An HVAC (or Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) unit is a major investment that directly affects comfort and ability. New technology makes units 20% to 60% more efficient than older ones, and this improvement proves positive for the environment and budgets.
Good ventilation is vital for circulating fresh air and protecting a building against dampness and condensation. However, unnecessary ventilation can waste energy and cost a lot of money.
Amit Maheshwari, director, marketing & strategy, Carrier Air Conditioning, explains that it also increases a building's energy consumption and associated carbon emissions. “An HVAC system is a must, especially in Indian buildings. In today’s competitive markets, inefficient energy management systems are almost unheard of.” He adds that architects and facility managers should include the HVAC features in their design, before finalising the construction plans for buildings. “Apart from having clarity on energy efficiency, architects should consult and involve HVAC experts, who understand the latest technologies and can implement the required systems.”
Indian weather conditions make it important to take into account several factors at the outset of designing buildings (since some factors may have an impact in the near future and others in the long run) to visualise and plan for them, should the situation ever arise. Sanjay Goyal, senior VP and director, Daikin Airconditioning, says, “A building must be designed with an HVAC system, considering overall aesthetics, scalability, comfort for the user, IAQ requirements, among other factors—for it is no longer a luxury, but a basic need for effective commercial building design.”
Aside from aesthetic and technological benefits, incorporating HVAC systems in the design leaves little need for change at a later stage. “Dedicated experts, disciplined processes and advanced technology can ensure solutions integrated with HVAC systems. Sophisticated products are just a part of an overall plan designed to address these issues and concerns,” maintains Maheshwari.
Explaining in details the complete selection process of a HVAC system, Nitin Bhalla, General Manager – Facilities Management Group, Wipro Ltd, New Delhi, says, “Fans use approximately 40% of all electricity in HVAC systems. Up to 50% of electricity for fans could be saved just by designing and installing more energy efficient fans and introducing better control strategies.
In selecting a fan for HVAC applications it is often found that several fans of different types and sizes provide the required performance. It is better to select a fan size such that peak efficiency is achieved at the most common flow rate, but fan should still be able to deliver the “worst case” flow. Besides that, voltage and type of motor should also be specified in order to eliminate the problem of compatibility between the fan end the electric network. Control strategies allows a fan to adapt airflow and/or pressure to the needs of a system. Fans are one of the major electricity users in HVAC systems. In order to achieve good efficiency of fans once they are installed, it is not enough just to select best products on the market, but also to change design and selection procedure to fit such technology.”
From the manufacturer’s stable, Daikin introduced the VRV IV technology with VRT (Variable Refrigerant Temperature), suitable for small- to large-sized buildings. “This technology enables greater energy savings, as the outdoor units operate up to 4.41 COP (Coefficient of Performance), thus reducing energy consumption levels. It also makes use of increased higher static pressure for the outdoor unit fan for greater installation flexibility,” informs Goyal. With compact size and smaller footprint, this VRV IV unit enables space-saving and easy installation. Highly reliable, the addition of various advanced features ensures consistent and stable system operation of the VRV IV technology.
With a strong commitment in sustainability, Carrier provides high-efficiency HVAC products and technology to help customers save energy and reduce emissions. The company’s portfolio includes several products for commercial and light commercial markets to deliver performance and environmental benefits like high-efficiency dual-compressor centrifugal chiller 19XR-E. Other innovative offers include 30XWV, VWV – which combine the benefits of traditional hydronic system and VRF. “The issue of pollution is a major challenge as a result of urbanisation. To meet strong market demand and combat PM2.5, we have launched a new air purifier and filter. Besides high energy-efficient products, Carrier AdvanTE3C customises solutions,” adds Maheswari.
There are specific vertical market solutions as well as specific system solutions that AdvanTE3C focuses on. For HVAC, the operations cost is probably more critical than the first cost; and AdvanTE3C focuses on reducing the operations cost for a quicker payback period. Green options for HVAC The cost of energy is going up in direct proportion to the global demand. The International Energy Agency predicts that energy prices will rise by a further 17% over the next two decades. Improving how energy is consumed will not only provide immediate cost-savings, but will also safeguard against energy price hikes.
The world over, the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through expanding energy-saving technologies is regarded as the Green alternative. The solution, today, is to adopt the most balanced refrigerant – HFC32. “This next generation refrigerant, patented by Daikin, protects the ozone layer while providing an ecologically-responsible HVAC solution,” informs Goyal. “We also provide comprehensive service and maintenance guidance to clients.”
Modern HVAC technology improves the energy efficiency of buildings by 30%. “This leads to an internal rate of return of 28.6% over a 10-year period, which is four times better than an average corporate bond yields and double the returns seen by high-performing venture capital firms,” points out Maheshwari. Most Green building options cost the same or only slightly higher than conventional alternatives, yet they deliver significant energy savings. For instance, new Green buildings decrease operating costs by 8% over one year and 15% over five years. Therefore, over time, the argument that Green is more expensive becomes invalid.
Daikin India believes that technological forwards like usage of eco-friendly refrigerants, energy-efficiency propellants and lower cost-operational units, will help change the image of air-conditioning from a costly device to be used in the summer to a more energy- and environment-friendly one, useful for various weather patterns.
“It is through innovations like inverter-based technologies, lower compressor ratios and eco-friendly refrigerants, that Daikin India seeks to establish the air-conditioner as a multiutility device that works pertinently as a heater, an air regulator and a heavy-duty fan—making it a pertinent investment for households,” explains Goyal.
As global leaders, the company endeavours to redefine the HVAC paradigm with innovative technologies in order to simplify life. “Designed to offer individual temperature control to consumers, VRV IV technology enables greater energy savings and more flexible system design than ever before, thus making it the most suitable HVAC technology for variety of applications,” adds Goyal. With the VRV IV technology (with in-built VRT), Daikin seeks to make largescale HVAC technologies more efficient for businesses and encourages energy efficiency while adopting positive Green measures to offer essential cooling solutions.
Replacing an existing HVAC system
Buildings, today, are in a constant state of churn. Infrastructure requirements are upgraded all the time, but HVAC systems are often not easily changed. “Flexibility should be the key goal of such system retrofits. These systems should adapt to those changes without requiring costly alterations. As HVAC systems age, maintenance requirements increase; hence, their retrofits require less maintenance over the years,” advises Maheshwari.
Replacement also depends on the type of system or solution existing in the building. There are some technologies
that are compatible with retrofits and can easily be upgraded. “However, there are solutions that solicit a comprehensive overhauling, should the demand and usage from the establishment change,” states Goyal.