Monday, 21 September 2015

Carl Turbitt, ABB's UK HVAC Drives Team Leader writes: So you’ve decided to upgrade your building’s HVAC systems with variable-speed drives (VSDs). Way to go! With a typical payback time of one to two years, and potentially as little as six months, you’re already well on your way to substantial energy and money savings.

It sounds obvious, but not all buildings are the same, and each one presents unique challenges for building services consultants. An office building for example has very different HVAC requirements compared to, say, a hospital, and what works perfectly for one may be completely unsuitable for the other. The building’s shape, structure, purpose, footfall, as well as a range of other factors, all have to be taken into account.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that not all drives are the same either. VSDs can be used in such a wide range of applications, from swimming pools to multi-storey car parks that it’s not simply a case of “one size fits all”. They’re often designed with a specific purpose in mind, and that’s certainly the case with ABB’s range of HVAC drives.

Features of particular benefit to the building services sector include the ability to pre-program drives with several HVAC-specific application macros, such as supply and return fans, cooling tower fans, booster pump sets and condensers. Connecting drives to a HVAC system is made easy by selecting pre-defined HVAC macros or by simply connecting to one of several built-in fieldbus options.

When choosing a VSD one also has to think about service. A HVAC system is only as good as the supplier that installed it, and you want to be sure that you have access on demand to the knowledge, expertise and care required to keep the drive(s) running at peak efficiency, and avoid breakdowns.

ABB has compiled a checklist designed to help consultants identify the factors that need to be considered when upgrading a drive, enabling them to choose the best possible VSD to fulfil a building’s particular HVAC requirements.

A checklist brochure is available completely free of charge; all you have to do to receive a copy is telephone ABB’s BrochureLine on: 0800 783 7491. Alternatively you can request your copy here and your brochure will soon be winging its way to you.

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