2020-2021 Advanced Adaptive Compressors

The ENERGY STAR® Emerging Technology Award (ETA) is given to innovative technologies that meet rigorous performance criteria to reduce energy use and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pleased to recognize Refrigerators with Advanced Adaptive Compressors for the ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award for 2020-2021.

Products that meet the performance criteria (PDF, 66 KB) will be listed on a Qualified Product List once it is determined that all Award criteria have been satisfied. Manufacturers can submit documentation for eligible advanced adaptive compressor products to EmergingTech@energystar.gov

Benefits of ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award-Winning Systems:

In a conventional refrigerator, the compressor operates at maximum capacity in response to thermal load, or it is turned off when the desired temperature has been achieved. However, the energy consumption requirements of a refrigerator vary widely based on various factors. An advanced adaptive compressor system in residential refrigeration products pairs an inverter compressor with a sensor-driven control system capable of cooling capacity modulation in response to a varying internal thermal load. As a result, the advanced adaptive compressor system allows for the refrigerator to save a significant amount of energy while regulating the temperature by minimizing wide temperature variations. The per unit efficiency increases by at least 25% with this technology when compared to standard units. If all refrigerators sold in 2020 in the U.S. used this technology and met these draft criteria, the energy cost savings would exceed $160 million.

Winning Products Must Demonstrate That They:

  1. Are intended for residential refrigeration products that pair advanced compressors with sensor-driven control systems capable of capacity modulation. 
  2. Outperform the measured federal minimum standard by 30% OR outperform the federal minimum standard by at least 25% compared to when the compressor is in a fixed-speed mode, when the compressor is in adaptive mode.
  3. Contain refrigerant and foam with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) less than 15.
  4. Are approved for use and available for sale in the U.S. market.

Criteria Development Process Documents