Breakdowns and energy efficiency are the most common reason for retrofitting an HVAC system. One option for the air-distribution system is to convert dual-duct, multi-zone, or constant volume systems to a variable volume system. This may require damper installation, duct-work modifications, and fan changes. The older variable-volume systems can have outlet dampers or inlet guide-vanes replaced with variable speed drives for improved savings.
The chilled-water system can be converted to a primary/secondary system that uses variable water flow for the secondary system, which feeds the chilled water coils that allow the system to provide cooling without utilizing the chiller.
These systems are useful when cooling is required during low ambient temperature conditions. This can include using a heat exchanger between the chilled-water loop and the condenser system, a “strainer cycle” that uses a cross-connection (with filtering and treatment) between the chilled-water system and the condenser system, or a refrigerant migration (or “free cooling”) cycle within the chiller.
As noted earlier, control-system changes are among the most popular retrofits. The improved technology of current DDC systems provides improved control of the system, which can increase tenant comfort as well as save energy. Most of these systems also can provide the information required to bill tenants for after-hours energy consumption. Many of the manufacturers provide this type of equipment, which will provide similar savings in individual or multi-unit application.
In addition, the DDC system can provide information about the building and the system – a service that will allow the maintenance staff to check on conditions without going all over the building. If there is a complaint, the temperature in the area and the operation of the equipment can be checked immediately. However, consistent monitoring of the equipment is still important to identify potential problems before they affect tenants.
Talk to us at GRS Commercial Air Conditioning to provide you with further information on how we can improve the energy efficiency of your building.
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