Simulation/Thermal Testing

Simulation/ Thermal Testing:
Everyone is interested in improving energy efficiency!  One of the easiest ways for consumers and industry professionals to make a difference is by choosing products that perform without sacrificing comfort or value.  Simulation and Thermal Performance testing is an important early step in ensuring an accurate side-by-side comparison of energy efficient products.

The process:
NFRC created a system for uniformly assigning energy performance ratings based upon a product’s specific physical characteristics.  The process employs computer software to determine product heat transfer.  From this modeling comes the U-Factor (U-value), the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), Visible Light Transmittance (VT), and Condensation Resistance (CR). These modeled values are then verified with the actual heat transfer measurements of a representative sample of the entire product line, commonly referred to as Thermal Validation Testing.

Below are the specific NFRC size requirements which differ from AAMA structural test sizes (air, water, loads testing).

NFRC Sizes

Operator Type NFRC Sizes
Casement - Single 24x59
Dual Action 47x59
Fixed 47x59
Horizontal Slider 59x47
Projecting - Awning/ Single 59x24
Door Sidelite 24x79
Skylight/ Roof Window 47x47
Sliding Patio Door 79x79
Swinging Door 37-3/4x82-3/8 or 75-1/2x82-3/8
Door Transom 79x24
Vertical Slider - SH/DH 47x59

Benefits of Simulation/ Thermal Testing:

  • Money Savings- Testing sample vs. entire product line
  • Fair product comparisons
  • Dramatic improvement over default table values
  • Performance standards compliance – Energy Star, Tax Credits, etc.
  • Easier code enforcement – Labels quickly confirm compliance
  • Ensures consistent product quality
  • Highlight new technology & refinement
  • Display a product’s energy benefits
  • Accurate, unbiased results
  • Streamlined research & development process
  • Uniform code compliance requirements
  • Informed product selection
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