ISH 2013 presents world firsts and trends in air-conditioning, cooling and ventilation technology

Around a third of all non-domestic buildings are equipped with air-conditioning and/or ventilation systems in order to ensure climate- controlled atmosphere and provide the rooms with fresh, temperate air. In modern industrial and commercial premises, as well as in buildings such as hospitals, schools and shopping centres, the need for ways of cooling the building has increased. So that cooling loads such as those generated by the waste heat from computer systems operating round the clock or solar heat gain in modern office buildings with glazed architectural features increase the demand for air-conditioning even further. Solutions that can be used to cover this will be on show at ISH, the world's leading trade fair for The Bathroom Experience, building services, energy, air conditioning technology and renewable energies in Frankfurt am Main from 12 to 16 March. Air-conditioning, cooling and ventilation technology are represented at the leading world trade fair under the Aircontec brand in the ISH Energy area. Sustainability and energy savings constitute the main focus of manufacturers and wholesale suppliers who will be presenting all the international trends and technologies here.

Just how important the pioneering solutions at Aircontec actually are is made clear by the fact that air-conditioning, cooling and ventilation technology are, in well-insulated houses, increasingly becoming THE crucial factor in terms of a building's energy balance sheet. Whilst the need for cooling in buildings is tending to increase, there is a parallel trend for the amount of energy used for heating to reduce. This then leads to the challenge of reducing the amount of energy used for cooling and for air-conditioning. Efficient heat-recovery systems, the integration of renewable energies and installations with intelligent energy distribution are thus gaining in importance. On top of this, more stringent demands for air hygiene no longer tolerate the use of out-of-date air-circulation systems. The degree to which ventilation units and air-circulation systems are easy to clean is also one of the crucial demands. The sector has currently available technological solutions ready and waiting that can significantly lower the amount of energy needed at the same time as improving the quality of the air in the room.

Building services technology is now expected to operate heating, cooling and ventilation systems all at the same time. Increasingly, there is a demand for integral systems rather than separate units. Inextricably linked with this is the networking of air-conditioning, cooling and ventilation technology with building services engineering and systems technology. Systems integration ensures an efficient and demand-driven coordination of air-conditioning and ventilation systems with cooling and heating facilities. The exhibitors at Aircontec will be presenting innovative technologies to cope with these tasks. The use of these innovations in both new and existing air-conditioning and ventilation systems allow potential energy savings to be realised and, indeed, to be exploited to the full. With solutions such as VRF technology it becomes possible to create complete systems for heating, cooling and hot-water production in a single installation.

One of the main tasks is also to reduce the electrical energy requirements of air-conditioning and ventilation systems. The major part of this is the power required for refrigeration and for running fans, heat-exchangers and pumps. The trend is for the cost of electrical energy to increase continually and this will, in future, be an even more powerful factor in investment decisions and amortization times.

High efficiency components and system solutions

The total energy requirement for cooling in buildings amounts to 21,000 GWh/year. Even just with technologies that are already available, this energy requirement could be reduced by 35 percent. Energy-efficient components also have their contribution to make. So that economical EC motors make it possible for energy-saving fans to operate as required whilst consuming less electricity. There is also considerable potential for savings in adapting the requisite performance of the ventilation, heating and cooling units to the actual needs of the system in each case. With demand-led motor speed, the electricity consumption of fans and pumps can be considerably reduced.

The use of renewable energies and cooling through evaporation

Solar thermal energy and the evaporation principle can also be used efficiently, and with less impact on the environment, for cooling purposes. Adsorption coolers use heat energy efficiently to create cold. Electrical energy is only necessary in the process, in order to circulate the refrigerant medium. Indirect evaporative cooling uses water as the refrigerant medium and is particularly suited in situations where high heat loads occur within buildings. It involves spraying treated water under pressure onto the heat-exchanger surface. For low levels of cooling requirement, no additional energy is needed to lower the temperature in the refrigerant circuit other than the electricity for the pumps and the water-treatment unit. The heat exchanger units for Hall 11 at Messe Frankfurt are a good example: the cooling effect can be increased by means of a fresh water sprinkler without any additional use of energy.

Aircontec is the information platform, which points up future directions for the air-conditioning, cooling and ventilation technology sector. Intelligent systems integration and the combination of refrigeration and cooling systems for demand-led coverage of basic and peak loads offer high-end solutions for the efficient and economical operation of air-conditioning and ventilation installations. In combination with speed controlled fans and pumps and the incorporation of building-automation systems they produce whole-system solutions that make it possible to operate air-conditioning and ventilation systems more cost-effectively and lead to shorter amortization periods.

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