Hysopt don’t need to tell you that every large building project is a major undertaking. One of the most commonly underestimated aspects is the heating, cooling and ventilation installation, which is much more complex than you might think.
However, you will recognise situations, maybe from your own experience, where it’s impossible to heat whole sections of buildings adequately, or where there are rooms that are too hot and the windows need opening even in winter, or cooling installations that consume lots of energy without providing sufficient cooling. All of this is mainly due to the stubborn behaviour of hot and cold water in the building’s pipes.
The traditional approach to making calculations for user comfort and energy requirement – the correct installation of heating and cooling systems – is usually done in Excel, and includes a margin that is big enough to avoid any uncertainty and risk. Even if this results in your installation working comfortably, this method means it will always be over- dimensioned, with a higher installation cost and higher energy consumption as a consequence.
In practice, the settings and adjustments needed when commissioning an installation are usually based on general rules of thumb rather than prior calculations, so the job can often take a few weeks instead of a couple of days. And then, afterwards, user complaints keep coming and maintenance costs are too high. Installations that are calculated and set up in this way are usually impossible to get right no matter how many times you adjust the settings for pumps and valves, or even if you replace components.
Optimising our customers’ installations has taught us that we can cut both the operational maintenance costs and energy costs by an average of 30%. We have learned from this that almost all existing installations are over-dimensioned and the vast majority of them cannot be adjusted adequately by the user.
This is because the current method of calculation simply cannot lead to good results. In order to make calculations and conduct sensitivity studies, for a modern installation you need an average of 50 million calculations, and for a large campus it can easily be more than a billion. And there simply isn’t enough time for that. Recently, however, software and greater computer power has become sufficient to automate these hydraulic and thermal calculations using optimisation algorithms.