How to Select Energy Efficient HVAC Systems Using Consulting Engineers
Consulting engineers can be of great help when you would like to construct an energy-efficient commercial building. This article discusses how consulting engineers can help you achieve that efficiency when they use a whole-system approach to design an HVAC system for you.
Consulting engineers often compare different HVAC systems, such as water chiller systems and rooftop AC unit systems. This is very different from someone who just compares different chillers in order to select the most energy-efficient one. Comparing the different systems helps the consulting engineer to select the best system for the building under consideration. This can deliver greater energy savings than selecting the most efficient product for a system that isn't the best for the building. For example, they may recommend that you buy a system that costs more to purchase but offers greater energy savings eventually instead of buying a cheaper system that uses more energy over its service life.
Analysis of Part-Load Efficiencies
Some manufacturers of HVAC components usually stipulate the energy efficiency of those units when they are working at their full capacity. However, consulting engineers pay more attention to how energy-efficient those components are when they are being used at a fraction of their full capacity. This analysis is prompted by the realisation that buildings are rarely used at their full capacity. Comparing the part-load efficiency of different components therefore helps you to save more energy because you will install HVAC components whose part-load efficiency is optimum for your application.
System Re-Commissioning Needs
Consulting engineers also assess the impact of system components that gradually reduce in efficiency before the service life of the entire HVAC system comes to an end. For example, they compute how much energy is likely to be lost when the controller of the HVAC system becomes less effective as it ages. The cost of replacing such components so that the system returns to its desired performance level is also factored into the total cost of owning that HVAC system. The engineers will then recommend the best way or intervals to re-commission the different components in a way that delivers reasonable cost savings while keeping energy use at an optimum level.
Every building is different. Consulting engineers focus on your building and develop specifications for the HVAC system that is customised for your needs. This whole-system thinking can help you to achieve your business objectives because the system that is installed will be optimised to deliver the greatest energy savings without compromising the comfort of the occupants of the building.