Commercial air conditioners, wasted energy - and how NexRev fits in

Commercial air conditioners, wasted energy - and how NexRev fits in

“How to Prevent Air Conditioners from Heating the Planet” in Scientific American was a must-read for the team at NexRev – and our customers across the US.

In the story, the writer perfectly summarized the situation:

“By 2050, researchers expect the number of room air conditioners on Earth to quadruple to 4.5 billion.

“In short, air conditioning urgently needs an upgrade…as…The basic cooling technology behind air conditioning and refrigerators hasn’t changed significantly since 1902, when a young American engineer named Willis Carrier devised the first air conditioner to solve a humidity problem for a printing company in New York City”.

The article goes on to discuss innovative new technologies that are being researched to enable the development of air conditioners that use significantly less energy.

NexRev – retro-fitting older air conditioning units to reduce energy consumption

At NexRev, one of our specialties is reducing the energy consumption of existing commercial air conditioning units, which are found in large numbers on the rooftops of nearly all retail, entertainment, and dining sites.

What the Scientific American article did not point out is that energy waste is even more prevalent on commercial packaged DX rooftop units. Most of these units produce energy waste as they are configured for max climate conditions and operate at a constant blower speed to meet these conditions. These machines have years of remaining usable life left. However, they need to be upgraded to make them as efficient, if not more so as more modern ACs.

DrivePak is installed into individual packaged DX rooftop units and can change the fan speed depending on conditions within a building. These modules are programmed locally using precise measurements and proprietary NexRev configuration toolsets and software.

Efficiencies and cost savings are primarily achieved by the reduction of fan speed. For example, a 50% reduction in the fan speed of an HVAC unit typically reduces power consumption by 87%. Additional energy savings are achieved through humidity reduction by DrivePak. Lower humidity levels feel cooler allowing thermostats to be set several degrees higher and still achieve optimal comfort. This is where cost saving, and efficiency is achieved as each one-degree increase in the target temperature translates to a three percent reduction in energy use.

DrivePak can be retrofitted into HVAC units that are already operational, or field installed into new units to capture the maximum savings possible for each unique facility. When an HVAC unit comes to the end of its life, the DrivePak module can be removed, placed into another Roof Top Unit (RTU) and recommissioned to achieve the same – if not greater – efficiencies.

As well as reducing the amount of electricity used by HVAC units, DrivePak increases equipment lifespans – and reduces maintenance. Additionally, retrofitting DrivePak into a packaged RTU will help decrease the humidity levels in the space. Because DrivePak lowers the fan speed, it reduces the speed at which air flows across the cooling coils. Lower speed across the coils equates to longer contact times between the air and the coil, allowing the coil to pull more moisture out of the air, thus lowering humidity as latent capacity of the unit is increased.

Finally, one of the most important cost savings with DrivePak is that it reduces the demand spike on the electric bill while at the same time extending the life of the motor. Each time a constant-speed motor starts and stops, it generates a demand spike. DrivePak eliminates this spike through the implementation of a “soft start” of the VFD that provides a gentle ramp up to appropriate speed rather than creating a sudden influx of power.

Customers that have successfully deployed DrivePak include AMC Theaters, AT&T, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Big Lots, Burlington, CarMax, Cinemark Theatres, Conn’s Home Plus, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Michaels, Panera Bread, Pilot Flying J, Planet Fitness, TD Bank, and Total Wine.

With DrivePak, it is possible to take action to not only reduce current costs and boost your bottom line, but also prepare for a more energy efficient future.

The NexRev Difference

NexRev was established in 1994 as a consulting and systems integrator to install Building Management Systems. It is headquartered in Dallas (Plano, TX) with a team of 200 and a thriving 20,000 sq ft R&D lab.

NexRev’s products are proudly Made in the USA, with all design and manufacturing originated in NexRev facilities. The company’s impressive list of blue-chip, and smaller, customers speaks for itself, and its team of experts is well-liked and trusted in the industry.

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Media Contact

Bridget Fishleigh
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(972) 578-0505

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