‘New air-con controlling device will save money and conserve energy’


17-August-2012

Once installed, the device is hardly noticeable next to the air-con unit

A new company in Seychelles called Efficient Energy Solutions is introducing a new concept where businesses can have a simple, small device attached to their air-conditioning units, which better controls how they run and extend their life-span.

The company’s manager and co-owner James Rose-Innes said the firm has already been granted a license to operate in Seychelles.

“We cater for places with a large number of employees, or guests or clients coming through. We target hotels because they have a lot of clients coming in, who do not know how to properly use an air-con system. Clients will walk into a room and immediately set it to 16°C or even 10 if it will go that low, and expect that the room will get colder faster. It is a fact that this is untrue because air-conditioning systems do not work that way, and 90% of air-condition units will never get to 16°C, so they will never cycle off,” he said.

“Simply put, the rate at which the room cools is not affected by the temperature that it has to achieve.”

The company provides a small box – that has its electronics developed in South Africa and comes with a five-year guarantee – which connects directly to the inside air-con unit of a room.
It limits the temperature in a room to a setting chosen by the owner or management of the place.
A programmer is plugged into the device and the limit temperature wanted is easily programmed or even re-programmed into the device.

For example, if a hotel manager chooses to have all the air-con units not run lower than 22°C, then the air-cons will cycle off at 22°C.

“This will allow hotels and other businesses to set a reasonable achievable temperature for the air-con to reach, and the devices are fitted quickly and easily with no loud drilling and hammering, and looks neat and tidy upon installation,” he said.

The device can also be fitted with a door switch, which allows the air-con compressor to The energy-saving device is programmed using a machine with a simple interfaceshut down when doors or windows are left open for a length of time chosen by the management.

Mr Rose-Innes added that they have carried out pilot projects in collaboration with hotels such as Coco D’Or and Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino. Under ideal circumstances the devices can pay for themselves in only a month.

“I did a test at the Coco D’Or hotel, where I had two rooms set at 18°C and one was fitted with our energy-saving device, which the management wanted to be limited to 24°C.  At the end of the day, the room with the device had saved over R65 worth of energy. This might not sound like a lot, but when you have a hotel with a hundred rooms and it is saving maybe R600 per day, this will definitely cut back enormously on the establishment’s electricity bills,” he said.

“It is important to know that guests will not be aware that the compressor has turned off when the set point is reached. Their remotes will still say 16°C if they have set it to that, and the indoor fan will continue to run, but the outside compressor will cycle off if the set point is reached. This is where the business will make the big savings on electricity bills and energy.”

With dew point in Seychelles occurring betweent 21.9 and 22.1°C, Mr Rose-Innes said air-cons set anywhere between that or lower will cause condensation in the windows and water leaking into the room.

“The main reason we’re targeting hotels and other large businesses is because they have no control over the temperatures that clients and staff set the air-con temperatures to. With our device, they now can, and can also manage the use and abuse of air-con systems,” he said.

Efficient Energy Solutions also provide other energy-saving devices, such as those for taps and shower-heads, which use approximately a third of the normal amount of water, without the user feeling any difference.

I.H.

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