Article by Mr. Naohiko Hosokawa, Director & Business Unit Head-Living Environment Division, Mitsubishi Electric India Pvt. Ltd.
The last couple of months have been an entirely new experience for everyone and the reason is quite obvious- ‘COVID-19 pandemic’. People were confined to their homes and literally forced to find overnight solutions for business continuity and maintaining physical and mental health. While working from home seemed like a far thing, it has now become the ‘new normal’. Amidst all the chaos and struggle, people had to find ways to make sure that, while maintaining all the safety and security measures, the businesses remain intact and steady.
However, the current work from home scenario and government regulations of social distancing has led to rotational working and under capacity operation of Air Conditioners (ACs) in commercial spaces. These facilities are now operational with half their manpower capacity, but electricity consumption has not come down because the facilities irrespective of manpower density are operating their Air Conditioners. It is ironical that even with approximately 50% less utilization of such commercial spaces the electricity cost of HVAC has not reduced.
Keeping this scenario in mind, several global leaders have stepped forward to work out some solutions which can help to optimize the electricity bills. One of the leading global electric and electronic makers, Mitsubishi Electric India is running in the same league and has suggested ways to get rid of this major concern.
The company has come up with a smart technology for the HVAC industry called the Zone Controller that can control 4 or 8 zones at a time. The Zone Remote Controller allows monitoring and scheduled operation of the Air Conditioning unit and zones. Equipped with three built-in sensors (temperature, brightness & occupancy) which allow for comfortable air environment and helps to reduce energy consumption. One can make a single room a zone or can establish a larger zone consisting of multiple rooms or an entire floor. Mitsubishi Electric India’s Zoned Comfort Solutions feature an outdoor condensing unit connected by small refrigerant lines to one indoor unit in a single-zone system or up to eight indoor units in a multi-zone system.
One of the greatest benefits of the same is that these all-electric zero-emission systems can be added to any space or can replace your current system using your existing Air Conditioning electrical infrastructure. For the ones looking for ductless systems, there are indoor unit styles including ceiling cassettes, wall-mounted and floor-mounted models. Limiting ductwork with a ductless mini-split can improve energy efficiency since long duct runs can be susceptible to air leaks and heat gain.
For holistic applications, where ducted units commonly condition larger zones and ductless units condition smaller zones, the company recommends compact duct designs to centralize ductwork and keep ducts within insulated, conditioned spaces. Ducted indoor units available for Zoned Comfort Solutions include horizontal-ducted models and multi-position air handlers able to replace or supplement a furnace or boiler.
Zone Controller specifically adjusts and operates various controls as per the requirement of your system, it modifies the following controls:
Fan Speed Control
Another feature of HVAC is its fan speed controller. When the speed of the fan is set to auto mode, it will control the fan speed according to the number of opened outlets and the temperature difference between set and space temperature.
Averaging Sensor Control
The Zone controller has five sensors in the system (Main RC, Sub RC, Optional Sensor 1, Optional Sensor 2 and Indoor Sensor). Control of the unit is based on averaging of the sensors of the active zones.
With the use of optional Wi-Fi interface (MAC – 558IF-E) and active Internet, users will be able to control the Air Conditioners from anywhere via smartphone, tablet or computer.
How Mitsubishi Electric India’s ‘HVAC’ has resulted in saving electricity?
Staying cool and comfortable in the extensive heat doesn’t need to be expensive and Mitsubishi Electric India understands this very well. Therefore, the company has introduced HVAC with energy saving functions. The energy save control will turn on when the occupancy sensor detects room/area vacancy. The occupancy sensor detects the occupancy based on movements and the temperature difference between the occupant and its surroundings. At a time, only one of the energy-saving controls can be used. Energy-saving mode can be deactivated according to the lighting level detected by the brightness sensor.
Apart from this, there are a lot of ways like setting the temperature of your Air Conditioner to 24 degrees, switching off your AC after a certain time etc., that can help you in saving energy.
In terms of the application, Mitsubishi Electric India’s HVAC systems are installed in homes, corporate offices, restaurants, retail stores, and similar other establishments.
Given the host of benefits offered by a HVAC system, it stands as a sensible option and is considered to be much better than conventional water-cooling solutions. Conclusively, HVAC systems are better than traditional AC systems and will soon obtain a dominant position in the Air Conditioning sector in India.