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‘It’s all about efficiency and human comfort at the right price’

The Regal Innovation Summit, held on November 28 in Dubai, focused on innovative motor and blower technologies, and was a forum for
discussion of challenges faced by OEMs, distributors, consultants and end-users in the HVACR industry. Hannah Jo Uy of Climate Control
Middle East presents an overview of the company’s observations, technical presentations and overarching strategy…

| | Jan 21, 2020 | 8:46 am
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Regal (comprising parent company, Regal Beloit Corporation and its affiliated companies) is invested in the Middle East region, as it will continue to be a key and strategic growth area for us, said Sheel Kapoor, Regional President & CEO, India MENA, Regal, as he welcomed consultants, contractors and other key decision makers to the event.Kapoor added that the timing of the Summit, is appropriate, considering the number of changes this region is undergoing. “While energy cost is rising, governments regulate the energy standards as a countermeasure to arrest depletion of resources,” he said. “A lot of initiatives in the Middle East are focused on energy conservation. Regal has been partnering with its customers to reduce energy consumption through efficient products.”

Vijay Kambhammettu, Director of Sales and Marketing, MENA, Regal, echoed similar thoughts by adding that many of the global OEMs are establishing local manufacturing or expanding their current factory floor space in the region, indicating massive growth potential for HVACR. Kambhammettu added that energy regulation is a key factor driving this change and the enhanced efficiency norms across the GCC region countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE are creating greater demand for better quality solutions. He emphasised that regulations are instrumental in driving the industry towards efficient motor and blower solutions. Furthermore, he added that a far more informed and demanding pool of customers having greater understanding of sophisticated technologies is also impacting the industry. He explained this using an analogy of a tyre pressure monitor in vehicles. He said: “Ten years ago, not every vehicle had a tyre pressure monitor. While today, customers expect to see it in every entry-level car.” So, it’s not only about efficiency, it’s about efficiency, comfort and the right price – these are the three things that matter the most. Consumers’ expectations are growing as well. With the advancement in technologies, they expect increasingly greater comfort.”

“These trends,” Kambhammettu said, “create new opportunities in commercial and residential projects and in retrofits. Even with all the office space and buildings being constructed in the Middle East, retrofits play a vital role in improving the building stock. It’s all about cost optimization! For residential projects, it’s about comfort and for light-commercial building users, having a better payback matters the most. Expecting cheaper ways to run a building, which enables increased comfort, is hardly possible. An employee’s productivity is negatively impacted by an uncomfortable HVACR office environment, and the adverse impacts can be worse than the cost of upgrading the working space.”

DELIVERING SOLUTIONS TO MEET END USER NEEDS

In view of the changing requirements of stakeholders in the region, Kapoor said that the Summit was organised to showcase the range of Regal climate solutions that can satisfy currently unfulfilled needs among prospective end-users and consultants.

Chirag Patel, Technology Program Leader, GTC-HI, Regal, kicked off the first session with a comprehensive discussion on Regal’s innovations in air movement. The session started with a video indicating successful implementation of Regal’s DEC STAR® blower in an application unit of a customer – Modine Manufacturing, USA, which yielded benefits to its end user, Lakeshore School District, in creating comfortable and quiet studying environments. Later, he highlighted the company’s portfolio of products, including direct-drive blowers and fan decks with Electronically Commuted (EC) and Alternating Current (AC) motors. He followed that up with an extensive discussion on Regal’s DEC STAR blower solution, which he said offers improved airflow efficiency due to 100% inlet area utilisation. Patel also presented a case study of a fan coil unit (FCU) application using the DEC STAR blower in one of Thailand’s leading supermarket stores, which he emphasised, led to a 45% efficiency gain, 4 dB noise reduction, ease in maintenance, and met the payback expectations of the customer.

In the second session, Yatin Saini, Business Development Manager MENA, Regal, talked about Genteq® EC Motors. showcasing its portfolio that included ECM 3.0, 142R, ENDURA® PRO, SMARTDRIVE® and PikaTM motors. Saini also provided a comparison between an ECM motor and brushless DC motor while explaining the technology difference and its benefits to the end users. He also provided case studies on leading hotel chains in India and China that accentuated the product’s role in saving operation cost by offering a great retrofit solution.

Later, Sunil Kakru, Director – Engineering & Quality, Regal, spoke extensively on AC motors, touching on Regal’s permanent split capacitor (PSC) products such as Fr42, Fr48 and Fr56 motors. Continuing the innovation theme, he added how Regal’s PSC motors are energy efficient compared to standard PSC motors. Talking about technology used by Regal for PSC motors, he explained how the flux density of standard AC motor was improved to attain a four per cent increase in energy efficiency. Apart from flux density optimisation, increasing the conductor fill in the motor is a technology innovation that Regal has implemented in its PSC motor.

EDUCATING FOR EFFICIENCY

Lastly, Kambhammettu said that in MENA, consumption of AC motors for HVAC applications is at 70-80%, while DC solutions comprise about 20-30%. The key reason for this lower consumption of DC solutions, he said, is the apprehension that consumers have about cost of DC solutions. While it appears that DC solutions are more expensive compared to AC solutions, the equation is vastly changing, due to evolving efficiency norms and growing concerns relating to climate change mitigation. Kambhammettu emphasised that there is a need to educate stakeholders and encourage investment towards long-term cost savings over capital cost and highlighted the benefits of switching from AC to DC.

Kambhammettu summarised saying that multiple issues relating to motors underscore the importance of the presentations and the Summit as a whole. He said that it is important to bring people together, not only to provide education, but also to get a better understanding of issues plaguing each stakeholder down the value chain. For any company that innovates high-end products, he said, investing in education is a must. “When it comes to commodities that have been in the industry for over 20 years, there is no need to explain anything, but when it comes to newer technology, there is a need to address the inevitable learning curve,” he said. “Smartphones back in the day were complicated with the apps and everything, but now they have reached a comfort level among users and improve their productivity. Similarly, in our industry, when we
talk about efficient solutions, we need to educate not just OEMs but also consultants and end users on the benefits that can be achieved from these technologies and to move towards a more holistic and less cost-centric approach.” The industry can go in that direction only through more education and by making it simpler for everyone. He added that Regal aims to promote synergy among stakeholders as opposed to working in silos, which is impacting overall efficiency of building systems.

Weighing in, Kapoor said: “We recognize through this Innovation Summit that there is a huge scope for our products. We can partner with customers and help them meet their objectives. We walk away from this Summit knowing that the engagement level helps us take things to the next level, and we continue to remain invested in such forums in the future.” Kapoor also added that the company aims to leverage experience and execution capability from its wide footprint of 63 manufacturing facilities and design centres spread across the globe. “When we look at sustainability goals, we work on the footprint and the handprint,” Kapoor said. “The handprint is the products we make, and how we equip our customers to be successful with energy-efficient products, focusing on the front-end and the customer side of things. The footprint is what we leave behind. When we manufacture our products, we aim to consume fewer resources, be it power or water; and reduce waste. A lot of our initiatives are in working towards making the world a better place. We are keen in creating a better tomorrow today.”

VOICES…

HERE’S WHAT WAS HEARD AT THE VOICES SUMMIT…

We recognize that our distribution partners face the challenge of capital cost. And in the case of end-users, the cost of energy is increasing. And so, we as a business invest significant dollars in improving performance and energy levels, while delivering the value product to our customers.
– Mark Williams, VP MEA, Industrial Motors, and Vinayak Atre, Marketing Director, Industrial Motors, Regal Beloi

Our products are not just about cost and energy efficiency but also comfort. Constant air flow is common feature in the United States but has not been so explored here. But, with our technology, our standard EC motors can do all these – they can deliver constant CFM at varying static situations. A hall is designed for ‘X’ CFM, but over time, the static changes, and when that happens, the airflow changes. Our motors will improve comfort and productivity. If everybody thinks only costs, there will be stagnation.
– Vijay Kambhammettu, Director of Sales & Marketing, MENA Business

“As the whole world is moving towards sustainability to protect the planet, Regal Beloit’s initiative and product-based approach towards that is well appreciated. Dec Star fan with axial motor technology is quite impressive. I trust this product will help the OEM in product optimization and enhanced efficiency. It was also interesting to learn that IE4 efficiency motors, which are typical met through permanent magnet design; Regal is achieving that through induction motor itself.”
– Niranjan Kumar, General Manager – Technical, Mekar Air Handling Units LLC, Dubai

The TerraMAX® motors are available in IEC or NEMA constructions for IE2, IE3 and IE4 efficiency. There is ongoing discussion about harmonizing the standards. There are schemes such as from IEC EE and GMEE that can help manufacturers access global markets with minimal efforts. The industry bodies and government will have a major role in driving policy changes for future adoptions of green technology.

– Vinayak Atre, Marketing Director, Industrial Motors, Regal Beloit

It is interesting to learn that DEC Star blower does not use any differential pressure sensors or feedback signals separately to deliver designed airflow even after rise in the system static pressure. The pre-programming feature of this blower brings innovation to next level.
– Davis John Chacko, Marketing & Technology Manager, Thermal Energia System Trading L.L.C, Dubai


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