Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which provides compliance-testing solutions, has announced the opening of its HVACR Performance Test Center in Plano, Texas. The newly expanded facility and the introduction of new testing equipment doubles UL’s testing capacity and enhances its HVACR performance-testing capabilities.

When fully equipped, the facility will house seven dual-cell psychrometric testing rooms that provide service to a variety of HVACR equipment requiring precise temperature and humidity control, including package terminal heat pumps, commercial icemakers, remote commercial refrigerated display merchandisers, and variable-refrigerant-flow multisplit equipment. Additionally, the new facility is connected to the Internet, enabling UL customers to observe real-time testing and engage in an online dialogue with UL’s HVACR engineers. The increase in capacity and testing capabilities will help manufacturers meet mandated requirements and achieve energy-conservation program goals.

“UL is making significant investments in HVACR performance testing to better serve our customers,” said Simin Zhou, vice president and general manager of UL’s global appliances and HVAC business. “Our new Texas facility has the capacity to provide comprehensive testing services for HVACR products and systems, both small and large, including compliance with Department of Energy (DOE), California Energy Commission (CEC), National Resources Canada (NRCan), and other regulatory bodies’ requirements. UL is playing a critical role in helping manufacturers meet stricter, mandatory energy efficiency performance regulations while cutting overall costs.”

UL’s test center will accommodate three existing dual-cell psychrometric testing chambers from its previous facility and a fourth, larger chamber. The new, 60-ft-by-32-ft chamber already is operational and is designed to provide maximum flexibility to accommodate customer needs and expectations. The chamber is divisible into four independent dual-cell psychrometric rooms, each with the capability to measure over 200 thermocouple points, a temperature range of 10˚F to 132˚F, and the capability to test 50- or 60-Hz equipment.

The facility in Texas will test to all major national and international standards for safety and performance, such as UL, International Electrical Commission, Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning standards as well as customer-specific energy-efficiency requirements. UL’s engineers and staff will be relocated to the facility and more technical staff will be hired in the near future.