Adapting to Climate Change: Sustainable HVAC Solutions for a Greener Future

As the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, businesses and individuals alike are seeking sustainable solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. One industry that plays a significant role in energy consumption and emissions is heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). In this article, we’ll explore the importance of sustainable HVAC solutions in adapting to climate change, the role of smart building management and how VEXO’s innovative products contribute to a greener future.

The Growing Importance of Sustainable HVAC Solutions

HVAC systems account to as much as 40% of a building’s energy consumption making them a crucial factor in addressing climate change. As the world experiences more frequent and severe weather events, the demand for energy-efficient HVAC systems has increased significantly. Sustainable HVAC solutions not only help reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also contribute to cost savings for businesses and homeowners in the long run.

Smart Building Management System, powered by AI

The article “Energy management and optimization of HVAC systems using a deep learning approach,” presented at the 10th CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium 2020, discusses a deep-learning-based framework for building energy management systems. This framework allows for real-time identification and understanding of occupant activities within office spaces.

Figure 1 - Deployment of a deep-learning model for real-time detection.

As illustrated in Figure 1, the first phase of the approach involves creating and implementing a deep learning model for real-time identification and understanding of occupancy behaviour in a building space. This model is set up and trained using deep learning methods, validated, and then used in an AI-powered camera. Deep learning techniques offer improved performance in detecting and recognising various objects compared to shallow learning methods.

Images of occupant activities, such as sleeping, sitting, standing, and walking, are gathered, manually labelled, and used as a training dataset for the model. Another model is also developed, focusing on the detection and recognition of window opening and closing by occupants. Specialised software is utilised for training these models.

An initial experiment was conducted in an office setting to evaluate the proposed approach’s capabilities and accuracy. The results revealed a 92% average detection rate for occupancy activities and a 78% detection rate for window status.

The second phase focuses on creating a profile based on the detected and recognised number of occupants and activities, referred to as the deep-learning influenced profile (DLIP). This profile corresponds to each detected occupancy activity and is connected with the heat emission rates of occupants performing activities in an office (CIBSE Guide A). For the window detection model, the DLIP is based on window conditions. The building energy management system can use the collected information to automatically adjust heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems according to the actual demands of the spaces in real-time.

Figure 2 - Process of deep learning and live detection in an office space.

Figure 2 illustrates the DLIP formation process for live detection in a chosen office space. The images are for visualisation purposes only. In reality, the current approach will generate heat emission profiles rather than actual occupancy information. To determine its feasibility and potential impact on building energy consumption, simulations were conducted for energy modelling of the case-study building.

Preliminary application of the occupancy model in a standard office space showed that both the ‘static’ and DLIP profiles were assigned. These were utilised to evaluate potential energy savings. The findings indicate that using the DLIP can avoid overestimating occupancy heating gains by up to an average of 35%. Moreover, the high detection accuracy resulted in an average difference of only 2.3% between DLIP results and the actual observation profile. Similarly, the window detection model’s application in building energy simulation suggests an effective solution for monitoring windows, particularly when they are inadvertently left open.

VEXO's Contribution to a Greener Future

VEXO is at the forefront of sustainable HVAC solutions, offering an array of innovative products designed to reduce energy consumption and emissions. Here’s how VEXO’s products contribute to a greener future:

Energy-efficient and smart technologies: our products are designed for seamless integration with building automation systems such as our S-BMS. This allows for better monitoring and control of energy usage, ultimately leading to greater energy efficiency and reduced emissions. Recent case studies have shown heating energy reductions of 36% over one heating season.

Low-hazard water treatment additives: our product range reduces the need for constant flushing of entire systems, minimising water waste and the associated energy consumption, contributing to a more sustainable and eco-friendly solution.

Advanced side stream filtration: VEXO’s advanced side stream filtration devices such as the X-POT range, effectively remove contaminants and particles from the system. This technology not only extends the lifespan of HVAC components but also enhances overall efficiency, leading to reduced energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The fight against climate change requires a concerted effort from all sectors, including the HVAC industry. By choosing VEXO’s sustainable HVAC solutions, you’re not only investing in a cost-effective and energy-efficient system, but also contributing to a greener future.

Join the fight against climate change with VEXO's sustainable HVAC solutions – get in touch with our sales team to learn more.

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