The Right Choice

Sanjeev Seth

It is crucial to understand the application, design and purpose of a building before choosing a proper HVAC system, writes Sanjeev Seth, Country Leader, Climate Solutions, Trane & Thermoking, India Territory & SAARC Markets, API SBU, Ingersoll Rand

It is a well-established fact that the power requirements for heating, ventilation and air conditioning in homes and offices claim a major part of the yearly expenditure. While our tier II & III cities are under a transition phase, the metros are seeing an increase in construction across verticals such as Metro Rail, Healthcare, Hospitality, Commercial Spaces, etc.

Green Footprints
There is a need for a robust initiative to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. Revision of the BEE ratings for the Residential sector and new ECBC guidelines for the Commercial sector indicate the importance of energy, its conservation, and make the stakeholders more responsible and accountable. Energy consumption in commercial buildings accounts for almost 30% of the annual operating budget, and is largely due to HVAC and lighting systems. While LEDs have been adopted, awareness of energy-efficient HVACs is less.

A good building design is important in deciding its overall ‘thermal comfort’ and efficiency. The orientation of the building can considerably reduce air conditioning load requirement. To determine the energy efficiency of a HVAV system, one must consider the environment and space. The design would dictate the type, and the maintenance will ensure sustainable energy-efficient results.

Technological advancement in HVAC has given us many options from a simple split air-conditioner to a large central plant system. For a small or medium size home, movement from Fixed Speed Hi-Wall to Inverter driven Hi-Wall units can be observed. Inverter driven units are more energy-efficient and can meet the energy levels as per the new regulation. For large homes and villas, Mini VRF or Advance Multi-Splits fit the requirement.

In the commercial segment, solutions range from simple chiller with fixed speed design to advance AFD driven chillers, which offer very high part load efficiency. Designs such as ‘Low flow systems’ not only save power but also help utilise less water resource to give the same advantage of thermal comfort.
The good thing is that most developers and builders are now investing in green building designs, or retro fitting existing systems to make them efficient

Distribution systems such as VFD Driven Air Handling units and Variable Air Volume provide the flexibility to match the demand load and thereby save the energy required to cool the occupied space. Alternate sources of energy such as Solar PV roof tops, Geothermal Water source heat pumps etc, are application specific and used in niche verticals.

There are many eco-friendly HVAC system providers in the market such as TRANE, which has more than 100 years of providing HVAC solutions. Its latest product, the Sintesis chiller, a part of Ingersoll Rand EcoWise™ portfolio, increases energy efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emission. All EcoWise products are designed to lower environmental impact with next-gen low-GWP refrigerants and high-efficiency operation. The building controls complement in optimizing the energy demand by means of seamless integration with the equipment.
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