Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment manufacturers need to be regulated to ensure that their products can withstand the harsh conditions of the Gulf region.
Pointing out this need for regulation, Arvind Bhatnagar, general manager of Technical & Trading LLC (TTE), told Construction Week: “A lot needs to be done by manufacturers to ensure [that] their products are suited to our harsh climate and are energy efficient.”
He elaborated on his statement by citing microchannel technology as an example, noting that it has been adopted by many chiller manufacturers.
“Their claim is that it is better suited to dusty conditions, but [the] reality is far from [the] assumption,” he said. “It is just cheaper to produce than copper coils. There are 30-year-old installations where [the] coils are intact in outdoor units, [while there has been an] eight-year-old variable refrigerant flow (VRF) installation where we had to replace [the] entire HVAC equipment, as [the] untreated coils have just powdered away.”
Energy efficiency is also an issue, Bhatnagar added, saying: “Secondly, all [the] units coming into [the] GCC don’t have energy-efficient motors, and almost 80% have just 30% to 40% efficiency.
“The fan blades are mostly stamp design and aerodynamically inefficient. Just these two factors control 40% of [the] power consumed by HVAC equipment. An introduction of IE3 motors and the right aerodynamically designed blades can cut power consumption.”
These challenges highlight the importance of introducing regulations and benchmarks to the industry, said Bhatnagar.
He explained: “The opportunity is to start regulating HVAC equipment and setting benchmarks for manufacturers. Equipment with untreated coils, inefficient motors, and fan blades should be discouraged, and imports should bear third-party-certified coils protection for a minimum of 1,500 salt spray hours.”