We present a Case of Success on an air conditioning project with solar panels installed in a material distribution company in Costa Rica.
by ACR Latin America
Three companies belonging to the Climate Group of Costa Rica participated in the realization of an air conditioning project that has as great novelty the installation of solar panels for the generation of energy of the air conditioning equipment. The companies involved were Consorcio de Montajes Industriales (CMI), Ideal Climate and Integration of Automated Services.
The project was installed at Construplaza in Guachipelin, Escazú, Costa Rica. It is a distributor of building materials, hardware and finishes. Started operations more than 30 years ago in downtown San Jose with a building materials deposit. Then, in 2001 consolidated its operation in Escazú where the installation of this project was made.
Construplaza's show room did not have air conditioning systems installed, therefore, Grupo Clima entered into the realization of the project, which sought to make clients' visits to the site more comfortable.
For the show rooms, both the first and second level, Toshiba-branded equipment with Variable Refrigerant Volume technology known as "VRV" or "VRF" were used. We used 5 condenser unit modules, approximately an installed cooling capacity of 61 tons of cooling. In addition cassette evaporator units were implemented for the first level and in it Fan Coil equipment with exposed ducts in Galvanized Iron (HG) was used.
As we mentioned at the beginning, the main novelty and challenge of the project was to install air conditioning in offices and show room without needing to increase the electrical capacity that supplies such infrastructure.
The project consisted of the installation of 238 panels to feed the system of air conditioners. As a result, it has greater comfort in its facilities without paying for more electricity consumption.
The air and the set of panels work at the same time, which results in energy savings through an electrical demand control provided by the Automated Services Integration (ISA), an energy efficiency expert at Grupo Clima.
The air conditioning system is powered by solar energy, which means that 45 tons of CO2 are not sent to the atmosphere annually or to plant 1.157 trees that convert that carbon dioxide.
Among the main advantages of the solution installed by Grupo Clima are the high efficiency, the ease of assembly of its systems and its great reliability. Ideal Climate maintains the guarantee of these air conditioning systems with the use of panels as if it will be a regular installation connected to the power supply.
Like any project, there are always some disadvantages that must be solved promptly to deliver optimal results. In this case, the company proposed a solution already mentioned and that was accepted by the client.
Grupo Clima explained that the main inconvenience of the customer was that the electrical capacity of the transformer that had installed was not enough to cover the new demand of the air conditioning equipment that he wanted to install. This is because initially the part of the electrical design of the project did not contemplate to use air conditioning systems. Therefore, if the customer wanted to install the air systems, he had to make a huge investment in the change of transformers and the electrical part, as well as spend a lot of time on all permits before the National Power and Light Company These modifications.
It was there when they made the customer the recommendation to use the solar panels, with which, it did not have the need to increase the electrical capacity that had installed. With this achieved a great economic savings because it was not necessary to modify the electrical infrastructure that had, also managed to power air conditioning systems with 100% clean energy and have a large savings in electricity billing in the medium term.
Grupo Clima stated that the user of the installation was pleased because different problems were solved: "Our customer was extremely pleased with the installed systems, this because in the first place he managed to condition the exhibition areas he wanted. Second, it was not necessary to make a large economic investment in existing electrical systems. Third, it managed to install a solar panel technology with which it obtains a great economic saving in the electric billing and in addition it is contributing to the environment producing 100% clean energy ".
This project won the 2016 Innovation award awarded by Grupo Clima. This award is evaluated from a maximum of nine proposals for innovative ideas that have been implemented in any of the processes, products or services of one of the companies that are part of the Group. The project was considered deserving of this award for its 100% approach aimed at the client, managing to offer a solution that allowed the integration of services from three different companies. In addition, the environmental impact of the facility, equivalent to an annual saving of 45 tons of CO2 sent to the atmosphere or to a plantation of 1,157 trees, was another reason for selecting the project as a winner.
Signature installer: Climate Group
Manufacturers involved: Toshiba (VRF)
Company or place covered with the installation: Builds
Installation dates: Principles of 2014