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Demand for underfloor air conditioning systems, which are far more flexible and adaptable than ceiling-based systems, has risen as developers and landlords scramble to reconfigure office spaces in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Experts have predicted a 50% reduction in office occupancy, as millions embrace working from home. What is underfloor air conditioning? A zonal underfloor air conditioning system makes use of the raised floor void as a plenum for the distribution of air. Supply and return channels are created under the floor, and zone units serving areas of up to 300m2 are suitably located throughout the office space to generate conditioned air locally to serve the needs of the space. Underfloor air conditioning goes further than displacement systems, offering full function control of the indoor environment Individually controlled fan terminals of either recessed or floor standing configuration are let into the floor over supply plena. These terminals introduce air into the space above in accordance with the dictates of their own on-board temperature sensors and controls system. Users can adjust fan speed and set point temperature individually. Return air grilles are positioned in the floor over return plena. The whole system is controlled by means of the electronic management system controlling the operation of the zone units and the associated fan terminals permitting centralized monitoring and control. Underfloor systems are inherently compartmentalised and offer highly effective solutions in multi-tenant areas and other environmentally challenging applications. Many low-height refurbished spaces suffer from high levels of user complaint due mainly to draft from ceiling mounted outlets positioned too close to the user. The changing work environment At AET Flexible Space, we have seen increased demand, both from existing clients looking to reconfigure their office space, and new clients looking for a flexible air conditioning which can help to future-proof their office. A huge benefit of an underfloor air conditioning system is that they are inherently flexible, and can be changed to suit new room layouts within minutes. Our unique Fantile™ units are installed to sit in-line with the finished floor, and can be easily repositioned at any time without the need for the significant, and costly, building works usually involved in repositioning ceiling-based ductwork. A huge benefit of an underfloor air conditioning system is that they are inherently flexible We are already seeing that COVID-19 has accelerated the trend towards more flexible, future-proofed, and sustainable office space. We have been seeing an increase in demand for our underfloor systems for some time, but the coronavirus lockdown has certainly made more people consider the end-users of this office space, and how they can be best served Workplace wellness is also an increasing concern, and may be a key element for encouraging workers back into the office. The Workplace Wellness Study conducted by Future Workforce found that workplace environment is more important to employee satisfaction, engagement and productivity than most organizations realize. 67% of employees said they are more productive in workplaces that promote a healthy environment. One-third said they lose at least an hour of productivity each day due to office environments that don’t support their daily health. Beyond the inherent flexibility of underfloor air conditioning systems, they also offer high levels of energy efficiency, sustainability, and air quality. As there is no ductwork with an underfloor system, individual zones operate at very low-pressure encouraging energy efficiency. AET’s systems have helped attract LEED and BREEAM and other Green Building points, and can provide up to 30% savings in energy costs and a 29% reduction in C02 emissions when compared to ceiling systems. Cost savings Cost savings are also a key concern for everyone in the post-COVID world, and the flexibility and economy of an underfloor system across the lifetime of a building is increasingly attractive. The British Council for Offices (BCO) indicates that underfloor air conditioning can offer dramatic savings in overall cost, but it requires a co-ordinated team approach to achieve the optimum result. The flexibility and economy of an underfloor system across the lifetime of a building is increasingly attractive In the past the only way to reduce ceiling-based HVAC costs has been to reduce the specification and downsize plant, or reduce flexibility by increasing the size of terminal outlets and reducing numbers. However, these solutions often result in increased complaints of end-users about draughts and noise, which necessitates a costly and environmentally unfriendly re-design. Ceiling-based systems also demand service and maintenance from within the work space, from the simple task of changing filters in fan-coils or cassettes, to more complicated reconfigurations of pipework and ducts to suit a new layout below. Not only do these refits mean significant hidden cost, but they also cause disruption, and have a high risk of damage from condensate leakage. Construction Considerations In order to maximize the benefits of underfloor air conditioning, it must be introduced into the overall design philosophy at an early stage. When incorporated into the overall building design, savings can be made to curtain wall costs, all other height-related savings such as elevator shafts, columns, stairwells, riser shafts, and vertical services such as mains pipe-work and electrical risers. The Swedish National Pension Fund has reported overall cost savings of between 5% and 7% in buildings using underfloor air conditioning. In order to maximize the benefits of underfloor air conditioning, it must be introduced into the overall design Good quality underfloor air conditioning systems are similar in price to conventional good quality fan coil systems, but underfloor systems also reduce the cost of construction and offer tax advantages. The average office building costs in UK are in the region of £1000 to £2000 per square meter. Therefore, a 5% saving in overall cost could range from £50 to £100 per square meter. The average cost of any AC system is in the region of £120 to £200 per square meter, and so an overall saving in construction equates to something in the region of 50% of the AC system. As we move forward into 2021 and beyond, commercial construction is going to require sustainable and cost-effective design. With so many benefits, it is clear why so many in the construction industry are now turning to underfloor air conditioning solutions.
For designers, installers and operators of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, energy efficiency is rightly the number one selection criteria. This applies particularly to fan motors. However, while EC fans - the popular solution that integrates a fan, motor and speed control – are regarded as something of a de-facto guarantee for efficiency, that is not always the case. When evaluating the efficiency of your fan, motor and speed control combination it is vital to consider the ‘wire to air’ efficiency. Therefore, the total effect of both electrical and mechanical performance must be taken into account. Some EC fans have the motor mounted inside the fan wheel which disrupts the air flow. The result is decreased aerodynamic efficiency, and that impacts the overall efficiency of the fan unit. In contrast, a fan ‘package’ that comprises a high efficiency motor operating in combination with a variable frequency drive (VFD) that matches the motor speed with the required load could offer superior overall efficiency. Part-load efficiency is crucial In most cases, EC fans are fitted with brushless DC motors, known also as permanent magnet (PM) motors. When operating at full speed they can offer efficiency better than the IE4 standard. That sounds good until you consider that their motor efficiency can drop rapidly at part loads. In fact, they might not even deliver IE3 efficiency at speeds below 60 percent. This part-load efficiency is crucial since the majority of HVAC installations operate at less than 80 percent speed for 99 percent of the time. A more cost-effective, and energy-efficient, alternative can be to reduce the dimensions of the mechanical components such as air handling units (AHUs), ducting and auxiliary equipment to match the most common operating conditions. This approach must make provision to over-speed the fan motors to handle the 1 percent peak requirement, accepting that for this brief period there will be slightly lower efficiency and increased audible noise. EC fans cannot be over-speeded. Yet with VFDs it could, for example, be possible to over-speed a motor by up to 15 percent of its nominal speed. ABB EC Titanium™ motors are a highly efficient integrated motor drive solution for HVAC applications Power factor makes an important difference Harmonic currents are an additional energy efficiency consideration as they lower the total true power factor (PF) of the network by increasing the total line current. This extra current is not active current, but reactive current that results in higher system losses. Harmonics can result in added infrastructure costs due to the need to over-size equipment such as transformers, cables and fuses. Electricity bills might be increased while some utilities also impose penalties on their commercial customers with a low power factor. When evaluating the efficiency of your fan, motor and speed control combination it is vital to consider the ‘wire to air’ efficiency A traditional EC motor might have a power factor of around 0.78, drawing some 25 to 40 percent more current from the network than its actual load. That is why many EC fan systems require the installation of costly, centralized harmonic mitigation equipment. Instead, a fan package approach enables the use of a state-of-the-art VFD with active front end (AFE) technology that eliminates harmonics at source. The benefit is a power factor of 1, so that the motor draws only the current it actually needs. What happens when motors need replacing? There is also a sustainability issue regarding the ease of servicing and replacement of the fan motors. Should an EC fan fail it is not serviceable and the complete unit will need replacing, with implications for both costs and the lead time to get a suitable replacement. With a separate drive, motor and fan set up based on standard equipment, if the VFD fails it can be replaced the same day, with no need to go inside the AHU. If the motor fails it can also be replaced the same day.
Carrier Global Corporation's BluEdge service platform continues to expand its reach with 1,000 signed service agreements in just six months and expanded geographic reach. The global, one of the best-in-class service programs that was originally launched in North America and Asia, is now available to Commercial HVAC customers in the Middle East and Europe. Through a deep understanding of customer needs and investments in cutting edge digital tools, BluEdge can help customers achieve enhanced equipment efficiency and performance - key components of Carrier's Healthy Buildings Program and Healthy, Safe, Sustainable Cold Chain Program. Carrier Global Corporation is a renowned global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. optimal equipment performance "We are thrilled with the positive customer response to our BluEdge platform and honored to hit this milestone so quickly," said Ajay Agrawal, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Services, Carrier. "The BluEdge tiered offerings are resonating with the customers since we designed them to meet their specific needs. BluEdge helps customers achieve optimal equipment performance and act on data-driven insights, which is becoming increasingly important as we look to the future. As a result, we are on track to hit a 30% conversion rate in Commercial HVAC this year." predictive AI-driven algorithms The Carrier team continues to innovate new ways for BluEdge to reach customers and improve outcomes The Carrier team continues to innovate new ways for BluEdge to reach customers and improve outcomes. Carrier Commercial Refrigeration, in partnership with EcoEnergy Insights, also a Carrier company, recently completed a successful pilot of its new Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) program that uses predictive AI-driven algorithms to proactively service refrigeration equipment in retail food stores. CBM is aimed at improving overall customer satisfaction levels by reducing equipment downtime. The pilot resulted in a 30% reduction in alarms related to equipment issues or breakdowns and a double-digit improvement in equipment uptime. Based on the pilot program's results, Carrier plans to expand this program to 10,000 stores across Europe by the end of 2023. peak equipment performance Central to BluEdge is a tiered-service model that provides customers with a range of dynamic options to meet the needs of their businesses. These tiers of service include: Core - Customers benefit from as-needed expert service to help ensure peak equipment performance and longevity. Enhance - Customers can customize on-demand and value-added services, such as multi-year service agreements, preventive maintenance and remote monitoring. Elite - Customers who want complete peace of mind can choose this comprehensive solution that can help optimize performance, and help maximize uptime and minimize cost.
Carrier Global Corporation, a global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions, is proud to announce that Wabash Plastics has joined the Carrier Alliance program and signed a strategic long-term agreement with Carrier. Wabash will supply a wide array of injection molded components and assemblies for use across Carrier's Residential HVAC portfolio. Rapidly changing requirements "We are excited to expand our strategic relationship and collaboration with Wabash and welcome them to the Carrier Alliance program," said Ed Dunn, Vice President, Supply Chain, Carrier. "We've worked together for decades, and Wabash has always had an unrelenting focus on quality, service and cost excellence. Wabash's consistent quality and on-time delivery remains best-in-class, helping Carrier to deliver for our customers and adapt to rapidly changing requirements." Wabash has been a supplier to Carrier for more than 20 years in North America Wabash has been a supplier to Carrier for more than 20 years in North America. Wabash manufactures assemblies and other components which are critical to Carrier's 90% high-efficiency gas furnaces and heating systems produced in Indianapolis. These energy-efficient heating units offer great appeal to homeowners interested in advanced technology for reducing energy costs and environmental impact. Carrier Alliance program Designed to optimize and strengthen the supply chain and help drive cost savings, Carrier launched the Carrier Alliance program to help provide certainty, security and growth opportunities for Carrier and its key suppliers. Joining the Carrier Alliance program is a win-win for Carrier and Wabash as it solidifies Wabash's position as a key supplier. "Joining the Carrier Alliance allows Wabash to further strengthen our long-standing relationship with Carrier and we look forward to the opportunity to grow and expand our presence in Carrier's portfolio of products," said Scott Schroeder, Executive Vice President, Wabash.
Carrier announced that it has expanded its AquaEdge 19DV water-cooled centrifugal chiller capacity range in North America by an additional 150 tons. With the capacity range now starting at 350 tons - previously 500-tons - the 19DV can accommodate customer requirements of smaller applications. The top of the range remains at 800 tons. The AquaEdge 19DV is the ultimate innovation in cooling and heating technology, and utilizes an environmentally sustainable refrigerant with the highest possible safety rating and an ultra-low global warming potential of ~1. Carrier is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a renowned global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. expanding capacity range The AquaEdge 19DV was designed to minimize environmental impact while also providing good efficiency “The Carrier AquaEdge 19DV exemplifies the innovation that is at the heart of our company and it has been recognized around the world for its ability to meet and surpass our customers’ needs for performance and efficiency,” said Chris Opie, Vice President, Product Marketing & Platform Strategy, Carrier HVAC-Commercial. “With the expansion of the capacity range by an additional 150 tons, customers with lower-capacity applications will now be able to recognize all the benefits this ‘ultimate BTU machine’ delivers.” effective heat recovery The AquaEdge 19DV was designed to minimize environmental impact while also providing good efficiency. The 19DV’s unique EquiDrive two-stage back-to-back compression allows for effective heat recovery, which enables its excellent cooling efficiency at standard conditions to flex up to 120°F (48.9°C) for energy-saving hot water production. The 19DV also provides free cooling, a strategy for leveraging natural air temperatures, which can result in thousands of dollars in energy savings per year while reducing maintenance costs and mechanical room space. provides intelligent analytics Additional features include a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) that protects the chiller against abnormalities in the power quality being delivered to a system and Carrier SMART Service, wireless technology that allows for remote diagnostics, long-term performance trending, benchmarking, decision analytics, and advanced notifications. AquaEdge 19DV first launched in Asia in 2016 and was subsequently introduced to other regions By leveraging insights, Carrier SMART Service provides intelligent analytics for maintenance staff that can proactively help improve equipment reliability and reduce energy usage, maintenance expenses and resource consumption. The innovative AquaEdge 19DV first launched in Asia in 2016 and was subsequently introduced to other regions, earning a reputation for reliability and efficiency. Awards and recognition The chiller has amassed an impressive list of accolades including, most recently, being named as the 2019 Innovative Manufacturer/Supplier of the Year in the Chillers category at the Climate Control Awards hosted by CPI Industry. Other honors from 2019 include being named as the Green Product of the Year in the Energy Management category at the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Green Building Awards in Dubai and the RAC Cooling Industry Award for Air Conditioning Product of the Year in the System/Standalone category in London. The water-cooled centrifugal chiller was also notably awarded Gold in the U.S.-based Consulting-Specifying Engineer Product of the Year Awards in the Boilers & Chillers category. provide sustainable solutions Last year’s honors followed a successful 2018 where the AquaEdge 19DV was named the winner of the SEC-Senoko Green Innovation Award at the Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards. One can learn more about the Carrier AquaEdge 19DV water-cooled centrifugal chiller by visiting the company’s official website. Founded by the inventor of modern air conditioning, Carrier is a global provider of high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions. Carrier experts provide sustainable solutions, integrating energy-efficient products, building controls and energy services for residential, commercial, retail, transport and food service customers. Carrier is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a renowned global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions.