December 2011

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Achieving Energy Savings Sooner!
Today’s energy saving technologies are becoming less costly, easier to install and quicker to commission.
Mike Sabinash
Director of Sales - Americas
Viconics Technologies  Inc.

Originally published HPACr Solutions Magazine Nov/11

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Today’s world economy remains uncertain. Real estate in general continues to be a challenging business environment. New construction in North America continues to show little growth.  Consequently green technology, energy savings and sustainability continue to be the operative buzzwords at all of the facility trade show events. Yet even in light of the obvious benefits related to saving energy, we still see a large percentage of buildings in operation today that have little in the way of advanced control solutions or building automation systems which allow them to maximize their energy savings. It is a fact that retrofitting a building to a modern control and HVAC system will create a more comfortable and productive environment. It will also attract new tenants and retain customers while reducing energy consumption which directly influences the bottom line. On account of this, reducing energy costs is the key topic commonly discussed by most of today’s facility managers. When considering energy savings, the first question typically asked is “how much energy savings can I expect to achieve if I retrofit my building's HVAC controls or equipment?” This is often preceded by “how much will this retrofit or upgrade cost?” The answer to these questions, combined with the current energy costs related to running the building, typically determines the length of time required before one sees any return on initial investment for an upgrade or retrofit.  As new technologies in HVAC controls emerge, achieving energy efficiency is quickly becoming more attainable for the energy conscious consumer.

How you ask? More and more, today’s energy saving technologies are becoming less costly, easier to install and quicker to commission. There is a new class of control solutions emerging which are configurable and do not require special training or tools for the installation, set-up and commissioning. They are becoming increasingly available and adaptable to buildings of varying types or sizes. We are now seeing these solutions being supplied and installed by a wider variety of contractors and system integrators. Facilities managers are quickly realizing that green technology, energy savings and sustainability make excellent business sense. Equally as important, the solutions are more affordable because of the lower total installed costs.

Therefore, is it actually possible for facility managers to achieve energy savings sooner?  The answer is clearly yes! The technologies which allow you to maximize the rate of energy savings include modern advancements in wireless communications, embedded occupancy detection strategies as well as new products designed specifically to reduce installation costs for field retrofits. These new products significantly reduce the complexity of installing and commissioning a conditioned space and allow for accelerated energy savings.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] It is critical that energy solution providers and facility managers understand that products such as the Viconics Technologies communicating controllers incorporate all these features in one simple package similar to a typical thermostat. Let’s discuss a few examples of how these modern controls can achieve energy savings faster.

Today a fan coil room controller and wireless door switch can be retrofitted and commissioned in less time than it takes housekeeping to clean the hotel room.  The simplicity of these  products allows them to be installed and commissioned quicker by various technical competencies with no special training required. This drastically reduces the total installation costs related to requiring specialized labor to perform such an upgrade. These modern room controllers are factory preconfigured to control temperature and humidity right out of the box. This, combined with onboard features such as occupancy detection capabilities, system diagnostics, equipment runtime; energy consumption data and equipment performance information provides the additional tools required to accelerate energy savings and maximize comfort. Controllers and equipment that bundle these innovative features and added system value will be in the best position to take advantage of the massive opportunity created by existing buildings that can be renovated.

There is no better time to upgrade your building and start saving energy than today!        


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