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Navigating the changing refrigerant landscape

That and other aspects, like IoT-preparedness, figure in this chat with Giorgio Elia, Vice President, Carrier Middle East Limited, and Amr ElMasry, the company’s Director, Marketing, Communications & Strategic Projects

| | Dec 5, 2018 | 11:36 am
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What is the direction UTC Carrier is taking with regard to refrigerants?
Giorgio Elia: UTC Climate, Controls & Security and its brands support the transition to lower-Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants through a suite of innovative, environmentally responsible solutions. With a focus on technological availability, we are committed to delivering the right low-GWP refrigerant for each application. The right refrigerant will vary by geography, due to the different legislation in each region.
We led the industry in phasing out ozone-depleting refrigerants more than 20 years ago. We have the expertise to support our customers through the changing refrigerant landscape.

Amr ElMasry: The Carrier AquaEdge 19XR water-cooled centrifugal chillers, 23XR water-cooled screw chillers and AquaForce 30XV air-cooled screw chillers are now compatible with R-134a and the lower-GWP option, R-513A, allowing a retrofit of existing commercial products.
The Carrier AquaForce Vision 30KAV, with Greenspeed intelligence, is a new range of variable-speed screw chillers. The range has been designed with the ability to upgrade to ultra-low GWP refrigerant R-1234ze while on-site, to minimise the initial customer investment and allow flexibility on refrigerant choice when HFCs are phased-out. R-1234ze is an HFO, which has a GWP of approximately 1, is non-toxic and falls under the A2L classification. The AquaForce Vision PUREtec 30KAV-ZE version, designed exclusively for R-1234ze, should be available soon.

A collaborative approach among architects, consultants, contractors and manufacturers is seen as ensuring optimal building performance. The expectation is that manufacturers be involved in installation supervision & guidance and in post-sales site visits. What is UTC’s view on this?
Giorgio: Carrier ensures that all key stakeholders, including architects, consultants and contractors, are engaged in the specifying and design process to ensure that buildings are efficient and optimised.
Amr: Carrier contributes to the design process by utilising heat load-sizing tools like our Hourly Analysis Program (HAP), offering energy-efficient equipment recommendations and ensuring that they are installed and maintained efficiently. HAP’s 8,760-hour energy analysis capabilities are very useful for green building design. For instance, HAP energy analysis results are accepted by the US Green Building Council for its LEED rating system.
Carrier experts regularly conduct trainings for consultants and key stakeholders on the latest Carrier equipment, and architects are supported by subject-matter experts for the optimal use of the plantroom layouts.
The support does not stop there. As part of the installation and commissioning phase, Carrier trains the operators to ensure that the contractors follow the recommended installation and operating guidelines. Carrier takes periodic feedback from the consultants and end users to ensure customer satisfaction and to improve processes.
In addition to these steps, Carrier invests in training programmes for its dealers and contractors on equipment installation, start-up/commissioning and trouble shooting. The programmes are held at periodic intervals for existing products and at every new product launch.

How are you aligning yourself with IoT and other tools to provide smart and adaptive cooling in buildings?
Amr: The Aquaforce 30KAV has the unique ability to display real-time energy efficiency measurement and cooling capacity. The Aquaforce 30XV air-cooled VSD chiller offers adaptive controls to ensure energy efficiency during the life cycle of the product. Additional features are user interface experience enhancements, processor speed upgrades, integrated ethernet support, email connectivity and on-device data trends. These are factory-installed, with the goal being to minimise cost, leverage other UTC technologies, and allow real-time and long-term monitoring of chillers. These adaptive controls are so smart, they can download future capabilities and diagnose and detect issues before down-time.
The 19DV features Carrier’s SmartView control panel, which allows intelligent control of all aspects of the cooling system. The touch-screen monitor can be mounted to any of the unit’s four corners. In addition, every 19DV comes equipped with Carrier SMART Service, an Internet of Things (IoT) cloud-based analytics platform, accessible via the web. SMART Service automatically trends, predicts and analyses performance, allowing for a strategic approach to preventive maintenance and providing an intuitive way to monitor plant energy consumption.
Carrier’s 39 HQM air-handling unit offers integrated control panels as an option, ensuring factory installation under a controlled environment following the highest safety standards and eliminating field installation costs.
Carrier has launched a suite of digital solutions that improve on-demand customer engagement and remote management of commercial HVAC systems. Customers with the SMART Service have visibility into their system’s performance and energy usage through a new equipment dashboard and mobile application, as well as an online community portal to help them manage service and maintenance activity.

Giorgio: EcoEnergy Insights, also a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, is an energy management solutions company that optimises customers’ energy consumption by analysing insights gained from their software-as-a-service platform, big data analytics and domain-centric people and processes. With the EcoEnergy Insights CORTIX platform combining artificial intelligence and IoT connectivity with the knowledge of domain experts, it’s all possible in all types of buildings, facilities and energy-consuming infrastructure. CORTIX is an advanced artificial intelligence and IoT platform used by skilled analysts that focuses on strategies to reduce operational costs, improve occupant comfort and safety, and inform smart equipment selections and upgrades.
Innovation is key, and we continue to increase our engineering and development expenditures. In 2017, we launched the Digital Accelerator, a USD 300 million investment in a state-of-the-art digital hub that will focus on developing software solutions for UTC’s product and service portfolio.
Overall, the digital headcount in terms of engineering resources has increased 45% over a period of five years. An important part of what we develop going forward will be digital. Today, approximately 10% of total revenue is derived from digital or software-based businesses, and another 65% is electro-mechanical systems with smart controls embedded software.

There is growing emphasis on addressing the urban heat island effect and on tackling heat load from a broad perspective. What recent initiatives, if any, has Carrier taken, or intensified, to broaden the discussion on thermal comfort and energy efficiency from a city-wide perspective, as opposed to individual buildings?
Giorgio: At Carrier, we understand the urban heat island effect and the enormous amount of stress it puts on the utilities that have to handle the heat load.
Smart Carrier tools like HAP, which is very popular and is well adopted by the HVAC industry, can optimise the heat load calculations at the design stage itself. HAP recognises this effect by offering different options of reflectivity of various materials to the designer to select the right material at the design stage.
Amr: Additionally, Carrier is in a position to offer thermal energy storage systems along with the chillers and accessories to offer turnkey solutions to customers. This helps in load shaving and in utilising the latent heat to deliver cooling when peak load increases. Carrier addresses the issue of energy efficiency at the plantroom level by offering large centrifugal chillers like the Aquaforce 19XR with capacity up to 3,200 TR for large District Cooling
The airside equipment, like air-handling units and fan-coil units, are equipped with VFD to provide cooling capacities with various cooling options; they are manufactured with lowest leakage rates to maintain the thermal comfort for the occupants.

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