Airzone solutions in the service sector

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Comfort is a major and perhaps the most important consideration when designing the spaces where we spend most of our time: at home and in the workplace. Finding the right temperature is an essential part of having comfort. This is why home and business owners invest thousands of euros every year to install the correct HVAC systems for their buildings.

Comfort, however, does come at a cost. Of all the energy consumed in the service sector, around a half is used in offices. According to the analysis carried out by the Spanish Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), air conditioning and heating account for more than 50% of offices’ total consumption.

One major concern, therefore, is when that energy is used inefficiently and money is wasted.

Difficulties posed by large buildings

The service sector, which covers all commercial and public buildings, includes a broad selection of constructions from schools, restaurants and hotels to hospitals, museums and banks.

All of these pose their own challenges when it comes to air conditioning. In just one building, there can be numerous types of rooms including offices, conference rooms, store rooms, corridors, kitchens, archives etc. Each will be different in size, have varying levels of sun exposure and be in use at different times of the day.

Traditional HVAC systems, however, cannot cater to this. One major flaw is that they are generally designed for buildings with 100 per cent occupancy, with just ‘on’ or ‘off’ settings. As almost no office building is ever fully occupied, occupants of large buildings often complain that the A/C is operating unnecessarily.

What’s more, most office heating and cooling systems are designed with older types of electronics electronics in mind which give off more heat

Economic benefits of energy management

According to the UK-based energy saving body the Carbon Trust, electricity costs have doubled for businesses over the last decade.[1] This means that reducing long-term energy costs has become a priority in the service sector.

Having a more adaptive air conditioning system therefore not only benefits a building’s users by providing superior comfort, it also encourages more efficient energy management.

It has been shown that a variation of just 1°C can generate energy savings of between 6% and 10%. Therefore, having a zoned system, with multiple individual thermostats, is an easy way to save energy. By dividing the space into zones which is only possible with a control solution, you can respond to the varying needs of users throughout an entire building..

The added possibility of controlling scheduling for zones also helps to significantly reduce energy consumption in the workplace.

Why choose Airzone Control?

A zoned system from Airzone Control provides significant added value to an HVAC installation as it reduces both the initial economic investment, as well as operating costs.

Savings begin at the installation phase. Firstly, the Airzone solution permits a reduction in the number of indoor units installed, compared to a monozone or traditional HVAC installation. This means a reduction in overall capacity (and therefore lower running costs), a smaller exterior unit, fewer components and less installation time required.

Secondly, once the system is up and running, maintenance time is also saved as interventions are simpler. This is because the indoor units are located in a designated room or in a common area, and not within the offices in use.

However, the biggest advantage of an Airzone system is the savings in operating costs. This is achieved in the following ways:

  • Control accuracy of 0.3 K certified by eu.bac confirms Airzone systems as an option for projects which pursue a high level of efficiency.
  • HVAC sector to obtain this certificate. Unused zones can be switched off completely, either at the individual thermostats, through the Airzone Cloud app or by setting up schedules.
  • Airzone Control has a single power supply point. The system’s main control board is the only element connected to the power supply, and the thermostats and dampers are powered from here.
  • The motors are only powered during the opening and closing phases; the rest of the time they are not connected to the power supply. Their power consumption is minimal.

A series of smart control algorithms has been developed to improve energy efficiency:

    • Q-Adapt technology: This performs an automatic adjustment of the airflow from the A/C units according to the needs of the installation. It has five modes of operation.
    • Eco-Adapt technology: This allows you to select the desired degree of energy efficiency for the system. It offers a number of modes that allow you to restrict the selectable minimum temperature in cooling mode and the maximum in heating mode.

Real case study: an office block in the city of Coimbra

The efficiency and energy-saving potential of an Airzone system has been verified following an in-depth case study of an HVAC installation in a building in the Portuguese city of Coimbra.

The building, which contained 23 separate rooms (16 offices, a meeting room, a filing area, a store room, two waiting rooms and two corridors), had a Daikin VRF installation with two tubes and at least one cassette-type A/C unit per room.

With the installation of an Airzone system, a reduction in noise, as well as common problems such as “hot head” (when the stratification of hot air in the highest part of the rooms causes discomfort) and condensation were eliminated.

However, the most striking differences were in the numbers. The Airzone HVAC solution reduced installation time enormously – by 67%. When it comes to usage, the ducted solution provided annual energy savings of 14.3% compared to the cassette solution.

The study went further, however, and also demonstrated the capacity of the Eco Adapt algorithm to reduce energy consumption – annual energy consumption was reduced by an incredible 50.6% by employing the mode in A++.

View the complete study.

Unrivaled benefits

As these numbers show, Airzone solutions in the service sector can bring numerous benefits that traditional systems are unable to match.

But while they can reduce energy consumption enormously by only operating when necessary and by reducing power requirements overall, the most striking advantage of Airzone systems is the superior level of comfort offered to occupants – no matter the building’s size.