March 30, 2022
featured image new hvac - A Guide for Commercial Air Conditioning: 4 Recommendations from HVAC Experts
featured image new hvac 1 - A Guide for Commercial Air Conditioning: 4 Recommendations from HVAC Experts


Air
conditioners has become a must-have system for comfort, even more so during
summer. An ideal air conditioning system must operate efficiently without
impacting the comfort and temperature control. There are various types of air
conditioning systems, but depending on the need and type of project, the
optimal options may vary.

The
cooling systems when designed according to the building requirement offers
higher efficiency without affecting the comfort level. When it comes to
commercial air conditioning systems, a lot of factors must be considered to
find the best possible option for the building.

The Air Conditioning Design Must
Consider Operating Schedule

The
operating schedule plays an important role in
designing air
conditioning systems
as failing to consider the schedule of different spaces in
buildings will eventually lead to wastage of energy and higher energy bills.
Some buildings have the same schedule for all the spaces, other buildings have
dedicated spaces for businesses each with a different schedule
. A mixed case also exists where the
building has large common areas and unique spaces, with each having their
independent schedules.

In
such cases, even if the central AC has a high efficiency, a lot of energy will
be wasted and the energy bills will be higher than expected. A central AC
system is a good option only if the entire building operates with the same
schedule. Unitary systems can be used in buildings that have different spaces
with different operating schedules. For mixed cases, a central AC for the
common areas, while smaller independent systems with tenant spaces makes sense.

The Air Conditioning System Must Be
Suitable for the Building Layout

To
determine the ideal AC configuration, the physical characteristics of the
buildings must be considered. To understand this better, consider a direct
expansion system that cools air directly coupled with air handlers for
distribution. This configuration becomes impractical in high-rise buildings as
it cannot effectively deliver the cool air through vertical distances.

Depending
on the building layout, a hydronic AC system is recommended in high-rise
buildings as it uses the chilled water to reach higher floors. The air
distribution is effective only in horizontal distances.

If
the building layout is overlooked, a separate cooling unit will be required for
each floor, which will be quite expensive for most buildings.

Opt for AC Units with Highest Energy
Efficiency Rating

Once
you figure out the AC configuration and building operating schedule, choosing a
AC system with high energy efficiency rating will greatly reduce the energy
bills. Depending on the type of AC units, the efficiency metrics are different.
Higher the efficiency, lower the energy bills.

     
Mini-split units and heat pumps in cooling mode
use the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

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Packaged rooftop units use the Integrated Energy
Efficiency Ratio (IEER).

     
Chiller plants use efficiency described in
kilowatts per ton of refrigerating capacity (kW/ton) or the Integrated Part
Load Value (IPLV).

     
Water-source and ground-source heat pumps use a
Coefficient of Performance (COP).

Regardless
of the efficiency metric used, a higher value indicates higher efficiency. The
only exception is kW/ton, where a lower value means higher efficiency.

Improve Cooling Efficiency with
Building Envelope

A
building envelope is what separates the building interior from the exterior
environment. An inefficiency building envelope will lead to temperature
variations in indoor spaces depending on the outdoor environment. The most
common cases being air leakage or low insulation. This forces the AC system to
consume more energy to maintain the desired indoor temperature.

An
efficient building envelope can reduce the heating and cooling loads by up to
40%, thus helping save energy and money all year round.

Author’s Bio

Michael
Tobias, PE, is the principal and founder of
NY Engineers. He leads a team of over 50 MEP/FP engineers.
Although New York Engineers main headquarters are in NYC and Chicago the
business has led over 1,000 engineering projects in New York, New Jersey,
Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland, and California, as well as
Malaysia and Singapore. Michael is an advocate for green technology and energy
efficiency, and approaches engineering as a vehicle to raise the quality of
life

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featured image new hvac 1 - A Guide for Commercial Air Conditioning: 4 Recommendations from HVAC Experts
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