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Heat pumps for light commercial usage

Things to consider when outfitting a gym

In light commercial buildings, HVAC systems need to ensure the customer experience meets expectations, including from a comfort perspective.

But what are light commercial buildings? Retail spaces, small offices, restaurants, fitness faciities and other similarly sized business all qualify, while huge warehouse, industrial plants, and refineries are too large.

What’s important when designing a HVAC system for use in a light commercial building like a gym?

Let’s take a look at the needs of a 24h gym or fitness centre to see what might be worth considering when selecting a chiller or heat pump for this type of building. Fitness facilities are a uniquely challenging environment for HVAC systems because they are used by large groups of people to exercise. This causes heat to be released, increasing room temperature. Additionally, the sweat produced from the exercise evaporates into the air, raising humidity levels. These factors challenge the HVAC system so need to be considered.

  • Technology options

Fitness facilities need cooling and heating, depending on the season, to create the comfort that customer need while training. This type of building also needs hot sanitary water to enable customers to shower at the end of their workout. This means the heat pump needs a capacity range that considers the size of the facility, meets any footprint constraints that the HVAC plant might have, and offers a high level of energy efficiency.

  • Load variation

The load can vary based on changes in the outdoor temperature during the day, as well as the occupancy of the facility which might change based on the time of day or in case of events. This can have a significant impact on the energy efficiency of the building and needs to be taken into account when selecting a solution. Inverter technology is often recommended in this situation.

  • Monitoring

Consistent monitoring enables the fitness facility to implement efficiency strategies based on insights from real data and plan for preventative maintenance. This helps reduce running costs by making the HVAC system energy efficient and reliable.

The Daikin R-32 Small Inverter Chiller

Based on the needs of the fitness facility, the new Daikin Inverter Chiller Series with R-32 refrigerant is the ideal choice. This air-cooled scroll solution includes a heat pump version and can provide sanitary hot water up to 60°C. The new series can cover capacities ranging from 16 kW to 90 kW and has a compact footprint regardless of the chosen unit. The heat pump version is suitable to work in ambient temperatures ranging from -20°C to 35°C (heating mode).

Other features offered as standard are the Daikin-designed DC-Inverter Scroll compressors, high efficiency Daikin-designed DC-Inverter fans with a selectable silent mode, and an inverter pump kit with both high and low lift variants.

These components mean the Small Inverter Chiller is a full inverter series, so it ideal for addressing the load variation experienced in light commercial buildings such as fitness facilities as it helps the HVAC system to deliver exactly what is needed despite the varying operating conditions. This is essential for improving the energy efficiency of the HVAC system.

The Small Inverter Chiller also offers advanced connectivity and monitoring. The smart control solutions are designed for high performance and system flexibility, allowing units to be easily sequenced (if required for improved load variation management). The Small Inverter Chiller can also communicate with any external BMS or connect to Daikin on Site, the remote monitoring and system optimization within the Daikin proprietary cloud platform which ensures full control of the units through detailed monitoring, online alarm troubleshooting, and remote control. Furthermore, it can connect to the internet via Internet of Things (IoT) for quick and easy commissioning via a dedicated mobile configuration app.

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