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UAE has a growing demand for retrofit solutions, says Taqeef

CEO highlights VRF technology’s efficiency and ease of installation for retrofit projects

| | Jun 12, 2018 | 2:25 pm
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Dubai, UAE, 12 June 2018: There is a growing demand for retrofit solutions in the United Arab Emirates, said Tariq Al Ghussein, CEO, Taqeef, adding that this trend is what prompted the company to set up its retrofit solutions division. “Dubai identified 100,000 buildings that need retrofitting,” Al Ghussein said, “and they want to do 30,000 by 2020.” Al Ghussein outlined the benefits of VRF technology in such projects, emphasising its efficiency and ease in installation.

“If you replace a chiller system,” he said, “[the energy efficiency] is going to improve anyway because that was an old chiller and this would be a new chiller. With VRF we reckoned it will save, in theory, 50–60%.” Additionally, Al Ghussein said, with VRF technology, the existing structures can remain in place. This, he said, would not be the case if the chiller was being replaced with another chiller, where everything will have to be replaced.  “No point having a brand new chiller with old rusted pipes because the damage has been done,” he said.

Pointing to a recent retrofit project of Taqeef’s as an example, Al Ghussein said that it took the company three days to replace each flat with a VRF system, installing a decorative split in each unit. “We got EMS, a Dubai-certified energy management company, to do an audit,” he said. “They came back with a 67% saving on electrical consumption. I think we would like to do another audit and I think we can save even more because that was with all the units on.”

Al Ghussein said that often discussions on retrofit resolutions revolve around simply replacing LED lights and donning controls, while not enough emphasis is being placed on air conditioning which, he said, is a core issue in the context of energy efficiency, given that it places the biggest burden on electricity consumption.  “If someone came to me and said help me save 50% on my electricity bill, it’s a no brainer,” he said. “I would go and do it, and you would get return on investment.” Al Ghussein said that the company is committed to investing in retrofit projects through their division, and that while there has been significant uptake in demand, there is still room for improvement. “Before, no regulation existed,” Al Ghussein said. “Now they do and technology has improved, so there is a lot to be done in old buildings.


Hannah Jo Uy is Assistant Editor at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at hannah@cpi-industry.com

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