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Variable frequency drives push temperature and energy bills down at 5* hotel

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Dubai hotel expects 25% energy reduction thanks to Eco HVAC Variable Frequency Drive.

The five star Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates in Dubai is anticipating  energy savings of up to 25% from its air conditioning system thanks to an  installation of Eco variable frequency drives (VFD) from UK based  Invertek Drives.

The Optidrive Eco HVAC range is  specifically designed for use in HVAC Building Services applications and  provides energy savings by varying the fan speed to control the output of air  conditioning systems to meet changing demands during operation.

The unique Eco Vector motor control  strategy continuously adjusts in real time to provide the most efficient  operating conditions for the load, typically reducing energy consumption by 2 –  3% compared to standard AC drives – providing similar long term cost savings of  selecting a higher efficiency without requiring changes to the previously  installed equipment.

An energy audit commissioned by the hotel’s  senior management team following receipt of several high electricity bills  proved that this was exactly what the hotel needed for its HVAC system.

The Kempinski Hotel - Mall of the Emirates,  part of the World renowned Kempinski chain ‑ first opened in 2006. The central  air conditioning system was built without VFDs and consideration of the  potential energy savings that could be achieved. The climate within the hotel  was controlled through a Building Management System with all Air Handling Units  operating at fixed speed only. Any air flow control was achieved using  adjustable dampers only.

With temperatures exceeding 40°C in Dubai  during the summer, the air conditioning system plays a vital role in the whole  experience offered by the hotel, and the running costs of the system represent  a significant proportion of the overall operating costs of the hotel. It was  therefore vital for management to find a way to improve the system control and  efficiency in order to reduce outlay on electricity.

The company’s engineering team put the  contract out to tender and, following a number of meetings and a site visit  with GI Tech, Invertek’s sales partner in the UAE, it was confirmed that  Invertek’s Optidrive Eco HVAC variable speed drives were their preferred  choice.

The Eco range has been specifically  designed to provide precise motor control for fan and pump applications using  IE2, IE3 and IE4 motors and can control all types of motor including AC  Induction (IM) Motors, AC Permanent Magnet (PM) Motors, Brushless DC (BLDC)  Motors & Synchronous Reluctance (SynRM) Motors.

Eighty three drives, varying from 2.2 Kw to  22 Kw, were installed in 43 AHU panels in various sections of the system - an  installation that provided some challenging issues as Ali Akhaven, Director  at GI Tech, explains, “During the initial site inspection we noticed  a number of points which made us think very carefully before submitting our  final recommendations. There was no space to install new panels in the majority  of areas and the existing panels contained very little space for us to install  any new units. 

“As a luxury visitor destination, it was  also vital that the work was completed during unsociable hours so as not to  disturb guests.”

Due to the space restrictions, GI Tech  proposed dedicated Eco HVAC IP55 drives with built in RFI Filters. In addition  to the advanced energy saving operation, the Eco range offers substantial  advantages over other products in the market thanks to features including an  in-built sleep mode with auto-boost, resonance avoidance, belt break detection  and a number of elements designed to reduce audible noise levels. 

The drives were mounted to a wall and fixed  adjacent to each other, the side by side mounting allowing installation to be  completed with minimum space requirements. Shielded cables were used from the  existing panel to connect to the input and output terminals of the drive and  back to the panel to ensure a high standard of EMC compliance was maintained.  All of the cables were covered by individual cable conduits to ensure proper  separation and earthing. 

A changeover two way switch was installed  at the input of the VFD to isolate power to the drive during bypass and  maintenance. This allows the system to operate with fixed speed as originally  intended, or with the VFD’s operating, providing an ideal method for the energy  saving possible to be easily compared.

Ali concludes, “The energy  savings are so substantial that the hotel should see payback for the outlay of  the VFDs, including all installation costs, within 14 months of the  installation. The whole project was completed very smoothly considering the  challenges we faced, thanks to excellent support from the hotel management. Our  customer is very happy that guests can stay cool without running up  astronomical electricity bills.”

Optidrive Eco drives can be used in a  number of HVAC Building Services applications including Stairwell  Pressurisation, Fume Extraction and Fire Override and a manual control function  can easily be selected if required, allowing manual operation in the event of a  control system failure.

To find out more contact your local sales partner  to discuss your specific HVAC motor control requirements.

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