Thoughts on Industry Recommendations Regarding Ventilation and the Role Energy Efficiency Can Play

March 23, 2020
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I’ve been to a lot of facilities in order to provide cost effective energy solutions for our customers.   From the ASHRAE position document, it advises that dilution ventilation is one of the many various steps that can be taken to help reduce infections.  However, it should be implemented to all facilities. 

So, what does that mean to the average small restaurant, small retail, small offices, convenience store, grocery store, and other small businesses?  Make sure that you have your outdoor air damper set to minimum and that you set your thermostat fan position to “On”.  Many facilities close the outdoor air dampers in order to minimize unconditioned outdoor air.  

I have also seen many facilities leave the fan in the “Auto” position in order to help save energy.   This could be detrimental as it could create a negative air pressure situation for a building.   Secondarily, this stops the dilution ventilation affect in the room itself.   This also is done in the hopes of reducing energy consumption.

In addition, the installation of in-duct UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate microorganisms), or equivalent ionization products, to help inactivate pathogens.  In order for these items to work, the air needs to be constantly circulating air through the ducts.  Or in the case of this document help upper room UVGI do it’s work by getting the air across these units.

We can help reduce the energy consumption through the installation of permanent magnet motors that can reduce that energy consumption.  If the baseline is a facility that has their fan in the “Auto” position.   After installing a permanent magnet motor and FridgeWize RTU controls along with turning the fan to the “On” position, the energy consumption of the supply fan blower is still going to be less than the base case of the fan in the “Auto” position.   So, we supply you with minimal dilution ventilation while consuming less energy at the supply fan than before.

Paul Lin has worked in the electric motor industry for most of his professional career. He has worked in manufacturing, design engineering, application engineering, marketing in helping many of the HVAC OEM’s integrate the latest motor technologies into their systems. Paul has also worked with the Department of Energy, utilities, and other organizations in advancing minimum efficiency standards through state and federal regulations as well as through utility incentives.