[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 150 (Tuesday, August 5, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 45377-45380]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-18348]



10 CFR Part 431

[Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-STD-0040]
RIN 1904-AC83

Energy Conservation Program for Certain Commercial and Industrial 
Equipment: Gas Compressors; Request for Information

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 

ACTION: Request for information (RFI).


SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering

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establishing energy conservation standards for commercial and 
industrial compressors. To date, DOE has proposed to consider energy 
conservation standards only for compressors intended to compress air, 
rather than gas. As a result, DOE's current efforts have focused solely 
on air compressors. However, DOE is also aware that compressors used to 
compress natural gas may also use a substantial amount of energy. To 
improve its understanding of natural gas compressors and their related 
markets, DOE requests information, comment, and supporting data about 
the characteristics and energy use of this equipment.

DATES: DOE will accept written comments, data, and information on this 
notice, but no later than September 4, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments 
electronically. However, interested persons may submit comments, 
identified by docket number EERE-2013-BT-STD-0040 or Regulation 
Identifier Number (RIN) 1904-AC83, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: compressors@ee.doe.gov Include EERE-2013-BT-STD-
0040 and/or RIN 1904-AC83 in the subject line of the message. Submit 
electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, portable document 
format (PDF), or American Standard Code for Information Interchange 
(ASCII) file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any 
form of encryption.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, 
please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not 
necessary to include printed copies.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Office, 6th Floor, 950 L'Enfant Plaza 
SW., Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, 
please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to 
include printed copies.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number or RIN for this rulemaking. No telefacsimilies 
(faxes) will be accepted. For detailed instructions on submitting 
comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see 
section III of this document (Public Participation).
    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov, 
including Federal Register notices, comments, and other supporting 
documents/materials (search EERE-2013-BT-STD-0040). All documents in 
the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, not 
all documents listed in the index may be publicly available, such as 
information that is exempt from public disclosure.
    A link to the docket Web page can be found at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/rulemaking.aspx/ruleid/58. This Web page contains a link to the docket for this notice 
on the www.regulations.gov site. The www.regulations.gov Web page 
contains instructions on how to access all documents, including public 
comments, in the docket. See section III for further information on how 
to submit comments through www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. James Raba, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building 
Technologies, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 
20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-8654. Email: compressors@ee.doe.gov.
    Mr. Michael Kido, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel, GC-71, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. 
Telephone: (202) 586-8145. Email: Michael.Kido@hq.doe.gov.
    Ms. Johanna Hariharan, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the 
General Counsel, GC-71, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 
20585. Telephone: (202) 287-6307. Email: Johanna.Hariharan@hq.doe.gov.


Table of Contents

I. Authority and Background
II. Discussion
III. Public Participation

I. Authority and Background

    Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, 42 U.S.C. 
6291, et seq., (EPCA) sets forth a variety of provisions designed to 
improve the energy efficiency of products and commercial equipment. 
(All references to EPCA refer to the statute as amended through the 
American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (AEMTCA 2012), 
Pub. L. 112-210 (December 18, 2012)). Part C of Title III (42 U.S.C. 
6311-6317), which was subsequently re-designated as Part A-1 for 
editorial reasons, establishes an energy conservation program for 
certain industrial equipment, which includes compressors, the subject 
of today's notice. (42 U.S.C. 6311(2)(B)(i)) Unlike some other types of 
equipment included in EPCA, the term ``compressors'' is undefined.
    Section 341 of EPCA, 42 U.S.C. 6312, provides a general statement 
of purpose to improve the efficiency of a variety of industrial 
equipment to conserve the energy resources of the Nation. Accordingly, 
section 341 further provides that the Secretary of Energy may, by rule, 
classify certain equipment as covered equipment if a determination is 
made that doing so is necessary to carry out the purposes of Part A-1 
of EPCA. Consistent with this process, DOE is currently considering 
whether to regulate the efficiency of a specific group of compressors--
commercial and industrial air compressors. 77 FR 76972 (December 31, 
2012). DOE received comments from interested parties, which are 
available in docket number EERE-2013-BT-STD-0040. The comments were 
considered in developing a Framework Document to explain the relevant 
issues, analyses, and processes it anticipates using when considering 
new energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial air 
compressors. DOE issued that document and conducted a public meeting to 
discuss its contents earlier this year. 79 FR 6839 (Feb. 5, 2014).
    Because the term ``compressors'' is undefined by EPCA, DOE 
considered a variety of definitions for this term in order to help 
ensure a reasonable level of clarity with respect to the type of 
equipment that might be regulated. In its ongoing proceeding, DOE 
offered for comment the following definition for ``commercial and 
industrial compressors'' to clarify the coverage of any potential test 
procedure or energy conservation standard:
    Compressor: A compressor is an electric-powered device that takes 
in air or gas at atmospheric pressure and delivers the air or gas at a 
higher pressure. Compressors typically have a specific ratio, the ratio 
of delivery pressure to supply pressure, greater than 1.20.
    After further evaluating this definition and considering the 
comments it received, DOE revisited this definition and offered a 
revised version. That version, which is based on International 
Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Report (TR) 12942, 
provides a different definition of the term ``compressor'' from DOE's 

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approach. (ISO TR 12942 provides a means to classify modern compressor 
types along with definitions and related terms that can be utilized in 
technical and contractual specifications such as a manufacturer's 
literature and industrial statistics.) The revised definition DOE 
offered for public comment reads as follows:
    Compressor: A machine or apparatus converting different types of 
energy into the potential energy of gas pressure for displacement and 
compression of gaseous media to any higher pressure values above 
atmospheric pressure with pressure-increase ratios exceeding 1.1.\1\

    \1\ International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 
12942, Compressors--Classification-- Complementary information to 
ISO 5390, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), 

    DOE is continuing to consider revisions to this definition, 
however, due at least in part to submitted comments in which some 
parties have commented that the specified ratio should be different to 
avoid overlapping with what the compressor industry generally treats as 
``blowers,'' equipment for which DOE may also establish standards. See 
78 FR 7306 (Feb. 1, 2013) (announcing DOE's issuance of a framework 
document related to the potential setting of energy conservation 
standards for industrial fans and blowers).
    DOE notes that the vast majority of compressors are air 
compressors. According to Current Industrial Reports from the U.S. 
Census Bureau,\2\ shipments of new air compressors totaled 3.8 million 
in 2006, while shipments of new gas compressors were only around 6,000 
units. As such, DOE at this point is considering establishing standards 
that would address only those compressors intended to compress air.\3\

    \2\ Pumps and Compressors: 2006. Current Industrial Reports. 
U.S. Census Bureau. Available at:
    \3\ See p. 3 of the Framework Document. Available at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2013-BT-STD-0040-0001.

    While DOE's focus up until now has centered primarily on those 
compressors that are intended to compress air, compressors are used in 
a wide variety of applications and may be used to compress different 
types of gases. DOE is aware that compressors intended to compress 
other gases such as natural gas (i.e. gas compressors) may, both 
collectively and individually, use a substantial amount of energy, as 
such compressors are often very large. An important application of gas 
compressors is the pipeline transport of natural gas. The drivers for 
such compressors can be natural gas turbines (particularly since gas is 
an easily accessible fuel out in the field), steam turbines, internal 
combustion engines, or electric motors. Recent data provided by the 
Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicate that the annual amount 
of natural gas used to transport natural gas through the pipeline 
system was about 0.7 quadrillion Btu. In addition to the pipeline 
natural gas use, compressors are used in the production and processing 
of natural gas, which is accounted for in the 1.4 quadrillion Btu of 
natural gas reported by EIA as ``lease and plant fuel.'' \4\

    \4\ Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 
2014, Table 2.

    In the Framework Document, DOE stated that it is considering the 
possibility of setting air compressor standards based on equipment size 
as measured in rated horsepower (hp). This approach would help align 
its efforts with the current energy efficiency standards for electric 
motors, as codified in subpart B of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations, Part 431 (10 CFR part 431) by covering compressor 
equipment rated from 1 through 500 hp. Because compressors often rely 
on the use of an electric motor to operate, aligning compressor 
standards in this manner could provide a relatively straight-forward 
approach that parallels the approach already established for electric 
motors. DOE may take a similar approach with respect to gas compressors 
as well but seeks comment on the appropriateness of doing so.
    To inform its decision making regarding gas compressors, DOE 
requests information, comment, and supporting data about the 
characteristics, applications and energy use of gas compressors. In 
particular, DOE seeks comment and information about the topics below.

II. Discussion

    DOE seeks a variety of different types of information to help 
inform its decision regarding how, if at all, to regulate gas 
compressor energy efficiency. To this end, DOE seeks detailed data 
regarding the following aspects related to gas compressors:
    (1) Annual shipments.
    a. DOE is seeking historical shipments data (specifically from 
2003-2013) for gas compressors, with further breakdowns, where 
available, including, but not limited to, equipment type (both 
compression principle and driver type), equipment size, and 
application. DOE is also interested in comments regarding how gas 
compressors are manufactured and shipped as original equipment from the 
manufacturer, for example, as a package (i.e., with both air end and 
primary driver), or as a separate component, or both.
    (2) Equipment types and sizes.
    a. DOE is seeking comment regarding the types of equipment used in 
gas compressors. Specifically, DOE is interested in information 
regarding the compression principles (e.g., positive-displacement or 
dynamic compressors) and primary driver types (e.g., natural gas or 
steam turbines or electric motors) used in gas compressors, as well as 
what design, construction, and performance characteristics would be 
attributed to each type. DOE is also interested in information 
regarding the compression principles and driver types used in gas 
compressors based on application type.
    b. DOE is also seeking comment regarding how gas compressors are 
sized (e.g., by brake horsepower, input/output pressure, or delivered 
air volume) and the general sizes of gas compressors based on both 
equipment and application type.
    (3) Applications.
    a. DOE is aware that an important application of gas compressors is 
in the transportation, production, and processing of natural gas. DOE 
seeks comment on other major applications (e.g., injection, withdrawal, 
lifting, or filling) in which gas compressors are used.
    b. DOE also seeks information regarding any particular 
characteristics or features that are unique to each of these different 
    (4) Typical energy use in each application type.
    DOE seeks comment regarding the typical energy use of gas 
compressors broken down by, where available, application type, 
equipment type, and equipment size.
    (5) Typical energy efficiency by equipment type.
    DOE is interested in information regarding the typical range in 
efficiency levels of gas compressors broken down by equipment type and 
    (6) DOE is interested in what opportunities, if any, for improving 
gas compressor energy efficiency are possible and how these efficiency 
improvements may, or may not, impact equipment performance, features, 
utility or safety.
    (7) DOE requests comment on whether the test procedures in ISO

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1217:2009 \5\ and ISO 5389:2005,\6\ which address the testing of 
displacement and turbo compressors, respectively, would be appropriate 
for rating gas compressors. DOE also requests information on other 
applicable test procedures it should consider along with any 
deficiencies or issues that would need to be addressed prior to 
adopting a regulation mandating a particular test procedure.

    \5\ International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 
1217, Displacement compressors-- Acceptance tests, International 
Organization for Standardization (ISO), 2009.
    \6\ International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 
5389, Turbocompressors--Performance test code, International 
Organization for Standardization (ISO), 2005.

    (8) DOE requests feedback regarding any safety issues, regulations, 
codes, or standards (e.g., National Fire Protection Association 
requirements) that must be considered in the manufacture, testing, and 
use of gas compressors.
    (9) DOE seeks information on any voluntary efforts by manufacturers 
that are already in place to improve the energy efficiency of gas 
compressors and what type of future voluntary efforts to improve 
efficiency, if any, are likely to occur in the near future.
    (10) DOE seeks information regarding whether there are particular 
characteristics that would readily distinguish an ``air compressor'' 
from a ``gas compressor'' and whether those characteristics play any 
role with respect to the energy efficiency performance of these two 
categories of compressors.
    (11) DOE requests comment on the market for natural gas 
compressors, and how they are marketed, sold, shipped, and assembled.

III. Public Participation

    DOE invites all interested parties to submit in writing by the date 
specified previously in the DATES section of this RFI, comments and 
information on matters addressed in this notice and on other matters 
relevant to DOE's consideration of gas compressors.
    DOE considers public participation to be a very important part of 
the process for developing test procedures. DOE actively encourages the 
participation and interaction of the public during the comment period 
at each stage of the rulemaking process. Interactions with and between 
members of the public provide a balanced discussion of the issues and 
assist DOE in the rulemaking process. Anyone who wishes to be added to 
the DOE mailing list to receive future notices and information about 
this rulemaking should contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945, or 
via email at Brenda.Edwards@ee.doe.gov.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 28, 2014.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2014-18348 Filed 8-4-14; 8:45 am]