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HVAC control upgrade can slash energy costs

Cut consumption by improving control

Colin Shepherd from Belimo Automation.
Colin Shepherd from Belimo Automation.

A new white paper from Rockwell Automation details how facility managers and owners can reduce energy consumption and maximise savings with HVAC control upgrade technology. The paper outlines a new option to help convert constant volume HVAC systems to variable air volume (VAV) control, while avoiding the cost and complexity typically associated with changing mechanical or building automation control systems.

“VAV is a highly energy-efficient means of distributing air in an HVAC system. VAV is relatively new in the Middle East. It is a bit of a ‘black art’ for some contractors as they do not fully understand the concept behind it,” says Belimo Automation senior executive Colin Shepherd.

The white paper, ‘Leveraging the Power of Intelligent Motor Control to Maximise HVAC System Efficiency’, describes the technology behind this upgrade option, outlines the cost-saving benefits, and breaks down a leading food manufacturer’s payback as an example.

By adjusting fan speeds, the upgrade option helps facility managers reduce energy consumption and building owners reap payback in a relatively short time, often less than a year. The new upgrade option helps building owners avoid costly redesign and capital investments associated with new systems.

Designed as a self-contained unit for easy installation, the integrated control solution delivers more energy savings at a fraction of the cost of a traditional hardware retrofit. The unit includes temperature and carbon dioxide sensors, a microcontroller, a high-performance variable frequency drive and a touch-screen operator interface. Rather than cycling between constant speed and off, HVAC fans controlled by the variable frequency drive automatically adjust in response to heating or cooling needs.

“HVAC systems typically constitute a large amount of a building’s operating costs, so it makes business sense to upgrade HVAC systems as efficiently as possible, without being forced to reconfigure an existing system,” said IMS Research market analyst Jenalea Howell. “A new energy-saving solution comprising intelligent motor control technology allows building owners and facility managers to take better control of their energy use and gain greater insight into the bottom line.”

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Construction Week - Issue 761
Mar 21, 2020