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Recent research suggests that energy use for cooling will overtake the demand for heating by 2050. To avoid increasing costs, facilities managers should turn to high-efficiency cooling and ventilation systems. Chris Jones, product manager at FläktGroup, highlights the solutions available.
“With populations increasing, expanding urbanisation and climate change impacts leading to more frequent heatwaves and temperature rises, the demand for more cooling will increase in the decades ahead. In fact, energy use for air conditioning, refrigeration and other cooling appliances will increase by 90 per cent compared to last year.
“As a result, reducing the energy required for cooling should be a high priority for facilities managers. It’s key for them to adopt high-efficiency cooling technologies and set up a regular service and maintenance schedule to deliver optimum performance. With such strict targets on our carbon emissions, it’s equally vital for high-efficiency cooling solutions that also combine ventilation to be installed.
“One key solution is chilled beam technology. This can provide energy efficient air comfort, ventilation and high indoor air quality in a wide range of commercial buildings, including offices, hotels, healthcare facilities and educational institutions.
“Chilled beams are incredibly energy efficient, offering savings of up to 40 per cent over traditional air conditioning systems. Chilled water temperatures in chilled beams operate at higher water temperatures than fan coil systems; for example, 14oC flow compared to 6oC respectively. This means the chiller used to create the chilled water will perform more efficiently for a chilled beam than for a fan coil, because the lower the chilled water temperature, the higher the energy use. Chiller energy consumption for chilled beam systems offers energy savings of around 35 per cent.
“Today, chilled beams not only deliver a comfortable environment, high indoor air quality, minimum energy consumption and ease of installation and maintenance – they are also highly flexible and can be easily adapted to suit any future modifications of a building’s layout. Global warming remains a big concern, and technology such as chilled beams are set to grow as a core consideration for the industry.”