“A Heating, Ventilation And Air Conditioning (HVAC) Adaptation Solution At A Time Of Record-Breaking Temperatures”

Extreme temperature and weather events are increasing in frequency and intensity, along with increasing average humidity and temperatures. These increases result in higher energy consumption. The Northern Hemisphere has experienced exceptionally high temperatures during the summer months of June and July. Temperatures have soared to 49.6°C in Canada, resulting in more than 486 deaths in recent weeks. In California, Death Valley experienced the highest ever recorded temperature on Earth this month of 54.4 °C, surpassing Kuwait’s previous record in the Middle East by 53.2 °C. The rise from this global record 1 2°C is significant and deserves attention. Heat and increasing humidity in some regions can cause significant health effects for people without access to air conditioning, resulting in death in the most severe cases.

As a result of these unprecedented temperatures, many facilities have been damaged and public infrastructure has proved vulnerable. For example, two power plants have recently been shut down, electric trams have been shut down, a light rail system has been packed up, a house-threatening wildfire has erupted and some roads have even sunk in the heat with seeping tar. These events alone have shown that the malfunctioning of critical infrastructure has serious consequences for our society, economy and the environment.

As the frequency and duration of these extreme weather events increases, companies must become proactive to improve their resilience. In addition, planners, managers and engineers must consider the frequency of occurrence and the risks associated with these events. Buildings, both old and new, are typically not adapted to withstand such events, as a resilient construction approach is not considered worth the financial cost.

However, the increasing frequency of extreme events highlights both the operational and economic importance of incorporating resilience into building designs, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. For example, considering future conditions when designing an HVAC system avoids the need for costly capacity upgrades over the life of the system. In addition, the changing climate poses a threat to the integrity of the building’s HVAC systems and thus to human health and safety. Heat waves will continue to test the durability, effectiveness and efficiency of HVAC systems.

Today, many companies are faced with the question of “how do we make our infrastructure more resilient to these emerging extremes?” These decision-makers must have robust climate information, including extreme events. Fortunately, CLIMsystems and Resilient Analytics have extensive experience in providing this information. With this data in hand, companies can estimate the climatic risks of their building portfolio.

CLIMsystems and Resilient Analytics have just released a proven HVAC analytics solution to help building owners and managers better understand their risk from a changing climate to plan and implement adaptation measures to address these vulnerabilities. HVAC systems are undoubtedly linked to thermal comfort and well-being. Our HVAC analysis approach uses robust, high-quality historical weather data and future model information on climate change. Building owners and managers gain invaluable information to guide their decisions and ensure that their facilities remain safe, healthy and comfortable for their employees and visitors. For example, the operation, performance and financial implications of climate change for new and existing HVAC systems can be evaluated to support maintenance, adaptation and investment decisions. As extreme temperatures become more common, the cost of maintaining a building’s condition increases. Our HVAC solution encourages proactive thinking and planning, which can significantly reduce these costs.

In addition to modeling the effect that extreme conditions have on HVAC systems, our analysis can also model the effect that rising climate standards will have on the annual energy consumption for heating and cooling the system. Knowledge of such information can enable building owners and managers to proactively plan to offset rising operating costs through appropriate adaptation measures.

Some of the variables available in these analyzes include annual heating, humidification, cooling, dehumidification, enthalpy, and extreme annual and monthly climatic design conditions. An ensemble approach in applying climate model data means that statistical probabilities of 5th, 50th and 95th percentiles can be considered when setting design parameters. In addition, the team provides expert advice on risk profiling and full and comprehensive documentation of the data and methods used.

For more information, see:

https://youtu.be/G7c2z9wcNv0

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