The Payoff from Clean Coils

It is more or less an open industry secret that in refrigeration and HVAC some 15-25% of energy is wasted because of dirty coils. Many people don´t seem to have any clue but any professional in the field recognizes the problem. It is yet another example of ¨ghost¨ or ¨vampire¨ energy loss.

There is a major study exploring this issue of energy loss from fouling of the coils. A colleague comments on the study as follows:

The Kigali Cooling attachment (a very dense 2018 study) examined existing case studies/data dealing with fridge/freezer/AC maintenance and saw multiple studies showing a 15% to 25% energy savings (see Reference 7 on p. 4). They therefore logically selected the range midpoint (20%) which is evident in their conclusion in Figure 1 on page 2 that current 2.6Gt/year global indirect emissions could be sliced to 2.1 Gt/year with better cleaning and servicing (an actual cut of ~19.2%). The last paragraph of the left side of page 3 notes the existence of such actions and concludes they would be likely to be a “major” (or “huge” !) opportunity for energy savings and emissions reduction. Dietier Coulomb, Director General of the International Institute of Refrigeration pegs the 500MMT/year cut in indirect emissions as a 38% additional reduction in emissions over HFC refrigerant replacement [he compares it to the midpoint of the range given in Fig. 1 for HFC refrigerant replacement].Another way of expressing that 2.6Gt/yr current emissions figure over the possible 2.1Gt/yr cleaned/serviced baseline is to point out that currently all cooling equipment is running at an overuse of electricity condition of about 25%. Perhaps that’s more impactful (??).

Private correspondence from Richard Fennely of Coilpod.

One of the points of resistance is the need to clean regularly (typically every six months or so), however, this is now changing, because we can use the Dexwet Pure Air for these applications. The new model now becomes:

  • Clean thoroughly once
  • Install Dexwet Pure Air on the intake side.
  • The new maintenace is now reduced to cleaning the Dexwet filter once a year, or even less, and possibly clean the coils once every five years or so.

The payoff is thus both reduced energy consumption and reduced maintenance, as well as reduced wear and tear on the equipment. We note that in most cases the manufacturer has no interest in reducing your energy consumption or wear and tear, since they usually make money on spare parts or repairs. It is therefor the problem of the operator of the equipment.

Note also that Dexwet has a track record in industrial applications and is used a.o. also to keep equipment free of dust, such as slot machines (Novomatic) and ATMs (Diebold/Nixdorf).

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