There has been an evident and growing need to work with more sustainable solutions in the manufacturing industry in recent years. The focus for manufacturers with regards to HVAC has been to make building operations more efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective.
This has spurred the move towards an unexplored business model for HVAC manufacturers: HVAC as a Service (HVACaaS).
What is HVACaaS or HVAC as a Service?
Much like any manufacturing equipment required at a plant, HVAC is also traditionally bought and installed, following which it becomes the floor manager’s responsibility to ensure smooth operation. Maintaining these systems is always a concern for the maintenance manager and often, the breakdown of HVAC systems leads to a cascading effect as the subsequent processes get affected.
In order to overcome this, HVAC as a service is introduced. The service provider will be responsible for maintaining the health of the equipment post-installation and commissioning. With the integration of IIoT in preventive and predictive techniques, real-time mapping of equipment health is available. This reduces the load on the maintenance manager and also helps in preventing breakdowns, thus saving time and money.
HVAC is one of the most energy-consuming and often neglected pieces of equipment in the industry. Apart from high energy consumption, water consumption is also high. A good HVAC system with the best technology, followed by proper temperature control and maintenance, will help companies reduce their operational and maintenance costs.
In this article, we will explore a few HVAC trends that have been growing in the industry over the past couple of years. We will also review strategies implemented by our vendors for HVAC energy saving.
HVAC trends in 2022:
To study the future of the industry, let’s first look at the major shift that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The year 2020 brought the HVAC industry under the spotlight, with major establishments trying to review and assess the impact of HVAC units on the spread of COVID-19. W.H.O. put out a roadmap and guidelines to address the same, which helped manufacturers realign towards driving safety and improving their HVAC systems.. Here are some of the trends that emerged:
1. Smart Technology
In manufacturing plants, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) operations account for up to 60% of their entire energy consumption.
Due to this, there was a pressing need to move towards sustainability and reduce energy consumption. One of the most significant technological growth outcomes in the HVAC industry has been a shift towards smart technologies.
Automated maintenance systems are one such smart technological solution that allows managers to control HVAC technology from a control room. This technology alone can help manufacturers reduce their energy consumption by 30%. Likewise, the integration of other smart technologies, such as IIoT, into HVAC equipment will boost the growth of the HVAC industry.
2. HVAC Predictive Maintenance
HVAC components require ongoing maintenance. If maintenance is not undertaken, energy performance degradation can happen. Studies have shown that predictive and proactive maintenance helps reduce HVAC energy consumption costs in the range of 5% up to nearly 40%, depending on the equipment and systems involved.
3. Data-driven decision-making
HVAC specialists are now transitioning towards using real-time metrics and data to help drive their decision-making. This is a shift from their traditional and instinctive mode of operation. Although HVAC specialists have their experience backing this instinctive decision-making, it can now be backed by data as well. This helps them tailor services specific to a system and situations.
4. Zoned HVAC System
A multi-zone heating and cooling system that splits your spaces into smaller clusters. Each cluster or unit has its own operating mode and temperature set point. The major advantage of a zoned HVAC system is the energy-saving it provides which can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 30%.
Besides such trends, there are other factors to consider when shortlisting an HVAC service partner for your business. These include certifications, industry-specific requirements, and standards. For example
- Industry-specific requirements for HVAC will be different and specific for every industry. The requirements for Pharma (Cleanrooms) differ from requirements for aerospace, oil and gas, steel, etc. these industries are heavy manufacturing industries and the installation/operation/maintenance of HAVC system will be different. They also need to consider systems that are explosion-proof and systems built for commercial Vs industrial spaces.
- LEED/GBCI/IGBC/GRIHA certified projects(No direct certifications)
Unlike Calibration, HVAC projects do not require any mandatory certifications like NABL, but there can be projects certified for energy efficiency as listed above.
Strategies by Venwiz Vendors to help clients improve energy saving:
Case study on M/s Technogreen Air Conditioning
M/s Technogreen Air Conditioning reduced energy consumption in the HVAC system for a client who is a leading pharma manufacturer. The team at M/s Technogreen Air Conditioning worked in collaboration with these clients across Pharma and other manufacturing industries for supply, installation, maintenance, AMC & turnkey solutions for HVAC systems including refrigeration, air conditioning, chillers, AHU, and Cold storage.
The client was working towards sustainability and energy conservation. The analysis found that their HVAC system contributed to a majority of their power consumption. They needed a solution to reduce power consumption, without compromising the process temperatures.
In this particular case, M/s Technogreen air conditioning proposed the following solutions:
Having worked with major manufacturing giants and gaining enormous experience in the field of HVAC, the team was able to
- Study the existing heat load and optimize the compressor output
- Conduct a season-wise study of heat load. During non-summer seasons, the filtered natural air is used for cooling. This implementation is quick and can be implemented without incurring huge investments
The clients benefited drastically with a 20% reduction in energy consumption during the non-summer seasons. The vendor is appreciated for his work attitude towards reducing energy consumption, without compromising the process and investment costs.
The client had excessive individual ACs, thus increasing energy and maintenance costs and deteriorating the outdoor look of the building. In addition, the frequency of AC breakdowns is also increasing.
Solutions by M/s Technogreen air conditioning:
The Vendor accessed the existing occupancy and heat load. The vendor proposed to go for a larger compressor with multiple vents. The Client approved the proposal, and it was implemented.
The elimination of the problem of handling multiple systems gave the client control over the entire system, and it also resulted in reduced maintenance costs. The vendor received appreciation for their proposal and project execution.
Case study in collaboration with M/s D B Engineers:
The team at M/s D B Engineers worked in collaboration with their clients across various industries such as – Power & Energy, Metals & Mining, Chemicals, Pharma, Life Sciences & Medical Devices, Food Processing & Beverage, etc. The partners come with extensive expertise in HVAC systems and have worked with large organizations.
Reducing the energy consumption of HVAC systems interested one of their clients. This client had previously reached out to different vendors, but none of them provided a concrete solution for their problem.
M/s D B Engineers figured out that the client was using an air-cooled, cooling tower which contributed to major power consumption. The team then suggested the client opt for a water-cooled cooling tower, given the plant did not have a water shortage issue.
The outcome was that once the client installed a water-cooled cooling tower in a project executed by M/s D B Engineers, it resulted in a drastic energy reduction as per the client’s initial requirements.
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