new test methods for water dispensers as part of the Electric Water Heater Standard.