For any hotel efficient room cooling is as important as providing any other comfort. Today, air conditioning of a hotel is much more than just cooling. BW Hotelier spoke to Vipin Agarwal, Director System AC Business of Samsung India, who through some light on the evolution of air conditioning in a hotel and how Samsung is being able to provide innovative solutions.
How air conditioning has evolved over a period especially in hotels?
The air conditioning solutions for the hotel industry have undergone a considerable transition over the years. Earlier air-conditioning in a hotel was only about cooling. Today, air-conditioners have to work far harder than just cool the room to keep one in comfort. In the current scenario, we are talking about treated, pre-cooled, pre-filtered fresh air. In terms of expectations from air-conditioning, everyone wants personalised comfort.
There are many changes in the way the air-conditioning solutions have evolved for comfort application starting from design understanding to controllers being used. Specifically, for hotel application, there has been a shift from a chilled water system to VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) system-based solutions. This is because of ease of operation and part-load efficiency from VRF operation. Another element is redundancy in design which is very important in case of any failure on the equipment side. With VRF, multiple circuits are used to ensure flawless air conditioning comfort in case of one of the systems fails.
With respect to controllers, at Samsung, the controller solution for VRF air conditioning and the room activation by key tag is not only limited to switching on/off of units but also to maintain indoor ambience in case the occupant is not there.
In a similar way, the air conditioning solution by DVM (Samsung terminology for VRF) has many new Indoor Unit design solutions to support the hotel application, like some special Indoor Units (1 Way & 360 Cassette) etc.
Overall, we, at Samsung continuously thrive to provide solution-oriented technology which enables the hotel industry at large to move forward on the path of technologically advanced yet innovative solutions.
What are the major steps to be taken from the Hotel’s side for efficient cooling?
Hoteliers are now focusing on offering personalised comfort and saving energy at the same time. While VRF has now become popular, Samsung last year unveiled a wind-free solution to raise the energy-saving quotient further as well as increase comfort.
Further, many times, guests set the air conditioner temperature to a minimum to get faster cooling. This attracts more power consumption at the outdoor unit. With Samsung Controller solutions, the minimum and maximum setting at the indoor unit can be locked to ensure maximum comfort at designed efficiency.
The room ambience is also a major requirement apart from effective cooling. When a guest leaves the room, the indoor temperature equals the ambient temperature as the unit is switched off. This leads to more power consumption by the outdoor unit in an attempt to bring the temperature down to the set temperature as desired by the guest. To counter this, with key tag programming, on the removal of key tag, the unit can be made to run at a higher temperature and lower fan speeds. This not only maintains the desired room ambience but also saves energy as the temperature differential is reduced.
What are the major difficulties that arise in terms of room cooling and how your company is planning to curb those hiccups?
Hotels can waste a lot of energy and money if they can’t flexibly adjust the air conditioning to suit each of their operational areas. Samsung air conditioning solutions let you perfectly control the temperature and airflow in multiple spaces – individually and independently. For example, the guests at the hotel have a tendency to set the room temperature to a minimum. Not only does this lead to loss of energy but also makes cooling uncomfortable. To intercept this situation, the room temperature can be locked, with the help of a wired remote controller or with central controllers to a range within the human comfort condition. This not only ensures optimum and designed loading on the air conditioning equipment but also saves energy by efficient operation of the units.
What is the new technology used by your company in air conditioning?
Samsung solutions help the hotels to give their guests the ultimate in comfort and satisfaction. With the flexible air conditioner systems, guests can control the air settings in their rooms, while the hotel can maximise efficiency by managing common areas using centralised control.
The latest offering, by Samsung in Air Conditioner Systems, is simultaneous heating and cooling by the same unit. An interesting demand came from Leh, where a hotelier required some rooms heated and a few cooled respectively. The sun-facing rooms tend to get warm while others tend to get cold. Samsung offered its DVM Heat recovery model, which through its central air conditioning system provided heating to some rooms while cooling to the other set. This arrangement resulted in very high efficiency as the compressor only worked for the differential effect. The COP (Coefficient Of Performance) of these systems is as high as 11 in comparison to a conventional system which is at 4 COP.
How do you ensure to make air conditioning cost-effective for the hotels?
Most hotels have a wide range of rooms and facilities with diverse uses and air conditioning needs. Samsung air conditioning solutions offer an extensive choice of indoor and outdoor units and controllers to suit different spaces. Not only do the indoor units offer better airflow pattern, but they also offer better hygiene as there is no collection of the duct as the case may be with duct type hideaway units. Another solution from Samsung that provides better airflow and are equally efficient is the 360 Cassette units. Samsung also offers the biggest outdoor unit of 30 HP which not only saves space but also reduces the installation costs considerably.
Whether it’s for guest rooms that demand stylish and individual 24-hour control or large amenity areas like restaurants or back offices that need to be kept economically comfortable, Samsung has a solution for all needs.―BW Hotelier