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The benefits of Multipurpose Units in a hospital
When designing a HVAC system for a hospital there are quite different aspects that need to be taken into account. We all know how critical medical facilities can be when designing a HVAC system, so reliability is undoubtedly a main aspect. Thermal comfort and hot sanitary water, though, are just as important, as comfort is fundamental to help patients quickly healing and recovering. Hospitals usually require both heating and cooling – plus hot sanitary water – at the same time, and that can happen almost all year round. Having said that, there are different options. There are projects requiring the installation of a reversible heat pump and a chiller, for instance, but there are also projects where both the simultaneous cooling and heating demand can be met by multipurpose or multifunction units like Daikin EWYD-4Z.
A multipurpose unit can be a great solution to simultaneously provide big buildings like hospitals with both cooling and heating, reducing running costs and speeding up ROI.
So, what are the benefits of using a multipurpose unit in a hospital?
Here are a few:
1- Multipurpose units to meet all year-round heating and cooling simultaneous demand
A multipurpose or 4-pipe unit can be a good option for several different applications and building types. It is usually the ideal solution for all those buildings undergoing strong opposite variable loads during the year. Then, multipurpose units are a main option for all those big buildings with a double and opposite sun exposure.
Hospital are definitely among these building types, not only for size or sun exposure, but in particular for surgical rooms, where the cooling or heating demand is independent from the season.
In fact, medical facilities may require different temperature levels depending on the specific indoor environment. Surgery rooms often require low temperatures. Those rooms are usually kept colder than normal to make sure surgeons and nurses feel comfortable while performing surgery, as the surgical team may be overheat by gowns, caps, gloves and masks.
2- A more energy efficient system
Did you know The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that HVAC systems consume almost half of the total energy used in health care facilities? That is most likely what happens in any hospital and in any country. So, there is a need in the hospital building sector for more energy efficient HVAC solutions.
Being able to provide a big building like a hospital with both heating and cooling – simultaneously – with just one unit, results in significantly lower energy consumptions. In fact, multipurpose chillers, when compared to traditional systems, can deliver the same cooling and heating energy with a 30% lower energy consumption. That means a traditional system made of a chiller and a reversible heat pump, for instance, or a chiller and a boiler, is significantly less efficient than a multipurpose chiller.
Space is another relevant aspect when dealing with hospitals and medical facilities. Big buildings requiring both cooling and heating, simultaneously, might not have enough space to allow the installation of different units to address different needs separately.
In this case a multipurpose unit, being a three in one solution, therefore being able to address all the hospital needs – heating, cooling and hot sanitary water, simultaneously – also allows to save space, since it can meet all the building’s needs with a single and relatively compact unit.
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