Following key steps are important for energy efficiency in comfort systems:
HVAC design and equipment selection majorly depends on:
Correct sizing of an air conditioning equipment is one of the key factor for energy efficiency. Installation of oversized system is common mistake in building industry penalizing the building with high capital and operational cost. Designer oversize the system based on thumb rules without estimating the accurate cooling load based on building design. Key disadvantages of oversized equipment are as below:
Effort should be made to assess in detail the occupancy pattern of the space. If the facility is more likely to operate at a fraction of the peak load most of the time, the part-load efficiency of the central plant will be a better indicator of the system performance than peak-load efficiency. If required, different types of ACs may be selected for different parts of the building. For instance, split units may serve guest rooms best, while a packaged outdoor unit may be best suited for an intermittently occupied space like a meeting room.
Controls are very useful in the commercial buildings to optimize the energy use with respect to varying operational schedule, occupancy schedule, and difference in heating/ cooling requirement in different spaces. Many types of controls are available in the market like – occupancy controls, set point controls time clock control etc.
Energy saving potential by controlling the fluid flow as per the requirement is substantial. Controls like variable frequency drive and variable speed drive controls the fluid flow when the requirement is not 100% of the design conditions. The controls reduce the pump rate or fan speed and cut down on the energy use.
Chiller efficiency is amount energy consumption in watt for per ton of cooling produced and is rated in kW/ ton or coefficient of performance (COP) or energy efficiency ratio (EER). The efficiency are considered either in full peak load or part load (IPLV). ECBC states the minimum requirement of COP for each chiller type and size. The table is listed below. For a NZEB, effort should be made to exceed the efficiency requirement stated in the table.
BEE’s star rating program
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under Ministry of Power, has launched the standards and labelling program in 2006. The objective of this program is to develop the energy efficiency standards for each appliance. Under this program, for the benefit of general public, the appliance bears a BEE Star Label showing the level of energy consumption by the appliance both in terms of absolute values as well as equivalent number of stars varying from one to five, in accordance with specific stipulation. The greater the number of stars on the label, higher the appliance energy efficiency and lower its electricity consumption. Many appliances have already been covered under this program like refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machine etc. BEE has an objective to star rate all possible appliances with high energy saving potential. Apart from this small scale appliances in residential sector, BEE has also started the program to star rate the large scale appliances used in commercial buildings like chillers, VRFs, transformers etc. Star rating program for buildings has also been developed to star rate the overall efficiency standard of a building.
Some simple steps to ensure correct installation go a long way in realizing optimal performance and energy efficiency. The best rated systems often underperform because of improper installation. For existing systems as well as new systems, it is advisable to pay attention to the location of the supply and return registers, location of the unit itself, insulation of ducts, and placement of the thermostat: