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HITACHI - Air Conditioning To Keep Guests & The Balance Sheet Happy

By Glyn Jones, UK Product Marketing Manager, Hitachi

For the competitive hotel sector, delighting guests and driving up customer revenues at the right cost is a constant challenge as, without a balance, success will be difficult in these tough economic conditions.

Getting the air conditioning right is just as important as other challenges because of its impact on costs, customer comfort and the environment. With the nights drawing in and Autumn making an appearance, there will be gradual changes in guestsí requirements for heating and cooling.

Modern VRF air conditioning systems can provide year-round comfort, reliability and are easy to control, as well as meeting the requirements of environmental legislation and energy-efficiency targets.

One major bugbear in hotels is complaints from guests that itís too hot, whilst others are feeling cold. Some VRF products like Hitachiís FSXN can meet different temperature needs in the same building, because they have heat recovery or heat pump capabilities, to improve customer comfort. The heat recovery operation significantly enhances energy efficiency and reduces operating costs. The FSXN offers a two-pipe system for open public areas and three-pipe heat recovery for guest bedrooms.

Control, as they say, is everything and there is no point having a flexible air conditioning system if it is hard to access and operate. A BMS system such as the CS Net Web on Hitachiís FSXN enables heating and cooling to be controlled straight from hotel reception using a simple touchscreen. Each guest can also set their heating or cooling requirements independently, tailored to criteria like the changing seasons, what time of day it is or whether a room is directly facing the sun or not.

Another common concern is that while air conditioning is cooling a warm room, it is causing a draught. A benefit of VRF products like the FSXN is its off coil limitation prevents annoying cold draughts, so itís easier to maintain an ideal room temperature, without the need to install expensive isothermal grilles. This is because the FSXNís off-coil temperature is controlled by the CS Net Web to limit temperature to a selected design. The ideal off-coil temperature for adequate cooling has been proven to be 12 degrees, which prevents the discomfort associated with draughts caused by uncontrolled off-coil temperatures. Hitachi has installed the FSXN in many hotels, from small to large scale, for this reason, as well as health clubs and offices.

To tackle the problem of noise associated with air conditioning, the FSXN is compatible with low-height, in-the-ceiling units and stylish wall-mounted units for discrete, low-noise comfort.

Advances in technology have meant that VRF systems can offer an exceptional degree of flexibility in installation with a pay-back time through reduced running costs, making it a more viable commercial decision over traditional cooling/heating methods. Compact and lightweight modular outdoor units provide appropriate solutions to tricky design, installation, space and aesthetic requirements.

Another cost saver is to look for a VRF system which has compressor rotation, which maintains the efficiency and increases the life expectancy of the unit. Also check that it has a backup operation, which prevents systems from stopping completely in the unlikely event that one of the compressors fails.

Its high performance, useful features and value for money make products such as the FSXN VRF system an excellent choice for hotels. As well as being used in new builds, VRFs are ideal for retrofit/refurbishment projects where modular and lightweight models provide good flexibility to the installer and end user, allowing for quicker or phased and extendable installation.

For more information please contact the Hitachi sales team by email below:

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