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Adoption of technology in ventilation is set to disrupt the market

MEFMA official describes the impact of smart technology on the HVAC industry in the GCC region

| | Sep 17, 2018 | 10:40 am
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Dubai, UAE, 17 September 2018: Ventilation plays a key role in maintaining overall health and even contributes to the productivity of occupants within a specified space, said Ali Alsuwaidi, Vice President, Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA). “The Middle East’s arid climate puts a substantial amount of pressure on HVAC systems, as energy is used to cool and dehumidify air,” he said. Chilled water production, he further said, accounts for 70-80% of power consumption during summer and approximately 70% of the GCC region’s energy demand through the year.

Explaining how innovative technologies used to monitor HVAC systems are shaping the industry, Alsuwaidi said: “Today, HVAC systems can be monitored and managed using smart controls via smartphone applications. And some of the major manufacturers contributing to this trend are China, Japan and Korea.” However, the rising number of technological solutions has also given rise to competition, which, he said, is a factor that influences the HVAC market. He added, “There is strong competition between regional vendors, who offer solutions by international brands, and they are constantly vying for a top supplier spot.” While the ventilation sub-industry is bound to benefit from the introduction of smart technology, he said, there is a growing need to adopt safety factors. He explained, “Buildings must adhere to safety factors and pick-up load allowance, as stipulated by ANSI, ASHRAE or IES as an upper limit.” He elaborated, “Modern computerised tools used for analysis, such as the DoE 2.1E, eliminates the uncertainty and excess oversizing.” The way a building is designed and operated can affect peak loads, and this, he said, can be determined with the help of an hour-by-hour computer simulation.

Elaborating on the use of comfort ventilation and its use in European nations, Alsuwaidi said: “Comfort ventilation, or heat recovery ventilation, is effectively increasing indoor comfort, while simultaneously cutting down on energy consumption for space heating and cooling of buildings. Although the advantages of this kind of ventilation are being recognised by a number of countries, the traditional way of thinking, by planners and users, is hampering the widespread adoption of the technology, and I believe that this development is set to disrupt the market.”

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