Improving the energy efficiency of HVAC systems

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Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems often account for a significant proportion of a manufacturing facility's energy consumption.
As a result, making them operate more efficiently can save the business money while also reducing carbon emissions and meeting changing regulations.
Focusing on the pharmaceutical sector, industry expert John Rush recently examined several ways to improve the energy efficiency of HVAC systems in laboratories.
Pharmaceutical labs tend to have large HVAC systems to control airflow and temperature, Rush explained in European Pharmaceutical Review. And while a typical office might have approximately four Air Changes per Hour (ACH), labs usually require anything from eight to 30 ACH. This puts a higher demand on the HVAC system and consumes much more energy.
One way to improve energy efficiency is by reducing contaminant sources, thereby cutting down on the the required number of ACH. "This can be done with behavioural changes and good operational practices, like removing empty containers and keeping containers sealed," Rush said.
Changes to the controls can also save energy. Direct Digital Controls (DDC) and automatic occupancy controls can enable variable flow control, depending on occupancy and usage.
Designers can further increase energy efficiency by adding energy recovery technology, such as plate heat exchangers or run-around coils.
And to reduce energy used by the extraction fan, a variable stack orifice or multi-stack discharge can be less energy intensive than traditional use of fresh air make-up to maintain stack discharge velocity.
Lastly, ongoing energy management is important, to help track energy goals and performance and ensure continuous improvement.
To find out how AVReporter Energy Management Software can help in this process, please get in touch by CLICKING HERE.
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