[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 180 (Wednesday, September 17, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55775-55781]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-22228]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

[Case No. RF-042]


Petition for Waiver of GE Appliances From the Department of 
Energy Residential Refrigerator and Refrigerator-Freezer Test Procedure 
and Grant of Interim Waiver

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

ACTION: Notice of Petition for Waiver, Notice of Granting Application 
for Interim Waiver, and Request for Public Comments.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces receipt of a petition for waiver from GE 
Appliances (GE) seeking an exemption from specified portions of the 
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for determining the 
energy consumption of electric refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers. 
GE seeks to use an alternate test procedure to address certain issues 
involved in testing certain specific basic models identified in its 
petition that are equipped with dual-compressor systems that GE 
contends cannot be accurately tested using the currently applicable DOE 
test

[[Page 55776]]

procedure. DOE solicits comments, data, and information concerning GE's 
petition and its suggested alternate test procedure. Today's notice 
also grants GE with an interim waiver from the electric refrigerator-
freezer test procedure, subject to use of the alternative test 
procedure set forth in this notice.

DATES: DOE will accept comments, data, and information with respect to 
the GE Petition until October 17, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by case number ``RF-
042,'' by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected]. 
Include the case number [Case No. RF-042] in the subject line of the 
message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J/1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. Please 
submit one signed original paper copy.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 
600, Washington, DC 20024. Please submit one signed original paper 
copy.
    Docket: For access to the docket to review the background documents 
relevant to this matter, you may visit the U.S. Department of Energy, 
950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024; (202) 586-2945, between 
9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. Available documents include the following items: (1) This 
notice; (2) public comments received; (3) the petition for waiver and 
application for interim waiver; and (4) prior DOE rulemakings regarding 
similar refrigerator-freezers. Please call Ms. Brenda Edwards at the 
above telephone number for additional information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Building 
Technologies Program, Mail Stop EE-2J, Forrestal Building, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 
586-0371. Email: [email protected].
    Mr. Michael Kido, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel, Mail Stop GC-71, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103. Telephone: (202) 586-8145. Email: 
[email protected]doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Authority

    Title III, Part B of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 
1975, as amended (EPCA), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as 
codified), established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer 
Products Other Than Automobiles, a program covering most major 
household appliances, which includes the electric refrigerators and 
refrigerator-freezers that are the focus of this notice.\1\ Part B 
includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy 
conservation standards, and the authority to require information and 
reports from manufacturers. Further, Part B authorizes the Secretary of 
Energy to prescribe test procedures that are reasonably designed to 
produce results that measure the energy efficiency, energy use, or 
estimated annual operating costs of a covered product, and that are not 
unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) The test procedure 
for electric refrigerators and electric refrigerator-freezers is 
contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A.
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    \1\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part B was re-designated Part A.
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    The regulations set forth in 10 CFR 430.27 contain provisions that 
enable a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements 
for covered products. The DOE will grant a waiver if it is determined 
that the basic model for which the petition for waiver was submitted 
contains one or more design characteristics that prevents testing of 
the basic model according to the prescribed test procedures, or if the 
prescribed test procedures may evaluate the basic model in a manner so 
unrepresentative of its true energy consumption characteristics as to 
provide materially inaccurate comparative data. 10 CFR 430.27(f)(2). 
Petitioners must include in their petition any alternate test 
procedures known to the petitioner to evaluate the basic model in a 
manner representative of its energy consumption. The Assistant 
Secretary may grant the waiver subject to conditions, including 
adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(f)(2). Waivers 
remain in effect pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(l).
    The waiver process also allows the DOE to grant an interim waiver 
from test procedure requirements to manufacturers that have petitioned 
DOE for a waiver of such prescribed test procedures. 10 CFR 
430.27(e)(2). Within one year of issuance of an interim waiver, DOE 
will either: (i) Publish in the Federal Register a determination on the 
petition for waiver; or (ii) publish in the Federal Register a new or 
amended test procedure that addresses the issues presented in the 
waiver. 10 CFR 430.27(h)(1). When DOE amends the test procedure to 
address the issues presented in a waiver, the waiver will automatically 
terminate on the date on which use of that test procedure is required 
to demonstrate compliance. 10 CFR 430.27(h)(2).

II. Petition for Waiver of Test Procedure

    On June 27, 2014, GE submitted a petition for waiver from the test 
procedure applicable to residential electric refrigerators and 
refrigerator-freezers set forth in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix 
A. GE is seeking a waiver because it is developing new refrigerator-
freezers that incorporate a dual-compressor design that it believes is 
not properly accounted for in DOE's amended test procedure published on 
April 21, 2014 (78 FR 22320). In its petition, GE seeks a waiver from 
the new DOE test procedure applicable to refrigerators and 
refrigerator-freezers under 10 CFR part 430 for two basic models of 
dual-compressor system products. Specifically, based upon the 
information provided by GE, these basic models demonstrate non-uniform 
cycling of their compressors, which prevents the verification of two 
criteria in the Appendix A test procedure--to ensure (a) that the first 
part of the test comprise a period of stable operation, and (b) that 
the second part of the test (used to measure the energy use 
contribution of the defrost cycle(s)) start and end during periods of 
stable operation.
    DOE previously granted a similar waiver to GE through a subsequent 
Decision and Order (78 FR 38699 (June 27, 2013)) under Case No. RF-029 
pertaining to 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A1. DOE also granted 
similar waivers to Sub-Zero (77 FR 5784 (February 6, 2012)), LG (77 FR 
18327 (March 26, 2013)); and Samsung (78 FR 35899 (June 14, 2014)) and 
(79 FR 19884 (April 10, 2014)).
    In its final rule published on April 21, 2014 (78 FR 22320), which 
amended the test procedure for refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers 
in Appendix A, DOE incorporated provisions to address the testing of 
products with multiple compressors, which were intended to obviate the 
need for waivers for multiple-compressor products such as the ones 
previously granted to GE and others, if these products are tested using 
the new Appendix A. However, in its petition for waiver, GE contends 
that due to certain characteristics of the basic models listed in the 
petition, the

[[Page 55777]]

Appendix A test procedure does not accurately measure the energy 
consumption of these basic models. Specifically, GE claims that 
requirements in the Appendix A test procedure--to ensure (a) that the 
first part of the test comprise a period of stable operation, and (b) 
that the second part of the test (used to measure the energy use 
contribution of the defrost cycle(s)) start and end during periods of 
stable operation--cannot be applied to these basic models, because 
their compressor cycles do not repeat uniformly, which is one of the 
assumptions built into the test procedure.
    In lieu of using Appendix A, GE has submitted an alternate test 
procedure to account for the energy consumption of its refrigerator-
freezer models with dual compressors. GE's alternative test is 
essentially the same as the test for multiple-compressor products with 
automatic defrost in section 4.2.3 of Appendix A, except that (a) the 
test period for the first part of the test would not be required to 
meet the requirements for evaluation of stable operation provided in 
section 1.22 of Appendix A, (b) the second part of the test would have 
a minimum duration--this would be at least 24 hours, unless a second 
defrost (other than the target defrost captured within the test period) 
occurs before the end of 24 hours, in which case, the test period 
duration would be at least 18 hours, (c) the start of the second part 
of the test would occur ``at the end of a regular freezer compressor 
on-cycle after the previous defrost occurrence'' rather than during a 
period of stable operation as defined in section 1.22 of Appendix A, 
and (d) the end of the second part of the test would occur ``at the end 
of a freezer compressor on-cycle before the next defrost occurrence'' 
rather than during a period of stable operation as defined in section 
1.22 of Appendix A.
    GE believes its alternate test procedure will allow for the 
accurate measurement of the energy use of these products, which GE 
contends is not achieved by the current Appendix A test procedure. 
Specifically, due to the non-uniform compressor cycles of this product, 
which prevent consistent application of the requirements provided in 
section 1.22 of Appendix A for evaluating the stable operation of a 
tested unit, the alternative test would not explicitly impose these 
stable operation requirements. Based on the information provided by GE, 
the variation in test results associated with different selections of 
test periods would be insignificant as long as the test starts after 
the 24-hour stabilization period, which is required both by the 
Appendix A test procedure and the alternative test procedure suggested 
by GE. Further, GE's alternative test's minimum duration for the second 
part of the test would also not significantly affect the results.
    Although not explicitly stated in the alternative test method, or 
in GE's petition, DOE understands the term ``stable operation'' used in 
the petition to have a different meaning than the same term as used in 
Appendix A, since the alternative test method does not use the same 
stability criteria. In this case, DOE understands ``stable operation'' 
to mean operation after steady-state conditions have been achieved but 
excluding any defrost cycles or events associated with a defrost cycle, 
such as precooling or recovery, and that this term would apply in the 
same way for the first and second parts of the test. DOE understands 
the term also to mean operation in which the average rate of change of 
compartment temperatures is zero or very close to zero--the 
temperatures may fluctuate around representative average temperatures 
as the compressors cycle on and off, but over several compressor 
cycles, these average compartment temperatures would not significantly 
change. The key difference in this interpretation of stable operation 
as compared with the definition in Appendix A is that it involves 
neither assignment of a specific maximum rate of change of the average 
temperature nor specification of a method to verify that operation is 
stable. DOE further notes that this particular use of the term ``stable 
operation'' is limited solely to the basic models that are the subject 
of this waiver, as DOE has verified using information provided by GE 
about the actual operational characteristics of these models that such 
a test is appropriate in this limited case.
    GE also requests an interim waiver from the existing DOE test 
procedure. An interim waiver may be granted if it is determined that 
the applicant will experience economic hardship if the application for 
interim waiver is denied, if it appears likely that the petition for 
waiver will be granted, and/or the Assistant Secretary determines that 
it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate 
relief pending a determination of the petition for waiver. See 10 CFR 
430.27(e)(2).
    As noted previously, DOE recently addressed multiple compressor 
products in its April 21, 2014 final rule. In considering GE's petition 
for waiver, DOE sought additional details about the specific operating 
characteristics of the products that are the subject of the petition in 
order to determine whether they cannot be tested using the section of 
the amended test procedure that was adopted specifically to address 
such products. GE indicated in its petition that the compressors 
serving the fresh food and freezer compartments of these models have 
non-synchronous cycles that do not repeat uniformly, which prevents 
these models from achieving the temperature stability conditions 
specified in the Appendix A test procedure. To better understand GE's 
claim and the issues raised in the petition, DOE requested data 
regarding the operational characteristics of these products, which GE 
provided. DOE was specifically concerned that the use of GE's proposed 
test method could present the risk of truncation error in the energy 
use measurement or the possibility of variation between separate tests 
of the same unit due to temperature drift in the compartments or 
differences in the operational state of the compressors at the 
beginning or end of the test period. The data provided by GE indicated 
that these models demonstrate non-uniform cycling that makes direct use 
of the Appendix A requirements for evaluating temperature stability 
problematic--these requirements may be appropriate for some operating 
modes of the basic models, but not for other operating modes. The data 
also showed that the use of GE's proposed test method is unlikely to 
result in significant variation in test measurements for these 
particular models on the basis of the selected test period. DOE notes, 
however, that these conclusions are limited to the models listed in 
GE's petition based upon the data provided by GE and that other basic 
models may demonstrate operating characteristics that differ from these 
models as to make this alternative test method inappropriate for 
measuring their energy use. Should DOE receive petitions for waiver 
requesting use of the alternative test identified in this notice for 
other basic models, DOE may request from the manufacturer information 
about the operation of those basic models that would demonstrate that 
their energy use can be accurately measured using this alternative test 
and that such models cannot in fact be tested using the currently 
assigned test method in Appendix A.
    For the reasons discussed above, DOE has determined that use of the 
currently required DOE test procedure for the specific GE models 
identified in its petition would provide test results so 
unrepresentative as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. 
Therefore, it appears likely that GE's

[[Page 55778]]

petition for waiver will be granted. For these same reasons, DOE has 
also determined that it is desirable for public policy reasons to grant 
GE immediate relief pending a determination of the petition for waiver. 
DOE grants GE's application for interim waiver from testing of the two 
basic models of refrigerator-freezers identified in petition for waiver 
and request for interim waiver.
    Therefore, it is ordered that:
    The application for interim waiver filed by GE is hereby granted 
for GE's refrigerator-freezer product lines that incorporate dual 
compressors subject to the following specifications and conditions 
below. GE shall be required to test and rate its refrigerator-freezer 
product line containing dual compressors according to the alternate 
test procedure as set forth in section III, ``Alternate test 
procedure.''
    The interim waiver applies to the following basic models:

ZIC30*****
ZIK30*****

    DOE makes decisions on waivers and interim waivers for only those 
models specifically set out in the petition, not future models that may 
be manufactured by the petitioner. GE may submit a new or amended 
petition for waiver and request for grant of interim waiver, as 
appropriate, for additional models of refrigerator-freezers for which 
it seeks a waiver from the DOE test procedure. In addition, DOE notes 
that granting of an interim waiver or waiver does not release a 
petitioner from the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR part 
429.
    Further, this interim waiver is conditioned upon the presumed 
validity of statements, representations, and documents provided by the 
petitioner. DOE may revoke or modify this interim waiver at any time 
upon a determination that the factual basis underlying the petition for 
waiver is incorrect, or upon a determination that the results from the 
alternate test procedure are unrepresentative of the basic models' true 
energy consumption characteristics.

III. Alternate Test Procedure

    EPCA requires that manufacturers use DOE test procedures when 
making representations about the energy consumption and energy 
consumption costs of products covered by the statute. (42 U.S.C. 
6293(c)) Consistent representations are important for manufacturers to 
use in making representations about the energy efficiency of their 
products and to demonstrate compliance with applicable DOE energy 
conservation standards. Pursuant to its regulations applicable to 
waivers and interim waivers from applicable test procedures at 10 CFR 
430.27, DOE will consider setting an alternate test procedure for GE in 
a subsequent Decision and Order.
    During the period of the interim waiver granted in this notice, GE 
shall test the products listed above according to the test procedures 
for residential electric refrigerator-freezers prescribed by DOE at 10 
CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix A, except that, for the GE basic 
models listed above only, the energy consumption shall be determined as 
follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN17SE14.019

Where:

    -- ET is the test cycle energy (kWh/day);
    -- 1440 = number of minutes in a day
    -- EP1 is the dual compressor energy expended during the first 
part of the test (If at least one compressor cycles, the test period 
for the first part of the test shall include a whole number of 
complete primary compressor cycles comprising at least 24 hours of 
stable operation, unless a defrost occurs prior to completion of 24 
hours of stable operation, in which case the first part of the test 
shall include a whole number of complete primary compressor cycles 
comprising at least 18 hours of stable operation);
    --T1 is the length of time for EP1 (minutes);
    --D is the total number of compartments with distinct defrost 
systems;
    --i is the variable that can equal to 1,2 or more that 
identifies the compartment with distinct defrost system;
    --EP2i is the total energy consumed during the second (defrost) 
part of the test being conducted for compartment i. (kWh);
    --T2i is the length of time (minutes) for the second (defrost) 
part of the test being conducted for compartment i.
    --12 = conversion factor to adjust for a 50% run-time of the 
compressor in hours/day
    --CTi is the compressor on time between defrosts for only 
compartment i. CTi for compartment i with long time automatic 
defrost system is calculated as per 10 CFR Part 430, Subpart B, 
Appendix A clause 5.2.1.2. CTi for compartment i with variable 
defrost system is calculated as per 10 CFR part 430 subpart B, 
Appendix A clause 5.2.1.3. (hours rounded to the nearest tenth of an 
hour).

    Stabilization:
    The test shall start after a minimum 24 hours stabilization run for 
each temperature control setting.
    Test Period for EP2i, T2i:
    EP2i includes precool, defrost, and recovery time for compartment 
i, as well as sufficient dual compressor cycles to allow T2i to be at 
least 24 hours, unless a defrost occurs prior to completion of 24 
hours, in which case the second part of the test shall include a whole 
number of complete primary compressor cycles comprising at least 18 
hours. The test period shall start at the end of a regular freezer 
compressor on-cycle after the previous defrost occurrence (refrigerator 
or freezer). The test period also includes the target defrost and 
following freezer compressor cycles, ending at the end of a freezer 
compressor on-cycle before the next defrost occurrence (refrigerator or 
freezer).
Test Measurement Frequency
    Measurements shall be taken at regular interval not exceeding 1 
minute.
* * * * *

IV. Summary and Request for Comments

    Through today's notice, DOE grants GE an interim waiver from the 
specified portions of the test procedure applicable to certain basic 
models of refrigerator-freezers with dual compressors and announces 
receipt of GE's petition for waiver from those same portions of the 
test procedure. DOE is publishing GE's petition for waiver pursuant to 
10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv). The petition includes a suggested alternate 
test procedure to determine the energy consumption of GE's specified 
basic models of refrigerator-freezers with dual compressors. GE is 
required to follow this alternate procedure as a condition of its 
interim waiver, and DOE is considering including this alternate 
procedure in its subsequent Decision and Order.
    DOE solicits comments from interested parties on all aspects of the 
petition, including the suggested alternate test procedure and 
calculation

[[Page 55779]]

methodology. Pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv), any person submitting 
written comments to DOE must also send a copy of such comments to the 
petitioner. The contact information for the petitioner is: Earl F. 
Jones, Senior Counsel, GE Appliances, Appliance Park 2-225, Louisville, 
KY 40225. All submissions received must include the agency name and 
case number for this proceeding. Submit electronic comments in 
WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, Portable Document Format (PDF), or text 
(American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)) file 
format and avoid the use of special characters or any form of 
encryption. Wherever possible, include the electronic signature of the 
author. DOE does not accept telefacsimiles (faxes).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 10, 2014.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.

U.S. Department of Energy

Application for Interim Waiver and Petition for Waiver, 10CFR430, 
Subpart B, Appendix A1-Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy 
Consumption of Refrigerator-freezers

Case No. Non-Confidential Version

    Submitted by: Earl F. Jones Senior Counsel, GE Appliances, 
Appliance Park 2-225, Louisville, KY 40225, [email protected], 502-
452-3164 (voice), 502-452-0395 (fax).

U.S. Department of Energy Application for Interim Waiver and Petition 
for Waiver, 10CFR430, Subpart B, Appendix A--Uniform Test Method for 
Measuring Refrigerator-Freezers

I. Introduction

    GE Appliances, an operating division of General Electric Co., 
(``GE'') is a leading manufacturer and marketer of household 
appliances, including, as relevant to this proceeding, refrigerator-
freezers (``refrigerators''), files this Petition for Waiver and 
Application for Interim Waiver (collectively, ``Petition''). On May 2, 
2013, the Assistant Secretary granted an interim waiver \2\ and on June 
27 the final waiver \3\ pursuant to GE's February 28 petition advising 
the Department that the energy consumption of GE's new dual compressor 
refrigerator could not be accurately measured using the test procedure 
set forth in 430 Subpart B, Appendix A1. GE continued to test the 
product under the waiver-approved test procedure. In issuing the new 
refrigerator test procedure on April 21, 2014,\4\ the Assistant 
Secretary nullified all Appendix A1 waivers, including the one granted 
to GE. The Department's decision was explained as follows:
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    \2\ 78 FR 25724 et seq.
    \3\ 78 FR 38699 et seq.
    \4\ 79 FR 22320 et seq.

    After DOE grants a waiver, the agency must, pursuant to its 
waiver provisions, initiate a rulemaking to amend its regulations to 
eliminate the continued need for the waiver. 10 CFR 430.27 (m). This 
final rule addresses this requirement for the Sub-Zero waiver by 
amending Appendix A to include a test procedure for multiple-
compressor products that is based on the Sub-Zero waiver procedure.
    The Sub-Zero, Samsung, LG, and GE waivers for multiple-
compressor products will terminate on September 15, 2014, the same 
date that manufacturers must use the test procedures in Appendix A 
for testing.\5\
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    \5\ 79 FR at 22323.

The conclusion that GE can use the Appendix A test procedure to 
accurately measure energy consumption of the new 2014 models of the 
product that was previously covered by waiver is, unfortunately, 
erroneous. GE has made this point to DOE consistently and on multiple 
occasions: First, in the 2013 waiver petition, next, at the NOPR 
stakeholders meeting held on July 25, 2013,\6\ and, finally, in its 
NOPR comments.\7\
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    \6\ EERE-2012-BT-TP-0016-0023, p. 85-88.
    \7\ 79 FR at 22328 and 22329.
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    GE's representative at the stakeholders meeting most clearly 
described the operation of GE's refrigerator:

    MR. BROWN: Bill with GE Appliances.
    Again, I would reiterate that stability for multiple compressor 
products is not the same as stability for a single compressor 
product. If you did achieve .042 degrees per hour, it may be more 
due to luck than actually the product [being] what you'd consider to 
be stable. Again, with both compressors operating on their own 
schedule, with their own controls, you may see that the fresh food 
[temperature] is stable and the freezer's not. Then you'd keep going 
further and the freezer is stable and the fresh food is not. So 
that's again why we chose just to use a longer period of time 
instead of trying to invoke this .042 degrees per hour.
* * * * *
    So again, I would reiterate for multiple compressor products, 
that . . . looking at stability with a strict .042 degrees per hour 
like you would on a single compressor product is . . . just not 
applicable to the multiple compressor product.
    MR. BROOKMAN: Okay, thank you. Lucas.
    MR. ADIN: Lucas Adin, DOE.
    Just a quick follow-up question for clarification. So it sounds 
like, based on your comment Bill, that a single stability criteria 
for multiple compressor products may not be appropriate because of 
how they operate. It's different from single compressor products.
    But is it reasonable to say that multiple compressor products do 
get to some form of stability that is, you know, unique to perhaps 
each individual product, but at least it's something that you know 
will repeat consistently over time, or is it something that you can 
actually identify?
    MR. BROWN: Yes. This is Bill with GE again.
    You may see a repeating operation in the freezer, and you may 
see it in the fresh food. But you'd see it on different time frames. 
So where a freezer temperature may be high, the fresh food may be 
low, and you know, if you just picture a sine curve, these are sine 
curves that are out of phase with one another.
    So you would never get to a point, or you may never get a point 
where you've got both of these meeting this type of stability 
criteria at the same time. So instead of trying to search through 
the data, to find if there just happens to be [a] place where this 
occurs, we just chose in our waiver to . . . use a long period of 
time \8\ (emphasis supplied).
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    \8\ EERE-2012-BT-TP-0016-0023, at p. 88.

One reason GE's product does not achieve stability as described in 
Appendix A is that it has two compartments--one for fresh food and one 
for frozen foods--but unlike what we understand to be the Sub-Zero 
design, the GE compressors are not designed to synchronize such that 
both compartments achieve temperature stability at the same time. 
Stated another way, it is not designed such that . . . ``the 
compartment temperature averages for the first and last complete 
compressor cycles [of each compressor system can] lie completely within 
the second part of the test [and] within 0.5 [deg]F (0.3 [deg]C) of the 
average compartment temperature measured for the first part of the 
test.'' Appendix A, 4.2.3.4.2, paraphrased. (See below for full 
section.) \9\
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    \9\ For each compressor system, the compartment temperature 
averages for the first and last complete compressor cycles that lie 
completely within the second part of the test must be within 0.5 
[deg]F (0.3 [deg]C) of the average compartment temperature measured 
for the first part of the test.
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    While the Appendix A test procedure does adopt the definition of 
steady state condition that was first approved in the Sub-Zero waiver 
and subsequently GE's waiver, it imposes an unachievable goal for GE by 
requiring that a 0.5 [deg]F (0.3 [deg]C) steady state condition be 
achieved by comparing the compartment temperatures during a single 
freezer compressor cycle to the average compartment temperatures 
achieved during 24 hours of fresh food and freezer compressor cycles. 
This can only be done if the cycles repeat uniformly. As described 
above and illustrated below, this does not occur with the GE dual 
compressor refrigerator.
    The non-synchronous nature of the compressors' operation is 
depicted in

[[Page 55780]]

the following plot of Watts and compartment temperatures versus time.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN17SE14.020

    As is apparent from the above, at no time during the freezer 
compressor cycles before the defrost (at appx. 4270 mins.) are the 
fresh food and freezer temperatures in phase: While the fresh food 
temperature cycles repeat with each fresh food compressor cycle, the 
freezer temperature cycles repeat with every two freezer compressor 
cycles. Thus, the Appendix A assumption that the cycles are uniform and 
in phase does not hold for these GE models. The only relevant impact of 
this non-uniformity is the confounding effect on making the required 
calculation. The product provides improved consumer utility because it 
provides for better temperature and humidity control.\10\
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    \10\ GE's new models provide the additional environmental 
benefit of not using HFC refrigerants: Instead the two compressors 
use isobutane, which has a GWP of two orders of magnitude less than 
HFC-134a.
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II. GE's Proposed Waiver

    Based on the above GE requests that the Assistant Secretary grant 
it a waiver from the Appendix A test procedure and allow GE to test its 
refrigerator-freezer model pursuant to the modified procedure 
previously approved in 78 FR 38699, case No. RF-029, and submitted 
herewith as Attachment 1. This request is filed pursuant to 10 C.F.R. 
Sec.  430.27 \11\ as the test procedure does not allow the energy used 
by GE's new 2014 model.
    The waiver should continue in effect until DOE amends the test 
procedure to accommodate such products. GE also requests that the 
Department grant an interim waiver to test and rate the models listed 
on Attachment 2.
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    \11\ The Department's regulations provide that the Assistant 
Secretary will grant a Petition upon ``determin[ation] that the 
basic model for which the waiver was requested contains a design 
characteristic which either prevents testing of the basic model 
according to the prescribed test procedures, or the prescribed test 
procedures may evaluate the basic model in a manner so 
unrepresentative of its true energy consumption characteristics as 
to provide materially inaccurate comparative data.'' 10 CFR Sec.  
430.27(l). GE requests that the Assistant Secretary grant this 
Petition on both grounds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We would be pleased to discuss this request with DOE and provide 
further information as needed.
    GE requests expedited treatment of the Petition and Application. It 
is critical that the Waiver request be acted on, and hopefully granted, 
in July 2014 in order to provide sufficient time for final design and 
testing by the September 15, 2014 effective date of the energy 
efficiency standard.
    I hereby certify that all manufacturers of domestically marketed 
units of the same product type have been notified of this Petition and 
Application, list of which is found in Attachment 3, hereto.

Respectfully submitted,

Earl F. Jones, Senior Counsel and Authorized Representative of GE 
Appliances

Attachment 1

[[Page 55781]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN17SE14.021

Where:
    -- ET is the test cycle energy (kWh/day);
    -- 1440 = number of minutes in a day
    -- EP1 is the dual compressor energy expended during the first 
part of the test (If at least one compressor cycles, the test period 
for the first part of the test shall include a whole number of 
complete primary compressor cycles comprising at least 24 hours of 
stable operation, unless a defrost occurs prior to completion of 24 
hours of stable operation, in which case the first part of the test 
shall include a whole number of complete primary compressor cycles 
comprising at least 18 hours of stable operation);
    -- T1 is the length of time for EP1 (minutes);
    -- D is the total number of compartments with distinct defrost 
systems;
    -- i is the variable that can equal to 1,2 or more that 
identifies the compartment with distinct defrost system;
    -- EP2i is the total energy consumed during the 
second (defrost) part of the test being conducted for compartment i. 
(kWh);
    -- T2i is the length of time (minutes) for the second 
(defrost) part of the test being conducted for compartment i.
    -- 12 = conversion factor to adjust for a 50% run-time of the 
compressor in hours/day
    -- CTi is the compressor-on time between defrosts for 
only compartment i. CTi for compartment i with long time 
automatic defrost system is calculated as per 10 CFR Part 430, 
Subpart B, Appendix A clause 5.2.1.2. CTi for compartment 
i with variable defrost system is calculated as per 10 CFR part 430 
subpart B, Appendix A clause 5.2.1.3. (hours rounded to the nearest 
tenth of an hour).
    Stabilization:
    The test shall start after a minimum 24 hours stabilization run 
for each temperature control setting.
    Test Period for EP2i, T2i:
    EP2i includes precool, defrost, and recovery time for 
compartment i, as well as sufficient dual compressor cycles to allow 
T2i to be at least 24 hours, unless a defrost occurs 
prior to completion of 24 hours, in which case the second part of 
the test shall include a whole number of complete primary compressor 
cycles comprising at least 18 hours. The test period shall start at 
the end of a regular freezer compressor on-cycle after the previous 
defrost occurrence (refrigerator or freezer). The test period also 
includes the target defrost and following freezer compressor cycles, 
ending at the end of a freezer compressor on-cycle before the next 
defrost occurrence (refrigerator or freezer).

Test Measurement Frequency

    Measurements shall be taken at regular intervals not exceeding 1 
minute.
* * * * *

Attachment 2

ZIC30*****
ZIK30*****

[FR Doc. 2014-22228 Filed 9-16-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P