Energy is a critical resource, especially in a populated country like ours. The rising costs of power can have a major impact on the bottomline of any corporate or commercial organisation. Moreover, the availability of power is a major concern in several parts of the country. Airconditioning constitutes nearly 60-65% of the power consumption in office buildings and this figure rises to as high as 75% in hotels and hospitals. In fact, in today's service-driven new economy companies such as IT Services and BPOs, comfort airconditioning is a critical aspect of the work environment. These organisations often work on a 24 x 7 basis and airconditioning power expenses form a significant part of their cost of operations. Thus it becomes extremely critical and prudent to go in for energy efficient solutions in airconditioning.
The Government is also taking initiatives in the areas of energy conservation. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is a legislative body which will monitor energy consumption in industries and office buildings. All industries with a connected load of 5000 KW and above and all commercial establishments with a load of above 600 KW will fall under BEE's legislation. These establishments will be notified as "designated consumers" and will need to appoint an Energy Manager to monitor energy efficiency. Further, these establishments will have to carry out Energy Audits periodically and BEE will publish this data and classify the establishment as Platinum, Gold or Silver in energy efficiency, thereby creating benchmarks of energy efficiency in each industry. Further, shortly all airconditioning equipment will carry energy labels with a rating on energy efficiency, which will be under the direct supervision of BEE. Thus, considering these developments, energy efficiency will be a key thrust area for all establishments.
Blue Star's Focus On Energy Efficiency
Blue Star, India's leading airconditioning and commercial refrigeration company has been focusing on energy efficiency in airconditioning and is committed to the cause. Its product design and development focuses on energy efficiency improvement. The design of any airconditioning system and engineering envisages energy efficiency measures. Further, the Company is constantly adding auxillaries and energy saving gadgets in the plants installed and managed by the Company.
Energy Efficient Products
Blue Star has launched several energy efficient airconditioning and commercial refrigeration products over the past decade. In the late nineties, the Company had launched airconditioners with the revolutionary scroll compressors which saved substantial power. A couple of years back, it provided a quantum leap in energy efficiency with airconditioning systems incorporating the breakthrough tandem scroll compressors. It is now launching the next generation digital scrolls which further save power.
The screw chillers launched last year incorporate an electronic expansion valve and an advanced microprocessor controller which enhances power saving at part load conditions. The Company is in the process of launching new packaged airconditioners called "HiPer Plus" that are designed to optimize power consumption taking into consideration part load and peak load conditions. It has also launched split airconditioners which work on a three phase power supply which is more efficient than a single phase.
Blue Star's product development team has constantly focused on energy efficient technologies and the products have been appreciated by the customers.
Energy Efficient Design And Engineering
The design of an airconditioning system is often based on an extreme condition of maximum load and highest ambient temperature. However, research shows that this condition called peak load occurs only 1% of the time and designing the system based on this is highly energy inefficient.
Blue Star's airconditioning design operates on a concept of Integrated Part Load Value (IPLV), which takes into account the number of hours of operation at various loads and optimizes equipment selection at part load where the equipment is expected to operate for the maximum period. This ensures energy efficiency at the design stage itself.
In cold storages, the energy efficiency opportunity is substantial since the power consumed by cold storages is relatively high considering sub zero temperatures achieved. The cooling processes, humidity control and type of equipment determine the consumption of power.
Auxillary Energy Saving Devices
There are several auxillary equipment which enhance energy saving. Variable Speed Drives (VSD) is one such important energy saving device which can be used in chillers, air handling units, pumps and other motors. Blue Star has partnered with Danfoss as their Energy Solution Partners, and as many as 40 engineers of Blue Star have been trained on VSDs.
Air Distribution and Air Balancing play a critical role in energy savings. After all, the airconditioning load is determined by the distribution and balancing of air. Blue Star has developed expertise in the area of air balancing and offers devices such as variable air volume systems to optimize the same. The Company has also recently forayed into the area of duct cleaning. Clean ducts not only help in improving indoor air quality but also offer better efficiencies in air distribution.
Further, the Company has launched UVC Emitters for destroying viruses, in association with Steril-Aire, USA as well as Water Management Systems for non chemical treatment of cooled water in collaboration with Ecospec. Both these devices also achieve power savings.
Commitment To Maximize Power Savings
As part of its drive and initiative to constantly save power for its customers, the Company has recently formed an Energy Management Cell. This Cell has personnel who are accredited energy auditors and provide a preliminary walk through audit free of cost to all customers. The customer can opt for a detailed audit after which recommendations are submitted with guranteed power savings. Thus, Blue Star not only undertakes the energy audit but also the implementation with back-up guarantee.
Speaking to the Press at a conference in Mumbai, Suneel M Advani, President & Vice Chairman, Blue Star Limited adds "Airconditioning comprises a major chunk of the power bills of most organizations. We are aware about the fact that even a small saving of power can have a major impact on the profitability of an enterprise. We have over six decades of experience in providing expert cooling solutions and recognize that being leaders we owe it to our customers to provide energy efficient cooling. We have been pioneers in introducing energy efficient technologies in the country and our initiatives in this area have been well received by our customers. We remain committed to maximize energy savings for our customers"