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The Low-Carbon Heating Toolbox: Making The Case Beyond Heat Pumps
The Low-Carbon Heating Toolbox: Making The Case Beyond Heat Pumps

At the moment, it seems as though a day rarely goes by without low-carbon heating hitting the headlines. Whether it is reports of ‘revamping’ the Clean Heat Grant, to include a ‘boiler scrappage’ scheme, which may offer home owners up to £7000 to make the switch to a low-carbon alternative, to speculation that the Prime Minister is under pressure to push back the 2035 ban on gas boilers, the debate on how and when the low-carbon heating revolution will happen is ongoing. BEIS Hydrogen Strategy We have also seen the recently published, Hydrogen Strategy from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that cements its plans to develop technologies that allow hydrogen-powered heating in people’s homes. In addition to this, the Future Homes Task Force, including some of the United Kingdom’s largest property developers, regulators, suppliers and environmental groups, have agreed to the sector-wide Future Homes Delivery Plan, to build homes that are ‘zero-carbon ready’ and sustainable by 2025. Alternative energy, key to hitting net zero targets by 2050 What is also clear is that tackling the decarbonization of heat is not a one-technology solution According to the Climate Change Committee, in a report published in December 2020, the UK’s homes are responsible for around 15 percent of emissions. As a result, the need to install alternatives to traditional fossil fuel heating systems will be crucial, to hitting our net zero targets, by 2050. This will be the key challenge that the delayed Heat and Buildings Strategy, now due in the autumn season, will need to address. Therefore, what is also clear is that tackling the decarbonization of heat is not a one-technology solution. Target to install air source heat pumps in UK homes So far, much of the focus has been on heat pumps, as the UK Government has set an ambitious target of installing 600,000 air source heat pumps (ASHPs) in UK homes each year, by 2028. However, there are a number of challenges to achieve this goal, as house builders will need convincing to install heat pumps in new builds, and home owners and landlords will need convincing to retrofit older properties. Cost, a key issue in air source heat pumps installation Cost will also be a key issue, even with a government grant and ASHPs can be complex to install. They can also emit noise that breaches legal limits, if placed too close to a neighboring property. In addition, they won’t be suitable for all properties, as the needs of a 4-bedroom new build home are very different to a 1970s apartment, a Victorian-era terrace, a social housing property or an off-grid home. Computer-controlled infrared heating (CCIR) One of the alternatives is computer-controlled infrared heating, which addresses many of the issues faced by ASHPs Taking all of these challenges into account, BEIS has said that it is ‘uncertain’ what the ‘optimal solution’ is, when it comes to low-carbon heating. Certainly, there is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for heating the UK’s homes, which is why it is vital that house builders, landlords, contractors, installers and developers explore the full range of low-carbon heating technologies that are available today. There are alternatives that can provide benefits that are much more likely to appeal to a wider range of end-user audiences. One of the alternatives is computer-controlled infrared heating (CCIR), which addresses many of the issues faced by ASHPs. High-performance heating Firstly, infrared is an intrinsically more effective source of heat than conventional convection heating, because it heats the material within a room, rather than the air, which can escape from doors and windows. CCIR systems also outperform many other low-carbon technologies, because the software within each panel constantly monitors each individual room and learns about the energy storage characteristics within it, adjusting its routine to maintain the ambient temperature within the room, maximizing its performance and using fewer units of energy, in comparison to a traditional heating system. KERS water heating system This keeps energy bills low, and meets increasing sustainability standards. Figures show that, out of 29 million homes in the United Kingdom, 19 million have an EPC lower than C. Together with Ambion Heating’s KERS water heating system, inefficient properties can be brought up to a minimum EPC C. CCIR also costs less to install than many other low-carbon heating alternatives CCIR also costs less to install than many other low-carbon heating alternatives. In a typical three-bedroom house, for example, the estimated cost of installing a CCIR system is around £6,000, compared to nearly £10,500 for an ASHP. They are also easy to install, whether they’re being retrofitted into an existing building or installed within a new build, because they can simply be wired into the mains, by a qualified electrician. Enhanced comfort and reduced emissions The heat CCIR provides feels more natural and comfortable, once the fabric of the room is saturated with energy, and it emits a comfortable, radiant heat. It also reduces humidity, as well as improves the air quality within a building, reducing the amount of circulating dust. In fact, in an independent performance review, CCIR provided the same levels of comfort within a room, using 60% less energy than a standard electric convection system, and on a par with ASHPs. Heating solutions for a low-carbon future While there is a real urgency, when it comes to decarbonizing heat, it’s vital to consider which technologies offer the most benefits to the end user. By understanding and investigating all of the alternatives to gas central heating, such as CCIR, the benefits will not only be felt in the short term, they are a sustainable solution for the longer term.

Maintain Excellent Indoor Air Quality With HVAC Upgrades
Maintain Excellent Indoor Air Quality With HVAC Upgrades

Indoor air quality (IAQ) has become an area of emphasis among those in the HVAC industry and on a national level. Homes, offices, schools, and everything in between are being reevaluated with the ambition of having the best IAQ possible. Maintaining a high level of air quality is an important factor in encouraging a cleaner indoor breathing environment, which can lead to the better overall health and well-being of our families and communities. Clean air is especially important now with more waves of COVID-19 hitting and the onset of seasonal sicknesses like the flu and colds on the horizon. Now is the time for HVAC manufacturers to implement solutions to make returning to everyday life more seamless as we venture back out into the world.  Mechanical HVAC equipment offers the perfect opportunity to improve IAQ in commercial facilities. Facility managers choosing to opt for enhanced air quality should focus on three areas for unit upgrades: controlled ventilation, dehumidification, and filtration. While there are countless minor changes one can make to improve IAQ, such as using exhaust fans to increase circulation, HVAC upgrades are the best and most efficient option to give building occupants the IAQ they need for maximum comfort and safety. Out with the old, in with the new Ventilation and the ability to control it are a necessity in maintaining a high level of air quality. Being able to control how much outdoor air circulates inside gives facility managers a tool to not only improve IAQ but also create consistent comfort for the building occupants.    Controlled ventilation creates an avenue to help occupants breathe easier, feel better and be more proactive Outdoor air tends to be cleaner than indoor air, so bringing air in from outside is vital. Controlled ventilation creates an avenue to help occupants breathe easier, feel better and be more proactive in your space. With the proper HVAC upgrades, you can make sure the ventilation rate is controlled in a manner that will be most beneficial and effective for specific situations. By pushing indoor air out and bringing new outdoor air in, you are effectively limiting the number of harmful pathogens from the commercial space. Limiting particles in the air It is important to make sure your HVAC system is running smoothly and efficiently, especially during a time like now when airborne pathogens are prevalent. With COVID-19 continuing to affect people, maintaining excellent IAQ is certainly a priority.  The removal of particulates from indoor air is a necessary process for HVAC systems. The ASHRAE recommendation for filtration is now MERV 13, which has increased from MERV 8 or MERV 10 in past years. The ability of the MERV 13 filter to grab smaller particulates floating in the air is a great advantage in maintaining IAQ. With an upgrade in HVAC filter equipment, dust, smoke, and other particulates can be reduced and greatly benefit air quality. Finding the humidity sweet spot If you live or work somewhere humid, you understand how miserable it can be outside, especially in warmer months. Even with temperature-controlled air inside, humidity can be present indoors. This can lead to not only an uncomfortable feeling inside but also a potentially harmful breathing environment. Mold, mildew and organic growth can all result from inadequate moisture removal.  With the proper equipment, your indoor air will be less humid, leading to a continued high-level IAQ That is why dehumidification is such an important aspect of keeping us comfortable and safe inside. The sweet spot when it comes to relative humidity is between 40 and 60 percent. If your HVAC can handle higher latent loads associated with outdoor air, you should not experience the sticky feeling that will come along with a humid space. More importantly, dehumidification assists in lowering the chances of mold or organic growth appearing indoors. Hidden mold or mildew can cause issues that may affect your respiratory system. With the proper equipment, your indoor air will be less humid, leading to a continued high-level IAQ. Upgrading your HVAC As we continue to learn more about the benefits of maintaining excellent IAQ, it is clear HVAC upgrades are part of the process. Having clean and fresh air in our indoor spaces has many advantages, especially when occupants are confined to common areas. Safety and well-being are priorities when dealing with the air we breathe. Efficiency makes a difference in IAQ performance, so making sure you have the most reliable HVAC equipment is a great way to improve indoor air quality and maintain an excellent IAQ. IAQ directly impacts the health, comfort, and even some of the learning outcomes of occupants in a space Pulling contaminants from the air through filtration, removing moisture with dehumidification, and bringing in fresh air from the outside by ventilation are all solutions for maintaining a high IAQ. It is through proper equipment and upgrades that we can continue to keep occupants safe and comfortable as best we can. IAQ directly impacts the health, comfort, and even some of the learning outcomes of occupants in a space. Improving each of these factors is important in creating a comfortable indoor environment that encourages an increase in fresh and clean air.   

HVAC Efficiency Enabled By The Smart Buildings Of The Future
HVAC Efficiency Enabled By The Smart Buildings Of The Future

In today’s world, we spend almost 90 per cent of our time indoors, in our workplaces, leisure areas and our homes. It is no secret that the built environment has been relatively slow in its embrace of information technology and automation. According to KPMG’s ‘Building a Technology Advantage’ report, fewer than 20 percent of construction and engineering executives, and major-project owners said they are re-thinking their business models, so as to incorporate new technology. Yet, it has now become a necessity, as energy efficiency becomes a more prominent topic discussion, which is leading to sweeping changes across all aspects of our lives and none more so than in the built environment. Commitment to net-zero emissions Governments are beginning to impose tighter restrictions on building use, energy consumption and emissions. Policymakers around the world are committing to net-zero emissions targets, with more than 60 countries pledging to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. For example, the European Union (EU) is committed to become a carbon-neutral economy, with net-zero emissions by 2050 and all new buildings within the EU must be constructed as near-zero energy buildings. Meanwhile, China has legislated that at least 30 per cent of all new buildings must be ‘green’. Smart technology to better manage HVAC Technology can help optimize energy consumption and create energy efficiency in our buildings Given this new trend towards energy efficiency in the real estate sector, smart technology is needed to better manage HVAC and energy consumption. Buildings currently contribute 40 per cent of global carbon emissions, a problem exacerbated by extreme weather conditions across the globe, which increases demand for electricity, as more people rely on air conditioning for cooling. Technology can help optimize energy consumption and create energy efficiency in our buildings, alleviating many of the problems that we have today. Technology enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) can optimize comfort and safety, while providing remote operability and access to everything from HVAC systems to security cameras. At the same time, data collection and integration with cloud-based services allow for powerful energy efficiency measures. Designing and operating Smart buildings The concept and operation of smart buildings is not new. Architects and developers have been installing separate systems to control lighting and HVAC for decades. Later systems have evolved and helped building managers control access to different areas of a site, mitigate fire risk and protect against power surges. What is new is the addition of web-based platforms, in order to allow these verticals to integrate seamlessly with each other. The building of tomorrow is achievable today, using the latest in automation intelligence to control lighting, air-conditioning and heating. With these digital solutions, everything can be controlled remotely and allow for complete control, whenever it is needed most. Increased use of smart technology The first step in managing HVAC energy is to understand exactly how much is being used and where it is used. With this information at hand, managers can highlight areas for improvement, which in turn will help a building become more efficient and ultimately, save money. Another step in managing HVAC energy is including smart technology alongside your system Another step in managing HVAC energy is including smart technology alongside your system, as it can minimize maintenance costs. Predictive fault-finding can save maintenance time and labor, as well as minimizing downtime for expensive equipment or services. It is estimated that smart-enabled predictive maintenance is three to nine times cheaper than a traditional reactive approach. Tenant and occupant satisfaction are often also higher, as systems that experience failure can be identified, repaired and re-booted quickly. Smart building systems Smart building systems, such as ABB i-bus KNX ClimaECO and ABB Cylon BACnet solutions, can combine HVAC in one holistic solution, from central control and management of heating and cooling systems, down to room-level automation. Smart systems simplify the implementation of intelligent automation in modern buildings and using pre-installed algorithms, can make autonomous decisions on things, such as adjusting lighting and HVAC levels, to reflect time of day, external environment, occupancy levels or other variables. Additionally, data collection and data analysis enabled by IoT allows for increased knowledge and better predictions of use. Working with a smart building, which is interconnected, can act and learn on this data, while providing remote access to data and analytics for human oversight. The ROI of smart technology implementation In addition to legislation driving change, being ‘smart’ provides other real benefits for developers and owners. As a building adapts to the demands of its users or the goals of its managers, it can save energy, cut emissions and reduce energy costs. More effective and efficient use of power can save money, quickly repaying initial technology expenditure Comparing energy savings to the falling cost of installing a basic smart management system, smart buildings immediately prove their worth. According to HSBC, if a smart system delivered an energy cost saving of 25 per cent, on an installation cost of US$ 37,500, for a 50,000 sq. ft building, the annual savings could be as much as US$ 23,000, giving a payback period of less than two years. More effective and efficient use of power can save money, quickly repaying initial technology expenditure. HVAC and lighting alone can account for about 50 per cent of energy use in an average commercial building, but by incorporating smart automation, managers may see decreased energy costs of up to 30 to 50 per cent. Leading the fight against climate change Technologies, such as IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are crucial to help us in the fight against climate change. These technologies help users, owners, operators and facility managers interact with the buildings of the future effortlessly, with personalized comfort and maximum efficiency. Artificial Intelligence and IoT is constantly in a state of evolution, as more applications for the technology are discovered. Given the ever-changing nature of technology, the possibilities for smart buildings in the future are endless.

Latest Schneider Electric news

Schneider Electric Calls For Students To Share Their Passion For Bold And Sustainable Ideas
Schneider Electric Calls For Students To Share Their Passion For Bold And Sustainable Ideas

Schneider Electric., the front-runner in the digital transformation of energy management and automation and named the World’s Most Sustainable Corporation in 2021 by Corporate Knights, is looking for game changers around the world. In collaboration with software partner, AVEVA, Schneider Electric announces the launch of Schneider Go Green 2022, an annual student competition to find the latest bold ideas in digital and sustainable innovation. About Go Green With Schneider Electric committing to providing 2x the number of opportunities for interns, apprentices and fresh graduate hires by 2025 as part of its Schneider Sustainability Impact Q2 2021 Report, Go Green provides students with the chance to present their ideas to top industry leaders and receive mentorship from experts and professionals, along with considerations for job opportunities and the chance of a winning prize worth up to 10,000 Euros. Authority Comments “At Schneider Electric, being empowered is part of our DNA as we strongly believe freedom breeds innovation,” says Charise Le, Chief Human Resources Officer at Schneider Electric. “Through Schneider Go Green, we look for empowered and passionate students with bold and sustainable ideas. We believe access to energy is a basic human right and this global competition provides new ways to do that.” AVEVA is proud to be part of the Schneider Go Green competition and is looking forward to seeing innovative ideas in action “Challenge yourself, challenge us and bring your best sustainability ideas to the Go Green 2022 competition,” said Lisa Johnston, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer at AVEVA. “Together, let’s build the pathway to more sustainable industries. AVEVA is proud to be part of the Schneider Go Green competition and we are looking forward to seeing your innovative ideas in action.” Sustainability and Technology working together Schneider Go Green is a major event for Business, Engineering, Marketing, and Innovation students worldwide. The 2021 competition saw a record number of 25,000 young innovators from more than 3,000 universities in 130 countries taking part. This year’s competition should attract even more interest thanks to the five specific topics covering “Access to Energy”, “Homes of the Future”, “Supply Chain of the Future”, “Grids of the Future” and “De[coding] the Future”. 2021 event review 2021’s winning idea came from two students from Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya in Spain who presented their sustainable and purpose-driven solution known as the “Light Pill”: an artificial light source and ultraviolet water purifier shaped like a bottle cap designed to help communities without access to energy and safe water. Participants criteria This year, all participating teams of two to four students are expected to identify as gender diverse in line with Schneider Electric’s policy of promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with deadlines for submissions expected by November 30 in North America and February to March in the rest of the world. Schneider Go Green is open to Bachelor’s or Master’s students worldwide and team members must be studying in the same country for the duration of the competition.

Schneider Electric Wins ‘Sustainable Infrastructure Vendor Of The Year’ At The CRN Tech Impact Awards
Schneider Electric Wins ‘Sustainable Infrastructure Vendor Of The Year’ At The CRN Tech Impact Awards

Schneider Electric™, the front-runner in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, has been awarded ‘Sustainable Infrastructure Vendor of the Year’ at the CRN Tech Impact Awards 2021. The award recognizes the company’s leadership in developing sustainable and energy-efficient technologies for data centers and edge computing environments, and its proven track record in helping partners and customers deliver solutions that address the crucial issues of sustainability and the circular economy. Launched in March 2021, the CRN Tech Impact Awards honors the vendors, distributors, IT resellers, and MSPs leading the way in addressing their own environmental and social impact, and that of their technologies, solutions, and services. Digital Transformation To bring progress and sustainability through digitization and electrification to a wide range of industries At Schneider Electric, sustainability is part of the DNA. The purpose is to empower all to make the most of the energy and the resources and work with the channel community to bring progress and sustainability through digitization and electrification to a wide range of industries including data centers, energy grids, buildings, and industrial facilities.   Named as Corporate Knights’ ‘Most Sustainable Corporation in the World’ in 2021, Schneider Electric has a history of driving digital transformation globally and now it works with both channel partners and customers to reduce their environmental impact through technological innovation and sustainable business strategies. Green premium products The company’s Green Premium™ products, for example, offer sustainable performance by design and accounted for more than 76% of sales in 2020. Its ECOFIT™ and Trade-UPS, recycle and take-back programs address the circular economy and ensure the responsible disposal of discarded infrastructure technologies such as MV equipment and UPSs. Further, its EcoStruxure™ solutions and Energy & Sustainability Services directly enable customers to reduce their CO2 footprint and deliver an average of 20% reduced carbon emissions. Public commitments The company is also no stranger to Net Zero and has worked tirelessly to address the impact of scope-3 emissions on the environment by creating strategies to minimize CO2 in its supply chain and throughout its partner ecosystem. Its public commitments include: Accelerating its 2030 goal of carbon neutrality in its extended ecosystem by five years to 2025 Removing gas and ensuring the end of SF6 by the end of 2025 Reaching net-zero operational emissions by 2030 as part of validated SBT target Achieving a net-zero supply chain by 2050 Schneider Electric promised to help customers save/ avoid 800M tonnes of carbon emissions by 2025 In 2020, Schneider Electric announced it was accelerating its sustainability commitments and promised to help customers save/ avoid 800M tonnes of carbon emissions by 2025. Just a short time into that program, it has helped to reduce CO2 by 320 million tonnes. Further, it has launched The Zero Carbon Project, an initiative to halve the carbon emissions of its top supply chain partners by 2025 and a call to action already joined by 91% of them. Sustainable technologies for the channel Data center and edge computing energy demands are increasing exponentially and a new report from Schneider Electric found that IT Energy Demands could increase 50% by 2030.  To help partners design, build and deploy sustainable data centers from the cloud to the edge, Schneider has created an industry-leading portfolio of solutions to address the issues of sustainability and energy efficiency. They include: EcoStruxure Data Center Solutions – Bringing together power, cooling, racks, and management to support sustainable IT in edge applications and data centers. EcoStruxure IT – The industry’s first vendor-agnostic, open, interoperable remote monitoring software platform enabling partners to gain data-driven insights that drive sustainable decision-making and digital services. Single and three-phase lithium-ion uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) - Such as its Galaxy series; a Green Premium UPS providing up to 99% efficiency when operated in ECOnversion mode. Uniflair Cooling – Free cooling system offering 25% more efficiency and sustainability than comparable systems. Liquid cooling technologies – Offering 14% lower CapEx and up to 30% energy reduction compared to air-cooling. EcoStruxure Micro Data Centers - Pre-integrated, energy-efficient edge computing systems combining power, cooling, security, IT, and software. SF6-free switchgear – Utilizing pure air instead of SF6 gas, which has a high Global Warming Potential (GWP). Reducing emissions At Schneider, the mission is to partner for efficiency and sustainability Further, its EcoStruxure Micro Data Centres offer partners the ability to design, build, and deploy edge facilities sustainably. These systems are used by Alliance Partners such as Cisco, Dell, and HPE to create a standardized, repeatable approach to edge computing, essential to reducing emissions at the edge.  Authority comment “Climate change has become the greatest challenge of our time, and the role of channel partners has never been more crucial,” said Karlton Gray, Channel Director, Schneider Electric, UK and Ireland. “No single company can reduce its environmental impact alone, and only through greater collaboration, digitization, and transparency, can we make Net Zero a reality. At Schneider, our mission is to be your partner for efficiency and sustainability, and we’re truly delighted to have been named the CRN Tech Impact Sustainable Infrastructure Vendor of the Year."

Schneider Electric Reaches Number 1 Spot For Sustainability In Its Sector By ESG Rating Agency Vigeo Eiris
Schneider Electric Reaches Number 1 Spot For Sustainability In Its Sector By ESG Rating Agency Vigeo Eiris

Schneider Electric, the front-runner in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, received top ranking for performance in its sector by Vigeo Eiris (V.E), the principal European environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rating agency and part of the Moody’s Group. Schneider has also been included among the world’s most sustainable leaders in the mid-year reviews of the FTSE4Good Index and Euronext Vigeo Eiris indices. Earlier in the year, Schneider Electric was recognized as the world’s most sustainable corporation in 2021 by the Corporate Knights Global 100 Index. SSI and Zero Carbon Project The recent ranking by V.E and inclusion in the FTSE4Good Index are testament to the Group’s ongoing sustainability efforts which can be seen from its recent half-year progress report. Schneider is working towards establishing and advancing its 2021-2025 Schneider Sustainability Impact (SSI) targets launched in January of this year. The report highlighted some key successes for the Group such as 91% of its top 1000 suppliers joining its recently launched ‘Zero Carbon Project’ which aims to reduce their operations’ CO2 footprint by 2025. So far this year, Schneider has also helped its customers save and avoid 302 million tons of CO2 emissions since 2018 and continues to support its customers in attaining their own sustainability goals.   Areas of interest for ranking Schneider confirmed its inclusion in the Euronext V.E indices: World 120, Europe 120, Eurozone120, & France 20 The V.E rating positions Schneider first in the Electronic Components & Equipment sector among the best companies in Europe with a score of 71/100 (versus a sector average of 39/100) and a five-point increase from the previous year. V.E. conducts its assessment every two years based on information covering 23 areas of interest ranging from climate change, health, safety, and environmental issues to human and labor rights. Due to this rating, Schneider has also confirmed its inclusion in the Euronext V.E indices: World 120, Europe 120, Eurozone120, and France 20 which are composed of the highest-ranking listed companies in terms of their performance in corporate responsibility. FTSE4Good series In addition, the FTSE4Good series, which ranks the top companies twice a year in terms of ESG practices and transparency, included Schneider for the sixth year following FTSE4Good’s first half-year review in 2021. The Group scored 4.5/5, compared to a sector average of 2.1, and maintains its score compared to the previous year. Investing in energy-efficient measures Chris Collins, Country President Ireland at Schneider Electric said, “We are proud to be recognized for our sustainability efforts by Vigeo Eiris and the FTSE4Good series. The future must be sustainable and the next few months are crucial for Irish businesses to participate actively in the fight against climate change and invest in energy-efficient measures.”

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