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Powering HVAC with solar-thermal panels

Key principle is to reduce load on the compressor to increase savings, says industry representative

| | Feb 1, 2018 | 8:00 am
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As the focus on solar energy gains steam in the GCC region, powering HVAC with solar-thermal panels is a concept slowly coming into the spotlight.

Explaining the details of the concept, Rijo Abraham, Deputy Manager – Energy Efficiency, Farnek Services, said: “We all know that compressors are the highest energy-consuming component in an air conditioning system or chillers. Considering this, we utilise the heat from the sun to heat up the refrigerant, reducing the actual work of the compressor. The key principle is to reduce the load on the compressor using the heat, which brings in the savings.”

He further added that as a company, Farnek is already working on some pilot projects in Dubai, and so far the estimated savings are around 15%, which has a potential to increase over time.

Speaking on the challenges, Abraham added that apart from technical challenges, such as the need for additional piping and space, clients prefer that the chillers not be touched, except by the OEM, except when the warranty has expired.

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