Analysis on how building performance can be improved with energy efficient HVAC
Due to its large contribution towards indoor environment quality HVAC plays a crucial role in green buildings. Also growing awareness for reducing energy consumption in buildings is driving the market for energy efficient HVAC in India. The article will discuss about HVAC in green buildings and how one can improve building performance with energy efficient HVAC highlighting some latest offering from the industry players.
HVAC systems are major contributor in terms of energy consumption in any commercial building, energy most of which is produced eating away natural resources and leaving long lasting impact on the environment, green concept uses efficient use of the energy and other natural resources thus making a planet better place to live.
Shailesh Paradkar, Business Manager, Comfort and Refrigeration, Alfa Laval (India) Ltd considers HVAC as an important aspect of energy saving in the building and overall the technology has made a good impact on the buildings. He says, “Impact of greenhouse gas emissions on climate change coupled with ever increasing energy costs are the primary drivers of green revolution and sustainability movement, having a high-performance HVAC system is extremely important to the commercial facility due to the obvious criteria of energy savings and providing superior life-cycle performance. Technology and innovations in field of HVAC has made positive impact on overall viability of green building projects.” Growing sentiment is that environmental responsibility is not just a moral obligation; it’s also a good business. Same could be the reason leading companies worldwide are involved in research to create more efficient products or systems as some of them venturing into new type of systems that uses alternative energy sources like geothermal or solar.
Net-zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) is another step forward in same direction which employs the latest materials, technologies, practices, and controls in order to not only minimise energy usage, but also produce as much or more energy than the building consumes. “As these buildings become more popular, HVACR manufacturers are working to create highly efficient products and systems to help meet these ambitious performance goals,” adds Paradkar.
HVAC systems being major energy consumer, every unit that gets saved is the unit that doesn’t needs to be generated. Technology has played vital role in reduction in energy consumption through development of more efficient equipment like heat exchangers, compressors, motors, pumps, controls etc, along with environment friendly and efficient refrigerants. “It is imperative to select equipment with right credentials to ensure desired efficiency levels are achieved, certification provides platform for the same. Non commercial establishments like AHRI, Eurovent facilitate such performance certification of equipment giving user assurance of meeting designed duty conditions,” adds Paradkar.
Heat recovery has become increasingly important due to greater demand for more efficiency at lower costs. Latest trends shows popularity gain for use of renewable energy such as solar, geothermal as sustainable energy sources bringing down load on HVAC systems as such demand on traditional grid power. Thermal storage system is yet other favourite options explored by designers as it decouples when you make cooling and when you need cooling. It offers significant paybacks especially when differential power tariffs are available.
“Yes, one of the methods to improve building performance is through energy efficient HVAC as it offers the lowest cost of ownership,” states Soren Kvorning, Vice President, Head of Asia, Pacific and India Region, Danfoss Drives, Sales, Marketing and Service.
Advent of new technologies has enabled adoption of sustainable and environment friendly HVAC systems that are both energy and cost efficient. Efficient HVAC systems reduce energy needed to control temperature and air flow within a building, thus cutting down on utility bill. “There is a tremendous opportunity to help improve automation levels that help in both energy and process efficiency – through our valves, drives, compressors and electronic controllers that reduce leaks and thus downtime leading to increased building efficiency. Interestingly, replacing an older system with high efficiency HVAC system can lead to significant savings helping building owners save thousands of rupees,” he adds.
Lesser energy consumption significantly cuts operating costs and contributes substantially to climate and environmental protection without compromising on comfort.
As per his views Dinesh Jaikumar, Director Projects, SunGreen Ventilation Systems believe that energy efficient HVAC system can advance building performance and it is indeed the need of the hour. He states, “Energy efficient HVAC systems certainly provide improved building performances. Considering that HVAC systems contribute to major energy consumption in a building, efficient solutions are the need of the hour since it’s that much more important to save on energy and to reduce the carbon foot prints in order for us to have a better future.”
“Well designed systems and solutions pertaining to the specific requirement is very important, the system designer should also contribute and take into consideration the overall building envelope with various key factors including to the type of construction, the facade used etc, and if any minor changes which could be allowed in order to reduce on the energy consumption, the same needs to be considered,” he informs.
Airflow through the floor space at improved or well designed velocities even at slightly higher temperatures than conventional air conditioning systems are widely acceptable for human comfort considering normal workload and attire. “Alternate technologies than refrigerant based cooling including adiabatic cooling solutions designed precisely for the required conditions contribute immensely to the building performance with tremendous energy savings,” adds Jaikumar.
According to Rahul Doshi Managing Director, Greenwave Products Pvt Ltd HVAC are highly efficient and he agrees to the point that energy efficient HVAC systems can help improve the energy saving in the buildings but at the same time he also believes that how may ever the product is efficient it tends to lose it efficacy as it ages and is a continuous process. He says, “Yes. Building performance can be now improved by making HVAC energy efficient.” As per ASHRAE all over the globe – maximum energy is consumed by cooling equipment – which is estimated above 50 per cent of consumption. “Even a 5-star rated machine loses its efficacy and consumes more power with its age. Main reason behind this is a phenomenon called oil fouling. This happens in all types of cooling equipment and so far there was no way to stop it,” he adds.
Danfoss offers a range of energy efficient HVAC solutions which increase process efficiency and operational efficiency, reduce downtime, optimise productivity and help mitigate energy losses. Some of the products for commercial buildings include VLT HVAC drive range, turbocor compressors, scroll compressors and CKL substations for district cooling which Danfoss offers for hotels, data centres, airports, commercial buildings, pharma, railway and metros.
VLT automation drive FC 360 has built in features that help owners save space in installations, time in setup and effort in daily maintenance. Featuring a basic yet comprehensive feature set, the drive provides precise and energy efficient motor control.
Danfoss turbocor, another innovation from Danfoss, is a high efficiency oil-free centrifugal compressor that can provide extremely high energy savings for HVAC systems. It can reduce up to 35-50 per cent of energy consumption of a commercial HVAC system.
Products with advanced technology and innovative concept have become preferred choice of the customer as it offers lucrative returns on investments; high volume low speed (HVLS) fans are typical example of the same. By moving large volume of air it can replace number of small high speed floor fans offering sizable reduction in energy bills.
Briefing about the latest products that Alfa Laval caters in this segment Paradkar states, “Variable speed technology (Use of variable frequency drives or VFDs) is another buzz word in HVAC industry as it ensures only amount of heating or cooling which is needed is being delivered. Speed reduction that precisely match load help reduce energy consumption as much as 40 per cent or more. Smarter controls are playing large part in ensuring systems are operated as efficiently as possible.”
“Last but not the least it’s not just enough to be green but it is equally important to be sustainable which covers entire product life cycle from extraction of raw material till its final disposal after functional life,” he adds.
Alfa Laval, a major in area of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling is driving the future in heat transfer technologies through continuous innovation in its offerings. Alfa Laval offers entire range of products like plate heat exchangers, Eurovent certified air heat exchangers, brazed heat exchangers, alfa nova Fusion bonded, 100 per cent stainless steel heat exchanger,
S&T heat exchangers for HVAC&R industry along with complete range of AHRI certified PHEs, BHEs and alfa nova optimised for highly demanding HVAC duties.
“All the products manufactured by us are highly energy efficient including a few firsts in India such as TurboVENTS which is proven for its performance for over 25 years and our installations are very precise thus achieving the energy efficiency and longevity,” informs Jaikumar.
Other products include TurboaSOX fabric air ducts, yet another first in India. SunGreen Ventilation Systems provide the cleanest and most aesthetically appealing HVAC duct in the Industry. One of its other products developed lately will be its compact Ductable evaporative Cooling Systems which runs on the principle of adiabatic and evaporative cooling. The units are so compact that it could be fitted on the roof or the side wall of the building with very limited structural works; it delivers a high volume of air at negligible power consumption even in comparison to conventional air handling systems using the same principle of cooling. “The other major advantage is that we are the only people to indigenously manufacture the same in robust industrial materials including stainless Steel outer bodies or Aluminium outer bodies at very competitive prices. The system is part of its design and builds systems thus achieving the best possible conditions inside the space,” says Jaikumar.
Greenwave Products Pvt Ltd, is located at Vadodara, Gujarat is in the field of energy conservation for the last six years. It is a joint venture company with 30 years old U.S. based company FRIGITECH Huston, U.S.A. and are marketing the product FRIGITECH for ASIA region for the proven technology energy saving product, which is basically a refrigerant oil additive. Only of its kind throughout the world. This also enhances life of machines by reducing friction up to 1,500 times.
Within this period of last six years has evaluated and has treated nearly 25,000 tonne of refrigeration (TR) HVAC machines with FRIGITECH with minimum 12 to 25 per cent of savings achieved at many corporate companies and also some government departments namely PWD, power stations, circuit houses etc. “We have treated all types of air conditioning equipment ranging from 1.5 to 1,500 TR machines like window, duct, split, cassette, package units, chillers, deep freezers, cold storages etc, we are proud to be associated with a service of this kind which is in true means is a service to our rising nation,”shares Doshi.
“Intertek laboratory and also government laboratory M/s ERDA has tried and tested this product and have achieved a savings of 28 per cent kw/TR,” he adds. Test report or certificate is available once in a lifetime treatment with a money back guarantee of minimum 5 per cent saving kw/TR.