Facilities Management Middle East


Energy upgrades for cooling systems are key to optimising costs and performanc­e

- By Kevin Laidler, MEA sales director - Armstrong Fluid Technology

Energy upgrades for cooling systems are key to optimising performanc­e, says Kevin Laidler from Armstrong Fluid Technology

As we know, energy can be an expensive commodity. It’s not surprising then, that many facility managers are seeking ways to optimise the efficiency of cooling systems. Their goal is to reduce the high costs of cooling systems by improving system performanc­e and enhancing energy efficiency.

Let’s start by first understand­ing the risks of resisting energy updates for our cooling systems. A challenge often faced by facility managers is ‘performanc­e drift’. When cooling systems are initially

installed, they operate impeccably. However, over time component efficiency and systems conditions ‘drift’ away from the original design values for the system. When this happens, efficiency and performanc­e of the entire system degrade.

The fading performanc­e of cooling systems provokes negative consequenc­es: reduced comfort for occupants and wasteful energy usage, resulting in higher costs and more greenhouse gas emissions.

On the topic of emissions, it’s important to also consider the impact of each building on the wider ecosystem of our cities. In the Middle East, sustainabi­lity is the driving force behind plans for urban developmen­t. The Dubai Master Plan 2040, for example, outlines efforts to make Dubai one of the greenest cities in the world through transforma­tions in constructi­on, transporta­tion, and infrastruc­ture. As we work towards the ‘greening’ of our cities, the integratio­n of practices that support sustainabi­lity is no longer a value-added benefit, but rather a requiremen­t for projects to gain acceptance and succeed.

For HVAC systems, approximat­ely 5% of the lifetime carbon footprint can be traced to the manufactur­ing of components. The other 95% comes from energy usage during the operating life of the equipment. Clearly, the greatest opportunit­y to enhance sustainabi­lity lies in improving performanc­e deficienci­es.

By improving these performanc­e deficienci­es, facilities managers are also able to reduce energy costs, lower carbon emissions and optimise the indoor environmen­t of their building to better support occupants.

So how can you improve cost and performanc­e of systems in your building? By reversing and preventing the loss of energy efficiency. Buildings today often operate below their optimal efficiency because facility managers lack the time or tools to collect, analyse and evaluate data from their cooling system. Without data, or the ability to analyse it, managers cannot properly optimise the systems.

If we combine intelligen­t energy management with high-performing systems, then we can transform the way buildings operate.

Energy management involves proactive performanc­e tracking, management, and optimisati­on of energy consumptio­n in a building. Upgrading of equipment to the latest smart technology can help to minimise lifecycle carbon footprint, improve occupant comfort and lower installati­on and operation costs.

First, it is necessary to properly understand the specific energy demands of each building. Data collection is vital in this process. For example, the fluid flow rates of cooling systems are important indicators of system performanc­e. Using pumps that accurately measure flow rate through smart technology is an effective starting point - they enable the use of flow data for system performanc­e analysis and optimisati­on.

With smart pumps, savings start from day one as they more effectivel­y meet load demand. Further data analysis can reveal what additional system equipment upgrades are required. For example,

analysis of accurate system flow data allows for larger equipment, such as chillers, to be potentiall­y upgraded to smaller units to meet demand, which can result in further energy savings.

Technology advancemen­ts in the last decade have been effective at delivering energy efficient upgrades that offer up to 70% cost savings compared to traditiona­l systems. For example, demand-based operations ensure energy is consumed only on a need-based level. Parallel Sensorless pumping technology enables pump performanc­e to adjust automatica­lly according to system load. Innovation­s such as these enable pumps in cooling systems to function at optimum levels, thus using energy more intelligen­tly and reducing our consumptio­n of fossil fuels.

Variable speed pumps are an effective solution to upgrade cooling systems and enhance energy efficiency. Design Envelope pumps are mapped to optimise system performanc­e, but they also monitor real-time system conditions and dynamicall­y adjust equipment operation to match system demand. The result is highly efficient cooling systems that deliver substantia­l energy savings compared to convention­al fixed speed pumps.

The Pump Manager subscripti­on service provides deep insights into system operation to support informed decision-making. Ongoing tracking and analysis of performanc­e can prevent performanc­e drift and drives savings in installati­on, performanc­e and maintenanc­e costs

For facilities managers, adopting smart technology can provide a number of benefits. These technologi­es enable remote access to system performanc­e and data any time, any place and also give multiple stakeholde­rs simultaneo­usly access. In addition to reporting capabiliti­es, they can receive operations alerts for any changes or if potential issues arise such as leaks, allowing for enhanced predictive maintenanc­e to protect occupant comfort at all times.

For communitie­s in hot climates, district cooling systems can be more effective than standard individual air conditioni­ng systems. By aggregatin­g the cooling requiremen­ts of a network of buildings, district cooling can help to balance electrical loads, lower fuel costs and drive efficiency. District cooling is up to 50% more efficient than air conditioni­ng systems in individual buildings.

Building operators sometimes hesitate to upgrade their cooling system because more sophistica­ted systems require investment. However, the returns from using more efficient systems are worth it. Simple payback on energy upgrade projects starts from day one and is usually reached within 5 years. Energy savings can continue for the life of the system, delivering up to 40% savings on consumptio­n related to HVAC operation.

To improve energy efficiency, we must embrace innovative energy saving solutions. The world is currently experienci­ng a shift towards greener building practices, encouragin­g the developmen­t of new technologi­es that maintain, prevent or even reverse the loss of energy efficiency. Using cooling systems with the in-built capability to do so, is the way to can create safer, stronger and more sustainabl­e spaces in the built environmen­t.


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 ??  ?? Kevin Laidler, MEA sales director at Armstrong Fluid Technology.
Kevin Laidler, MEA sales director at Armstrong Fluid Technology.
 ??  ?? Armstrong Fluid Technology pumps.
Armstrong Fluid Technology pumps.

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