Cleanroom Energy Efficiency: Metrics and Benchmarks
Cleanrooms are among the most energy-intensive types of facilities. This is primarily due to the cleanliness requirements that result in high airflow rates and system static pressures, as well as process requirements that result in high cooling loads. Various studies have shown that there is a wide range of cleanroom energy efficiencies and that facility managers may not be aware of how energy efficient their cleanroom facility can be relative to other cleanroom facilities with the same cleanliness requirements. Metrics and benchmarks are an effective way to compare one facility to another and to track the performance of a given facility over time. This article presents the key metrics and benchmarks that facility managers can use to assess, track, and manage their cleanroom energy efficiency or to set energy efficiency targets for new construction. These include system-level metrics such as air change rates, air handling W/cfm, and filter pressure drops. Operational data are presented from over 20 different cleanrooms that were benchmarked with these metrics and that are part of the cleanroom benchmark dataset maintained by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Overall production efficiency metrics for cleanrooms in 28 semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the United States and recorded in the Fabs21 database are also presented.