Ventilation and Air Conditioning Made Easy
Air conditioning Systems:
Global warming is a reality. Few part of India has touched more than 50 degree celsius for the first time in the history. Bangalore who is known for the pleasant ambient conditions and a hill station few decades back had touched 40 degree celsius. Air conditioners industry is thriving on the global warming but in reality it also a majorly contributes to the global warming. Higher the temperature, more air conditioners are sold leading to further increase in temperature. This vicious cycle continues with net increase in global warming.
How we can break this vicious cycle? There are many solutions available; many times we miss the fact that, increasing the efficiency of the air conditioners can also contribute to the reduction of global warming.
About 65% of energy in a commercial building is consumed by air conditioning system. Any reduction by the power consumption in the Air conditioning system, without compromising the comfort, can help in reducing the global warming. Even with the advancement of technology, manufacturing methods, the mechanical efficiency possible for individual components of air conditioning system are getting plateaued or is giving very minimal increase. Many industries are not expecting any quantum jump in the mechanical efficiency in the coming decades compared to the previous decades.
But need for increase in the overall efficiency is need of the hour and it is driving companies to invent alternate methods to reduce the total energy consumption by air conditioners. Reducing the power consumption as a system, instead of increasing individual components efficiency seems to be the answer.
India has got various climatic zones, but predominantly air conditioners are used for cooling purpose. A peak ambient condition varies from January to December and also varies every day from morning to night.
Air conditioning systems are always designed for the peak ambient conditions considering the conditions prevailing in after noon hours of May – June month. Air conditioners are also designed considering full occupancy in a building. This design scenario makes the air conditioners to operate at part load conditions for 99% of the time.
A recent study shows that on an average 30% of the corporate office area is partially occupied like meeting rooms, passages. These not partially occupied areas air conditioned from the common system, which keeps it conditioned even if it is not used. Considering 300 working days with an average of 10 hours, we are cooling non-occupied area for 3000 hours every year. With a proper monitoring and control, we can reduce the energy consumption by air conditioners.
If 65% of the power is consumed by air conditioners, and with 50% occupancy of meeting rooms approximately 15% of the air conditioning wasted for cooling non-occupied meeting rooms, passage areas, or partially occupied meeting rooms.
If we can have an air conditioning system, which will adjust the capacity delivered as per the actual requirement, considering the variation in the ambient temperature, occupancy, etc. we can save a lot of electrical energy.
Companies like Mitsubishi Electric has already developed zone based air conditioning system with better monitoring systems and smart controllers to reduce the overall consumption of air conditioners.
Small zones, with minute monitoring of various parameters like, ambient temperatures, light intensity inside the air conditioned area, humidity, human occupancy, dual temperature settings to avoid over cooling or heating of room during non-occupied times etc can reduce the power consumption without compromising the comfort.
Let us look into the various components required to achieve a smart air conditioning system.
First foremost is having an inverter driven variable speed compressor which can adjust the capacity as per the demand.
Zoning the air conditioned area into small size but use based, for better monitor &control.
Dual temperature settings to prevent over heating or cooling of the area when it is not occupied.( eg. Maintaining the area at 28Deg Celsius when not occupied).
Human Occupancy sensor combined with ambient light sensor to control each zone.
A combination of all the above mentioned factors can reduce about 30% or more of the total energy consumption by air conditioning system without compromising on the comfort.
Mitsubishi Electric has introduced inverter scroll based VRF system with human occupancy sensor and dual temperature setting in India.
VRF systems are Variable refrigerant flow systems, which varies the refrigerant flow system by varying the speed of the compressor. The compressor output is based on the total capacity required by the sum total of individual zones.
Each zone needs to have independent monitoring and control mechanism. Mitsubishi Electric introduced a human occupancy sensor, ambient light sensor, humidity sensor and a temperature sensor, all integrated to the remote controller of the air conditioners. These remotes controllers can also have dual temperature settings to prevent over heating or cooling when unoccupied.
We all have the responsibility to maintain the ecological balance without affecting the comfort.
The aim of increasing the efficiency of the system is for reducing power consumption, and smart companies find alternative ways to reduce the power consumption.
When the remote controller is becoming smarter, with better control mechanism, we can expect a radical decrease in power consumption by air conditioners.
Let the smartness save the planet from Global Warming.