“The impact on global warming by the industry is negligible compared to the automobile, process and cement and petrochemical industry.”

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 13 The heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC) industry is hoping to get rid of its ‘global warmer’ stigma through increased use of gases with zero ozone depletion potential (zero ODP).

The impact on global warming by the industry is negligible compared to the automobile, process and cement and petrochemical industry, according to Mr S. Bhagavan, President of the Bangalore Chapter of ISHRAE (Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers). Mr Bhagavan interacted with Business Line in the backdrop of Acrex, an international exposition held every two years for air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating and building allied services.

The three-day Acrex 2008 opens at the Karnataka Trade Promotion Organisation (KTPO) Trade Centre, Bangalore, on Friday.

The event is being managed by the southern India chapters of ISHRAE in association with ASHARE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers).

Global warming

The HVAC industry has advanced technologically and more than 90 per cent of the refrigerant gas is reclaimed or recycled, Mr Bhagavan said.

The new transition gases have very marginal global warming potential. For instance, new CFC-free refrigerants such as R410A (replacement for old R22) and R134 (replacement for old R12) are being used more and more.

Their zero ODP will ensure that the global warming effect is negligible. Besides, they also work at slightly higher pressures resulting in reduced energy consumption.

Contrary to common beliefs, there is scope for lot of innovation and development of ‘sustainable’ solutions in the field of HVAC.

More than 60 per cent of the electricity consumption of a traditional multi-storied workspace, hotel, or shopping mall is attributed to air-conditioning. HVAC takes up the challenge of offering alternative and cutting-edge solutions to economise this and other factors. HVAC solutions also address problems of ‘indoor air pollution’, which has become a major concern in India in the recent past years. Poor ventilation systems and ineffective removal of polluted indoor air result in Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), recognised by the World Health Organisation as a disease in 1984. Symptoms of SBS include headache, dizziness, fatigue, dry cough, itchiness and irritation of eyes.

A study was carried out in 2006 proved the direct co-relation between SBS and CO2 concentration highlighting the importance of efficient ventilation measures to monitor the IAQ (indoor air quality).

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 14, 2008)
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