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Updated: May 15, 2016

Ecodesign Directive for Facilities Managers

Richard Metcalfe, Sales Director, at ICS Cool Energy comments:

“It’s safe to say that the duties and responsibilities of an FM can vary wildly depending on the size and scale of the organisation or company in question. Legislation, however, is a common hurdle faced by every FM and understanding the all-encompassing Ecodesign Directive is key to curbing a building’s energy usage.

“When it comes to a cooling system – be it a chiller unit or a direct refrigeration system –compressors are by far the largest energy consumer, and the technology has been highlighted as an area that needs improving as part of Lot 31 of the European Commission’s Ecodesign Directive.

“Many compressors are currently running on one fixed speed regardlesss of demand, and generally achieve a co-efficient of performance (or energy efficiency rating) of 3kw of cooling to 1kw of power. However, selecting a chiller with a variable speed screw compressor could allow FMs to achieve a ratio of 4.5-5kw of cooling to every 1kw of power: an improvement of circa 50-60 per cent. In turn, this will reduce energy bills and improve operational life due to a reduced load.

“Given we are reaching the end of the traditional ‘cooling season’ it is the perfect time for FMs to conduct an audit of their chiller system. If the equipment appeared to struggle during the hotter days of this summer, then that’s a sure sign that new investment is needed. It may not be as drastic as a whole new system, but professional maintenance servicing and use of the correct refrigerants can also help to achieve serious operational savings.”

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