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Leading leisure group makes big energy savings with VSDs

Leading leisure group makes big energy savings with VSDs

The installation of Danfoss variable speed drives, which is 850 units to date, has significantly reduced energy usage for a national leisure group with current savings of over £400,000 per year.

As part of the UK's ongoing mission to monitor and reduce CO2 emissions and energy usage, the leisure group - consisting of more than 90 health clubs across the UK - discovered that its pumps and fans were constantly using more energy than was required.

Controls expert Digicon carried out an extensive evaluation (site surveys and trials) which concluded that the pump and fan installations at the clubs had all been sized to provide copious amounts of reserve capacity that would not be needed during day to day operation.

Engineers at Digicon discovered that the majority of the applications were fitted with single speed starters, which meant the pumps and fans always operated at full speed, irrespective of the actual requirements. This wasted money and created far more energy consumption than acceptable in these challenging times, where energy saving and reduced CO2 emissions are paramount to ensuring a greener planet.

Digicon advised the leisure group that it should use Danfoss VLT HVAC drives (IP55) with timers, CO2 sensors, day/night real time clocks and humidity sensors, in order to allow the motors operating speeds to be matched to the demand. Karl Jones, Digicon MD, explains further. "Danfoss drives were the obvious choice for this application. The robustness and proven reliability of the FC102 makes a massive UK/European roll out of this size stress free, leaving me confident that we will not be called back to sites with warranty issues.

"The functionality of the real time clock also eliminates the need for any additional integration," he continues. "The success continues as Digicon has recently secured orders for an additional 60+ drives to be installed in this leisure group's clubs in Holland and Brussels. We have also installed approx 600 additional drives to other major leisure clubs nationwide."

The potential for savings in applications of this type is excellent, as the power used is proportional to the cube of the speed. By using a variable speed drive (VSD) to reduce the speed of a pump or fan application you can typically achieve the big savings. Reducing motor speed by 10% will achieve a 27% reduction in energy consumption, while reducing motor speed by 20% will achieve a 48% reduction in energy consumption.

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