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ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 1 7-201 5

(Supersedes AN SI /ASH RAE Standard 1 7-2008)

Method of Testing
Capacity of
Thermostatic Refrigerant
Expansion Valves

Approved by ASH RAE on J anuary 3 0, 201 5 , and by the American N ational Stand ard s I nstitute on February 2, 201 5 .

ASH RAE Stand ard s are scheduled to be updated on a five-year cycle; the date foll owing the stand ard number is the year of
ASH RAE approval . The latest ed ition of an ASH RAE Standard may be purchased on the ASH RAE website (www. ashrae. org) or
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© 201 5 ASH RAE I SSN 1 041 -23 3 6


ASHRAE Project Committee 1 7
Cognizant TC: TC 8.8, Refrigerant System Controls and Accessories
SPLS Liaison: James W. Earley, Jr.
Robert A. J ones, Chair* Kirk Stifle* Duane A. Wolf*

W. Vance Payne, Vice Chair* Robert R. Bittle*

* Denotes members of voting status when the document was approved for publication

ASHRAE STANDARDS COMMITTEE 201 4–201 5


Chair
Richard L. H all, J ames W. Earley, J r. M ark P. M odera

Douglass T. Reindl, Vice-Chair Steven J . Emmerich Cyrus H. N asseri

J oseph R. Anderson Patricia T. Graef H eather L. Platt

J ames Dale Aswegan Rita M . H arrold Peter Simmonds

Charles S. Barnaby Adam W. H inge Wayne H. Stoppelmoor, J r.

Donald M . Brund age Srinivas Katipamula J ack H. Zarour

J ohn A. Clark Debra H. Kennoy J ulia A. Keen, BOD ExO


Waller S. Clements M alcolm D. Knight Bjarne Wilkens Olesen, CO
David R. Conover Rick A. Larson

J ohn F. Dunlap Arsen K. M elkov

Stephanie C. Reiniche, Senior Manager of Standards

SPECIAL NOTE
This American N ational Standard (AN S) is a national vol untary consensus Standard devel oped under the auspices of ASH RAE. Consensus is defined
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by the American N ational Standards I nstitute (AN SI ), of which ASH RAE is a member and which has approved this Standard as an AN S, as

“substantial agreement reached by directl y and mate rial l y affected interest categories. This signifies the concurrence of more than a simpl e majority,

but not necessaril y unanimity. Consensus requires that all views and objections be considered, and that an effort be made toward their resolution. ”

Compl iance with this Standard is voluntary until and unl ess a l egal jurisdiction makes compliance mandatory through legisl ation.

ASH RAE obtains consensus through participation of its national and international members, associated societies, and publ ic review.

ASH RAE Standards are prepared by a Project Committee appointed specifical l y for the purpose of writing the Standard. The Project

Committee Chair and Vice-Chair must be members of ASH RAE; whil e other committee members may or may not be ASH RAE members, al l

must be technical ly qual ified in the subject area of the Standard. Every effort is made to balance the concerned interests on al l Project Committees.

The Senior M anager of Standards of ASH RAE shoul d be contacted for

a. interpretation of the contents of this Standard,

b. participation in the next review of the Standard,

c. offering constructive criticism for improving the Standard, or

d. permission to reprint portions of the Standard.

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industry practices. H owever, ASH RAE does not guarantee, certify, or assure the safety or performance of any products, components, or systems

tested, instal led, or operated in accordance with ASH RAE’s Standards or Guidel ines or that any tests conducted under its Standards or Guidel ines

will be nonhazardous or free from risk.

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CONTENTS
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 1 7-201 5,
Method of Testing Capacity of Thermostatic Refrigerant Expansion Valves
SECTION PAGE
Foreword ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ............ 2
1 Purpose ............................................ ................................................... ................................................... ........... 2
2 Scope ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ....... 2
3 Definitions ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... 2
4 Conditions for Testing Capacity ................................................... ................................................... .................. 3
5 Data Required for Reporting Capacity ................................................... ................................................... ........ 3
6 Test Instruments ................................................... ................................................... ......................................... 3
7 Test Apparatus .......................................... ................................................... ................................................... .. 3
8 Test Procedure.......................................... ................................................... ................................................... .. 4
9 Capacity Calculation ................................................... ................................................... ................................... 5
1 0 References ......................................... ................................................... ................................................... ......... 5
Informative Annex A: Additional Testing ................................................... ................................................... ........... 6

NOTE
Approved addenda, errata, or interpretations for this standard can be downloaded free of charge from the ASHRAE
Web site at www.ashrae.org/technology.

© 201 5 ASHRAE
1 791 Tullie Circle NE · Atlanta, GA 30329 · www.ashrae.org · All rights reserved.
ASHRAE is a registered trademark of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.
ANSI is a registered trademark of the American National Standards Institute.
(This foreword is not part of this standard. It is merely refrigerant that will pass through the valve under the condi-
informative and does not contain requirements necessary tions cited in Section 5.
for conformance to the standard. It has not been pro-
certified standard instrument: an instrument calibrated by
cessed according to the ANSI requirements for a standard
the manufacturer or other reliable agency and certified as
and may contain material that has not been subj ect to
traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technol-
public review or a consensus process. Unresolved obj ec-
ogy (NIST).
tors on informative material are not offered the right to
appeal at ASHRAE or ANSI.) direct-acting valve: an expansion valve designed so that the
valve plug opens the valve port in inverse response to sensed
FOREWORD equalizer pressure and in direct response to temperature-sens-
This is a revision of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 17-2008. This ing element temperature. The valve plug is positioned
standard was prepared under the auspices ofASHRAE. It may through direct mechanical linkage to the actuating element
be used in whole or in part, by an association or government (e.g., diaphragm or bellows).
agency, with due credit to ASHRAE. Adherence is strictly on a evaporator: an evaporatively cooled heat exchanger.
voluntary basis and merely in the interest of obtaining uni-
form standards throughout the industry. external equalizer: in a thermostatic expansion valve, a con-
This standard prescribes a method of testing capacity of nection from a selected point in the low-pressure part of the
thermostatic expansion valves for use in air-conditioning and circuit to the system pressure-sensing side of the actuating
refrigeration systems. This standard does not specify the test element such that the selected point pressure is transmitted to
conditions to be used for obtaining the standard rating. AHRI the actuating element (e.g., diaphragm or bellows).
Standard 750 specifies test conditions. The latest edition of initial valve opening: a minimal valve opening position not to
that standard is referenced here, so that its test conditions can exceed 0.05 mm (0.002 in.).
be used in obtaining standard ratings for thermostatic refrig-
erant expanding valves. internal equalizer: in a thermostatic expansion valve, an inte-
Changes made in the 2015 revision ofASHRAE Standard gral internal port or passage whereby the system pressure-
17 are as follows: sensing side of the actuating element (e.g., diaphragm or bel-
lows) is exposed to valve outlet pressure.
• Example calculations were changed from R-22 to R-410A.
liquid refrigerant flowmeter: a device for determining the
• References have been updated.
refrigerant mass flow rate.
1 . PURPOSE nominal capacity: the capacity reported by the manufacturer
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This standard prescribes a method of testing the capacity of for an expansion valve, citing AHRI Standard 750 for the
thermostatic refrigerant expansion valves for use in vapor- test conditions.
compression refrigeration systems. operating superheat: the difference between the temperature
at the temperature-sensing element and the system refrigerant
2. SCOPE vapor saturation temperature corresponding to the valve
2.1 This standard is applicable to equalizer pressure.
a. thermostatic expansion valves (also referred to in this permanent bleed rate: the capacity of the permanent bleed
standard as expansion valves ) as defined in Section 3, provision under the conditions cited in Section 5, expressed
b. expansion valves of the direct-acting type but not the either as a percentage of the nominal capacity or in kW (Btu/h
pilot-operated type, and or tons) of refrigerating effect produced by the evaporation of
c. many currently used refrigerants deemed available and that amount of refrigerant flow.
suitable according to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 1 5 1 and
permanent bleed-type valve: a valve that has a fixed-flow
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34. 2
passage incapable of being closed by action of the valve.
2.2This standard specifies procedures, apparatus, and instru- Such a fixed orifice permits a flow through or in parallel with
mentation that will produce accurate capacity data. the main valve port.
2.3 This standard does not pilot-operated valve: expansion valve of a type used on large-
a. specify tests for production, specification compliance, or capacity systems (e.g., direct-expansion chillers) where the
field testing of expansion valves or required capacity per valve is beyond the range of direct-act-
b. specify capacity rating conditions for testing expansion ing valves; this type of valve is under the control of a direct-
valves. These can be found in AHRI Standard 750. 3 acting valve.
refrigerant: the working fluid in a refrigerating system that
3. DEFINITIONS absorbs heat by evaporating at a low temperature and pressure
The following definitions apply only to parts and terms used and rejects heat on condensing at a higher temperature and
in this standard. pressure.
capacity ofan expansion valve: the refrigerating effect in kW shall/shall not: indicate that the provision is mandatory if
(Btu/h or tons) of refrigeration, produced by the mass flow of compliance with the standard is claimed.

2 ANSI/ASHRAE 1 7-201 5
FIGURE 1 Air fixture for remote temperature-sensing element FIGURE 2 Air fixture for integral temperature-sensing element
valves. valves.

should/is recommended: indicate that the provision is not a. Refrigerant designation according to ANSI/ASHRAE
mandatory but is desirable as good practice. Standard 34 2
b. Temperature of liquid refrigerant entering the expansion
static superheat: the superheat required to position the valve
valve
at the initial valve opening.
c. Pressures at the expansion valve inlet and outlet
superheat change: the difference between the static super- d. External equalizer pressure (if applicable)
heat and the operating superheat. e. Temperature at the temperature-sensing element
f. Static superheat
temperature-sensing element: the part of the expansion valve
that senses the temperature at the superheat control point, nor- g. Superheat change
mally located at the outlet of the evaporator. This element 5.2 The refrigerant mass flow rate shall be the measured
may be remote or integral to the expansion valve body. value.
test valve: the thermostatic expansion valve being tested for
capacity in accordance with this standard.
6. TEST INSTRUMENTS
6.1 Measurement equipment shall be certified standard
thermostatic expansion valve: a device for controlling super- instruments of the types listed in this section.
heat by regulating the mass flow of refrigerant to a refrigera-
tion load, actuated by changes in equalizer pressure and 6.2 Temperature-Measuring Instruments
temperature-sensing element temperature. 6.2.1 Temperature shall be measured with any device meet-
ing the requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 41 .1 . 5
valve plug: a movable part that provides a variable restriction
in a port.
6.2.2 Accuracy of temperature-measuring instruments shall
be within ±0.1 5°C (0.25°F).
4. CONDITIONS FOR TESTING CAPACITY 6.3 Pressure-Measuring Instruments
4.1 Testing for capacity of thermostatic expansion valves shall
6.3.1 Pressure shall be measured with
any device meeting
the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 41 .3. 6
be performed in accordance with Section 8 of this standard.
6.3.2 Accuracy of pressure-measuring instruments shall be
4.2 The liquid refrigerant entering the thermostatic expan- within ±0.5% of the pressure reading.
sion valve shall be subcooled to at least 5°C (1 0°F).
6.4 Refrigerant Flow-Measuring Instruments. Accuracy
4.3The refrigerant shall be free from contamination. Refer to of flow-measuring instruments shall be within ±1 .0% of the
AHRI Standard 700 4 for recommendations. indicated value.
4.4 The lubricant concentration in the refrigerant shall not 6.5 Other Instruments. Dial or other indicators to measure
exceed 2% by mass. valve plug position relative to the valve port shall have a scale
graduated in 0.03 mm (0.001 in.) or finer increments.
4.5 If testing capacity is for rating purposes, use standard test
conditions found in the related industry standard, AHRI Stan- 7. TEST APPARATUS
dard 750. 3
7.1 Air Fixture. The static superheat setting of the thermo-
static expansion valve shall be measured with the test valve
5. DATA REQUIRED FOR REPORTING CAPACITY installed in an air fixture as described in Figure 1 or 2. The fix-
5.1 The predetermined test conditions shall include the fol- ture shall contain all of the essential elements shown, and
lowing values: instrumentation shall conform to the requirements of Section 6.

ANSI/ASHRAE 1 7-201 5 3
FIGURE 3 Refrigerant fixture for remote temperature-sensing element valves.

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FIGURE 4 Refrigerant fixture for integral temperature-sensing element valves.

7.2 Refrigerant Fixture. The capacity of the thermostatic temperature of the regulated temperature bath shall be equal
expansion valve shall be measured with the test valve installed to the sum of the vapor saturation temperature at the test valve
in a refrigerant fixture as described in Figure 3 or 4. The sys- equalizer pressure and the static superheat.
tem shall contain all of the essential elements shown, and
instrumentation shall conform to the requirements of Section 6.
8.1.2 The test orifice size for any test condition shall be
selected so that the opening of the thermostatic expansion
valve during the static superheat test shall not exceed 0.05 mm
8. TEST PROCEDURE (0.002 in.). Dial or other indicator in accordance with Section
8.1 Static Superheat and Initial Valve Opening 6.5 shall determine the amount of opening.
8.1.1 Place the thermostatic expansion valve in the appro-
8.2 Refrigerant System Test
priate air fixture (Figure 1 or 2) and adjust the test valve to the
static superheat at which the capacity is to be measured. The 8.2.1 The static superheat at which the test valve capacity is
test valve inlet pressure for the air fixture shall be the same as to be measured shall be preset according to the procedure
the test valve inlet pressure for the refrigerant fixture. The described in Section 8.1 .

4 ANSI/ASHRAE 1 7-201 5
8.2.2 Install the test valve in the appropriate refrigerant fix- Temperature-sensing element temperature 1 1 °C
ture (Figure 3 or 4) using appropriate procedures to exclude Static superheat 3°C
air and other contaminants. Test for refrigerant leaks and con-
Superheat change 3°C
figure the fixture for refrigerant flow through the valve being
tested. Refrigerant flow rate 300 kg/h
8.2.3 Stabilize the temperature at the temperature-sensing h g = 427.55 kJ/kg
element as the sum of the temperature defined in Section h f = 266.3 kJ/kg
8.1 .1 and the superheat change. Capacity = 1 3.4 kW
8.2.4 Start flow through the test valve and adjust hand
throttling valves to obtain stable operating conditions at the
9.2 I-P Example Test Report
intended inlet temperature, inlet pressure, outlet pressure, and Refrigerant R-41 0A (a zeotropic mixture)
equalizer pressure if applicable. Liquid temperature 1 00°F
8.2.5 Make the necessary observations and record the data Inlet pressure 396 psia
as required by Section 5. Outlet pressure 1 82 psia
8.3 Permanent Bleed Rate Test. This test is only applicable External equalizer pressure 1 36 psia
to permanent bleed-type valves.
Temperature-sensing element temperature 52°F
8.3.1 Install the test valve being tested according to Section
Static superheat 6°F
8.2.2. Provide a means to maintain the valve plug in the
closed position. Superheat change 6°F
8.3.2 Perform the test as described in Sections 8.2.4 and Refrigerant flow rate 600 lb/h
8.2.5. h g = 1 83.8 Btu/lb
9. CAPACITY CALCULATION h f = 1 1 4.5 Btu/lb
Capacity = 41 ,580 Btu/h
Capacity = w (h g – h f)

where
1 0. REFERENCES
1 . ASHRAE. 201 3. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 1 5, Safety Stan-
w = refrigerant mass flow rate, kg/h (lb/h)
dard for Refrigeration Systems . Atlanta: ASHRAE.
hg = enthalpy of saturated refrigerant vapor at the 2. ASHRAE. 201 3. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34, Designa-
measured equalizer pressure, kJ/kg (Btu/lb) tion and Safety Classification of Refrigerants . Atlanta:
hf = enthalpy of saturated refrigerant liquid at the ASHRAE.
measured test valve inlet temperature, kJ/kg (Btu/lb) 3. AHRI. 2007. AHRI Standard 750, Thermostatic Refriger-
Enthalpy values for h g and h f of the common refrigerants
ant Expansion Valves. Arlington, VA: Air-Condition-
ing, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute.
may be found in the most current ASHRAE refrigerant tables.
4. AHRI. 201 4. ANSI/AHRI Standard 700, Specifications for
9.1 SI Example Test Report Fluorocarbon Refrigerants. Arlington, VA: Air-Condi-
Refrigerant R-41 0A (a zeotropic mixture) tioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute.
Liquid temperature 40°C 5. ASHRAE. 201 3. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 41 .1 , Standard

Inlet pressure 2733 kPa absolute


Method for Temperature Measurement. Atlanta:
ASHRAE.
Outlet pressure 1 258 kPa absolute 6. ASHRAE. 1 989. ASHRAE Standard 41 .3, Standard
External equalizer pressure 936 kPa absolute Method for Pressure Measurement . Atlanta: ASHRAE.

ANSI/ASHRAE 1 7-201 5 5
(This annex is not part of this standard. It is merely infor- cant factor in normal operation. This condition is illustrated
mative and does not contain requirements necessary for by Curve C.
conformance to the standard. It has not been processed
according to the ANSI requirements for a standard and A2. VALVE OPENING VS. TEMPERATURE-SENSING
may contain material that has not been subj ect to public ELEMENT TEMPERATURE (ALSO REFERRED TO
review or a consensus process. Unresolved obj ectors on AS “VALVE TEMPERATURE GRADIENT”)
informative material are not offered the right to appeal at
ASHRAE or ANSI.)
Note: In the air test fixture, flow through the orifice shall be
stopped to facilitate this test.
With the thermostatic expansion valve installed in the air
INFORMATIVE ANNEX A fixture of Figure 1 or 2, increase the temperature-sensing ele-
ADDITIONAL TESTING ment temperature in increments of no more than 1 °C (2°F)
Additional testing outlined in this annex is provided for infor- until valve motion stops. Hold the test valve outlet and exter-
mational purposes only. The tests are not required to obtain nal equalizer pressure at a constant value equal to the initial
the capacity of a thermostatic expansion valve. They are often opening pressure by operating the outlet needle valve. Plot a
used as development or analysis tools by valve manufacturers curve of test valve opening vs. temperature-sensing element
and users. temperature from the minimum to the maximum temperature-
sensing element temperature. (See typical curve, Figure A-2.)
A1 . VERY SMALL FLOW EXCEPTION
A3. REFRIGERANT FLOW VS. VALVE OPENING
The capacity or flow curve for a thermostatic expansion valve
Install the thermostatic expansion valve in the refrigerant fix-
has a portion, at very small values of flow, where the normal
ture of Figure 3 or 4. Equip the test valve with a mechanical
incremental relationship between the flow and temperature-
means for opening and closing the test valve, and provide
sensing element temperature changes does not apply. This
means for measuring the test valve opening (see Section 6.5).
deviation is due to necessary mechanical tolerances and clear-
Plot refrigerant mass flow vs. test valve opening for at least
ances that are present to some degree in all valves.
five equally spaced points, including the initial valve opening.
The theoretical flow curve of a perfectly configured valve Maintain the specified inlet and outlet test pressure. (See typi-
is shown as curve A in Figure A-1 ; the flow-temperature val- cal curve, Figure A-3.)
ues progress at a uniform rate to zero, without deviation.
Curve B represents the flow curve for a typical commercial A4. DETERMINATION OF SUPERHEAT CHANGE AT
thermostatic expansion valve. It differs from A in that the OTHER
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curve becomes flatter during the final increments before the
From the curves of Sections A2 and A3, using test valve
valve is tightly closed. Within normal limits, the flat portion
opening as the common measurement, plot refrigerant mass
of the curve has no important effect on the operation of refrig-
flow as the ordinate vs. temperature-sensing element temper-
erating equipment since the flow rates involved are extremely
ature as the abscissa. (See typical curve, Figure A-4.) At the
low. However, for valves in which clearances and configura-
refrigerant mass flow indicated by the initial valve opening
tion errors are excessive, the flat portion becomes a signifi-
(see Section 8), draw a line parallel to the abscissa, and at the
point of intersection with the refrigerant mass flow curve,
establish an initial opening reference point on the tempera-
ture-sensing element temperature scale (Figure A-4). Deter-
mine the mass flow at the selected capacity by solving the

FIGURE A-2 Air test: Test valve opening vs. temperature-


FIGURE A-1 Valve opening characteristics. sensing element temperature.

6 ANSI/ASHRAE 1 7-201 5
equation in Section 9 for refrigerant mass flow. At the calcu- Calculate refrigerant mass flow as follows:
lated refrigerant mass flow, draw a line parallel to the
abscissa, and at the point of intersection with the refrigerant SI Example
mass flow curve, establish another reference point on the
Capacity 8.0 kW
temperature-sensing element temperature scale (Figure A-4). w = = --------------------------------------------------- ---------------- = 1 30 kg/h
The difference between the two reference point temperatures
 h g – h f  428.9 kJ/kg – 207.7 kJ/kg 

represents the amount of superheat change from initial open-


Determine superheat change:
ing to the test valve opening at the selected capacity.
Superheat change = 1 0°C – 8°C = 2°C
A5. EXAMPLE I-P Example
Determine the superheat change for a thermostatic expansion
Capacity 27,300 Btu/h
valve with a static superheat setting of 3°C (6°F) and a flow w = = --------------------------------------------------- ---------------- = 287 lb/h
curve as illustrated in Figure A-5. The load is 8.0 kW (27,300  h g – h f  1 84.4 Btu/lb – 89.3 Btu/lb 

Btu/h) at a 5°C (40°F) evaporator temperature with a 40°C


(1 00°F) liquid temperature entering the thermostatic expan- Determine superheat change:
sion valve on an R-41 0A (a zeotropic mixture) system. Superheat change = 49°F – 46°F = 3°F

FIGURE A-3 Refrigerant test: Refrigerant flow vs. test valve


opening.

FIGURE A-5 Refrigerant flow vs. temperature-sensing element


FIGURE A-4 Example. temperature.

ANSI/ASHRAE 1 7-201 5 7
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POLICY STATEMENT DEFINING ASHRAE’S CONCERN
FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ITS ACTIVITIES
ASHRAE is concerned with the impact of its members’ activities on both the indoor and outdoor environment.
ASHRAE’s members will strive to minimize any possible deleterious effect on the indoor and outdoor environment of
the systems and components in their responsibility while maximizing the beneficial effects these systems provide,
consistent with accepted Standards and the practical state of the art.
ASHRAE’s short-range goal is to ensure that the systems and components within its scope do not impact the
indoor and outdoor environment to a greater extent than specified by the Standards and Guidelines as established by
itself and other responsible bodies.
As an ongoing goal, ASHRAE will, through its Standards Committee and extensive Technical Committee structure,
continue to generate up-to-date Standards and Guidelines where appropriate and adopt, recommend, and promote
those new and revised Standards developed by other responsible organizations.
Through its Handbook , appropriate chapters will contain up-to-date Standards and design considerations as the
material is systematically revised.
ASHRAE will take the lead with respect to dissemination of environmental information of its primary interest and
will seek out and disseminate information from other responsible organizations that is pertinent, as guides to updating
Standards and Guidelines.
The effects of the design and selection of equipment and systems will be considered within the scope of the
system’s intended use and expected misuse. The disposal of hazardous materials, if any, will also be considered.
ASHRAE’s primary concern for environmental impact will be at the site where equipment within ASHRAE’s scope
operates. However, energy source selection and the possible environmental impact due to the energy source and
energy transportation will be considered where possible. Recommendations concerning energy source selection
should be made by its members.
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ASHRAE, founded in 1 894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the
built environment. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality,
refrigeration, and sustainability. Through research, Standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing
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