Combination of innovation and technology yields 60% energy reduction, claims Dew-Kylsystem
At a seminar organised in Dubai on February 23 by Dew-Kylsystem, a Swedish-based HVAC company with a presence in the region, revealed that using solar tubes rather than solar panels for harnessing the sun’s energy can considerably reduce the total installed capacity of an air conditioning plant compared to a conventional air conditioning system.
Briefing project developers and designers in the GCC during the event, the company introduced energy-saving devices – ClimaDeck hollow-core slab system and ClimateWell solar air conditioning system. The ClimateWell solar chillers work on Kingspan Thermomax Solar Evacuated Tube, developed by Kingspan Solar, an Ireland-based sustainable technology leader. Dew-Kylsystem is the GCC distributor for ClimateWell’s solar cooling products.
Dew- Kylsystem claimed that using non-porous glass tubes had proved to be more efficient than flat solar panels, by up to 21.7%. Also, dust and accumulated sand could be blown away more easily than on panels, whose efficiency is hampered by the climate in the UAE.
Making a presentation on the products and how the technology works, Lars-Olof Johansson, Director of Dew- Kylsystem, said: “Combined with thermal storage, the solar panels run solar chillers. It is the first time the two have been put together, and it makes it a little bit unique. The system can store energy for up to three hours, but overnight a conventional chiller can be used if needed.”
The presentation pointed out that the system was different because it was integrated with the heavy structure of a building. The last part of the ductwork system for the supply air consisted of hollow core concrete slabs instead of traditional steel ducts, it said. Since ClimaDeck used the thermal storage capacity of the building’s structural mass to regulate the internal temperatures, the effectiveness of the building’s thermal mass was enhanced by passing supply air through the slab before it entered the room, the presentation elucidated. The slabs worked as heat exchangers between the supply air and the rooms. It added that ClimaDeck could be combined with all types of air conditioning systems/AHUs.
According to Dew-Kylsystem, the ClimateWell chiller can store energy for three to four hours after sunset, which a normal chiller cannot. It runs at night, and in the daytime, the solar power kicks in, making it an energy-efficient solution.
The concept, which was originally developed in Europe for use in heating systems, has now been adapted to suit solar-powered chillers, Johansson said, and added that 70% of an estimated 56.6 terawatts of power consumed by the UAE was used to cool and light buildings. Dew-Kylsystem believed that using the sun to power air conditioning units could see a huge reduction in the energy consumption in the UAE.
More recently, speaking to CCME, Johansson said: “We have installed the system at ESAB, in Jebel Ali. The facility is the regional head office for ESAB, catering to 14 countries in the Middle East. The facility has been designed using the ClimaDeck hollow-core slab system, coupled with the ClimateWell solar air conditioning system. Six solar air conditioning units, each with a cooling capacity of 10kW, have been installed in the building. With the use of hollow core design concept, the, the total installed capacity of air conditioning plant was halved, when compared to a conventional air conditioning system requirement. The energy savings in this project is between 50% and 60% when compared to a building with a conventional HVAC design. The sound level in the conditioned space is below 35 db without investing in any additional costs for sound attenuation.”
Johansson claimed that the air conditioning solution was instrumental in getting ESAB the LEED Platinum rating from the US Green Building Council and also helped the project to be selected as one of the best green buildings in the Middle East.