For decades, technological and material advancements have made buildings more sustainable. There are methods available today that can reduce emissions while also providing financial benefits to building owners.
But why is that? Some of the explanations are:
With changing times, customers are being legally encouraged to opt for modernized green options due to environmental regulations.
Electricity costs is on the rise. This makes it more likely for customers to try and adopt energy-efficient HVAC methods.
Increasing awareness of personal responsibility, global warming and basic understanding of climate change is driving more people to adopt a greener & sustainable lifestyle.
According to a Nielsen survey, these trends have led to 75 percent of Millennials and half of individuals in their late 60s being prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly services. Given these figures, the HVAC sector have started offering green & sustainable HVAC technologies.
Here are a few examples of how the industry has dealt with this issue.
As technology, material improvements, and invention have taken the world by storm, some of what is now feasible is absolutely astonishing! There are readily available solutions today that can lower emissions while providing owners with significant financial benefits.
Here are six ways HVAC systems can make greater decarbonization leaps right now.
1. Cut Out Inefficiency
Since the electric grid is partly fuelled by carbon-emitting energy sources, the first step toward decarbonization is to adhere to some fundamental principles of applied system design. Compression-based HVAC systems should be able to achieve a high annualized COP, which is sufficient to reduce emissions. When the proper control strategies are used, these high efficiency systems further reduces energy consumption and thereby reduced emission at the power source.
2. Use Of Outdoor Air Instead Of Compressors
The ability of technology to exploit the resources available in its environment is what makes it smart and efficient. Nature frequently gives what we require, and technological breakthroughs are making us smarter by the day! There have been some inventions that employ the local climate or geo-based resources to produce the same result. Free Cooling is one such practical and widely available alternative. Designers have now devised systems that employ cold outdoor air (during the winter, spring, and fall) to chill water without the usage of compressors. Many of our chillers include integrated free cooling, which can make building cooling easier, more efficient, and less expensive in terms of operating cost.
3. Reuse And Recycle Heat Energy
Many applications necessitate simultaneous heating and cooling. Utilizing heat of compression instead of creating it with gas-fired heaters significantly reduces a building’s direct greenhouse gas emissions while improving comfort and lowering costs. Heat recovery systems collect excess heat energy that would otherwise be evacuated from the building and transmit it to areas/applications where heat is required.
4. Low GWP Refrigerants
Older HVAC systems employed refrigerants having higher ODP(Ozone Depleting Potential) and GWP (global Warming Potential). These refrigerants are being phased out with zero ODP and almost zero GWP refrigerants with no compromise on the efficiency. This transition is a good step in making the planet green and sustainable.
5. Store Energy To Balance Supply And Demand
Despite tremendous advances in operations, buildings continue to contribute for more than 70% of electricity usage and CO2 emissions from the power sector. 30 – 40% being consumed by Heating & Cooling systems. Even with continuous efficiency gains, buildings can be flexible in terms of energy consumption depending on the time of operation. This is enabled by the use of energy storage, which includes ice storage for chiller plants: allocating chillers to generate cold energy at night, when power demand and prices are lower than during the day, which can then be used during peak-usage daytime hours. This helps in balancing the grid’s electricity supply with customer demand and also lowering the capex like transformer sizing and associated works.
6. Transition To Renewables
Renewable energy sources can service a major portion of a building’s energy demand when used onsite and offsite in conjunction with HVAC systems to minimize or shift energy demand. As utilities become more environmentally conscious, improved chiller controls can integrate with services that enable two-way communication with the grid. Buildings that can cut, shift, or balance energy consumption while also establishing supply and demand flexibility would undoubtedly expedite the transition to a fossil-fuel-free, renewable-energy grid.
From using less ozone-depleting refrigerants to switching to renewables, the HVAC sector is poised to provide more environmentally friendly services in the coming years. There are more approaches and innovations available today than ever before for a company to use to attract new customers while being green, efficient, and lucrative!
When you don’t have a plan, sustainability becomes complicated, but the proper collaborator can help you strategize with solutions that are established, effective, and economical. Reach out to us if you need a partner to help you navigate the next wave of reduced carbon footprint coupled with sustainable building heating & cooling solutions.