The International Energy Agency (IEA) sees energy efficiency as “a critical tool to relieve pressure on energy supply”. New pathways will be required to master the challenge of promoting energy efficiency: a complex combination of research and development, public and private investments in energy infrastructure, new regulations and urban planning.
Danfoss has been promoting energy-saving technologies for decades globally. The company has been part of regulations, designs and inventions that create a better economic growth for businesses and nations. With a regional office in Dubai, Danfoss actively implements new technologies for better efficiency in various sectors in the UAE and largely, the GCC.
Energy efficiency in buildings
The building sector is a key contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. This has resulted in implementing higher standards to decarbonise the sector. Speaking about Danfoss’ role in mitigating the problem, Ziad Al Bawaliz, Regional President, TMA Region at Danfoss, said: “We spend 90 per cent of our time in buildings, which underscores the key role they play in our lives. These buildings and their construction also account for over one-third of final global energy consumption and close to 40 per cent of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions. That means that decarbonising buildings and enhancing their energy efficiency is essential to curtail a rise in emissions and meet the Paris Agreement.
In the last 10 years, Danfoss has supplied energy-efficient solutions to many iconic buildings in the UAE, including shopping malls, offices, hospitals, airports, metro stations, hotels, data centres, etc.”
He added that a pioneer in introducing automatic balancing in the buildings’ chilled water system, Danfoss’ new technology is implemented in new buildings and retrofitted in existing ones, ensuring significant savings. “For example, a 30-story high-rise building’s cooling energy bill would be close to Dh1.5 million, but with automatic balancing, and adding smart actuators and controllers can be reduced by 15-30 per cent. Furthermore, by utilising Danfoss variable frequency drives (VFDs) in HVAC sector, there can be a 40-60 per cent saving of energy consumption by adapting the speed of the electrical motor to its actual load consumption. The UAE is one of the earliest adaptors of VFDs in the region. Danfoss also offers other innovative solutions to save energy and increase overall system efficiency such as back-channel cooling system, which prevents 90 per cent of heat dissipation and an effective harmonic solution that saves 50 per cent of the energy required to mitigate harmonics to meet the required level. Additionally, we have developed an EC+ system with a PTU monitor, that increases energy efficiency by 20 per cent in comparison to conventional fans.”
Energy efficiency efforts cannot be made in isolation. In this regard, Al Bawaliz said that Danfoss has partnered with many local entities to increase air conditioning units’ efficiency and performance to meet new international regulations in the UAE as there is a lot of emphasis placed on power-saving today, with, international regulations constantly changing. “We work closely with our customers to improve the efficiency of the units by 10-15 per cent, in addition to supplying Danfoss intermediate discharge valves (IDVs) and inverter compressors, which can enhance part-load efficiency by 5-30 per cent.”
Tackling climate change
The UAE market faces new building codes implementation, encouragement from governmental and semi-governmental parties like Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Empower, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), etc., Al Bawaliz pointed out, adding that there is also an increase in demand in district cooling, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile, the private sector, developers-consultants-contractors, have ramped up their standards to respond to demand from investors for better efficiency and environmental consciousness.
“As Danfoss FZCO, we focus on both private and public utilities and investors for reducing energy consumption in the electricity, water and district cooling sector. We have been a provider of knowledge and hardware for a more efficient operational infrastructure.”
Speaking about the next step in innovation at Danfoss FZCO, he stated, "Danfoss continues to invest in promoting digitalisation, connectivity, and software-based AI solutions. Interconnected systems using universal communication protocols give us the chance to collect more data across the systems, which gives us the opportunity to optimise the processes and, consequently achieve energy-saving objectives." "We believe the future will be based on more software-controlled macro parameters of all energy source-production-transmission-consumption chains and Danfoss is one of the major drivers of this development with its know-how and products,” he added.