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New ASTM International Standard Will Help Increase Accuracy of Thermal Heat Meters

In 2012, IAPMO signed a memorandum of understanding with ASTM International to jointly develop a U.S. heat metering standard applicable to equipment that quantifies the movement of energy in a system. This extended effort, under the guidance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has resulted in the publication in late 2017 of ASTM E3137-17 Standard Specification for Heat Meter Instrumentation.

"The development of this standard is a significant step forward for the renewable heat industries, and in fact for those involved in any application that relies on the accurate measurement of the amount of heating — or cooling — energy delivered to a load," said Les Nelson, Vice President of IAPMO's Advanced Energy Programs. "Until now, U.S. heat metering manufacturers, contractors, and project developers were forced to rely on standards and protocols developed for use in other countries, many aspects of which are inapplicable in the United States. IAPMO believes this collaborative effort with ASTM is an example of how working together on standard development activities is of mutual benefit."

One example of a heat metering application is where an energy services company, also known as an ESCO, contracts with a facility owner to provide energy efficiency upgrades to a building's heating and cooling systems. The ESCO must verify that the upgrades are producing actual savings, and accurate before and after measurement of the energy delivered is required to fulfill the terms of their contract with the building owner. Similar industrial and manufacturing applications are widespread.

ASTM's press release follows:

A new ASTM International specification will help thermal-heat meter manufacturers better standardize accuracy of their products.

The "specification for equipment and instrumentation of heat metering technologies" (soon to be published as E3137) was developed by ASTM International's committee on solar, geothermal, and other alternative energy sources (E44). The development of the standard was supported by a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by ASTM International and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials in December 2011.

The MOU established a framework of cooperation for the development of ASTM International standards for heat metering. According to the terms of the MOU, ASTM International serves as the standards developing organization for heat metering, while IAPMO participated in the standards developing process and provides technical expertise.

ASTM International member and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee James Critchfield notes that thermal energy technologies and systems have become ubiquitous in industrial, commercial, and residential realms. Also, many jurisdictions (including U.S. states) are developing policies and programs focused on thermal energy.

"The new standard will help the market have greater confidence in the accurate measurement and quantification of the benefits – energy, financial, and environmental – of hydronic thermal energy sources," says Critchfield, who works in the Office of Air and Radiation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "This standard is a key step to unlocking more thermal energy capacity in the market."

In addition to benefiting manufacturers, the standard could help policymakers and program administrators meet their goals. Also, project developers and consumers could gain more confidence that energy products both produce and deliver an accurate and known amount of energy.

Moving forward, Critchfield says that the subcommittee on heat metering (E44.25) is reaching out to laboratories, policymakers, and program administrators to further support testing, verification, and certification related to the specification.

ASTM International welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at The next meeting of this committee is January 24, 2018, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

To purchase standards, contact ASTM International's customer relations (tel +1.877.909.ASTM;

For more news on ASTM International energy standards visit here.

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