In a highly competitive market, hotel operators need to ensure that they are meeting the expectations of their guests, not least in terms of comfort in the rooms. Increasingly, there is an expectation that rooms will include an air-conditioning system to provide both heating and cooling.
Whilst many hotels have a centralised air-conditioning system with fan coil units in rooms served by central boiler and chiller plant, this is not always a practical option. Nor will a split system air conditioner always be viable, because of the need to mount external units on the wall.
Historically, an alternative has been to use a ‘through-the-wall’ air conditioner but these can pose significant challenges in terms of noise levels, energy efficiency and the visual impact on the exterior of the building.
Furthermore, when it comes to replacing older through-the-wall units, these older designs are no longer permitted under European regulations.
The answer is to make use of the latest generation of twin-duct, condenserless heat pump air-conditioners.
Condenserless air-conditioners use ‘monobloc’ technology to avoid the need for an external condenser, instead requiring just two 162 mm diameter holes connecting to the outside. These units are offer significant benefits in the following areas:
Modern condenserless air-conditioners combine high levels of acoustic insulation with quieter compressors to achieve noise levels as low as 32dB at 1m on low speed (41dB at high-speed). This makes them suitable for use in applications where noise levels are critical, such as hotel rooms. T
The best units on the market are fully compliant with the latest European regulations and offer a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 2.71 in cooling mode and 3.1 in heating mode. This is due to a number of energy-efficiency features that provide Class A efficiency in line with new energy labelling regulations.
These include features such as:
In avoiding the need for an outdoor unit, condenserless air-conditioners do not require installation of unsightly boxes on outside walls, which certainly detracts from the exterior appearance of the building and, in some situations, would not be allowed under planning regulations.
Condenserless units have minimum visual impact on the building facade, with just two small external grilles that are only open when the unit is operating.
Indoors, the units feature a contemporary, stylish design with a depth of just 17cm and can be mounted at low, medium or high level in the room, thus providing considerable flexibility to suit the layout of the space.
The low-level mounting option makes these units ideal for both retrofit and new build where the units are located beneath windows.
It is important to select a unit with a control interface that takes account of the fact that the user may well be unfamiliar with air conditioning controls. An intuitive touchscreen display on the unit, or on a remote controller (or both) provides the ideal solution.
It may also be beneficial to be able to pre-set the temperature set point and prevent or minimise further adjustment by guests to help save energy.
The condenserless design makes for very straightforward installation, compared to split systems, and the elimination of refrigerant pipework means that these units are not subject to F-Gas regulations, for installation, and can be installed by a competent person. The units come with a 13 amp plug top, for ease of power connection.
They come with an easy to use template which is fixed to the chosen wall which has all necessary holes and fixings printed on for ease of installation.
For ease of servicing, all components should be accessible from the front of the unit so that it is not necessary to remove the unit from the wall to carry out routine maintenance.
The new Nottingham Belfry Hotel is the first hotel operated by The QHotels Group to be fitted with Powrmatic Vision 2.3 condenserless heat pump air-conditioners. The project has taken advantage of the ease and speed of installation of the Vision 2.3 to ensure there was no downtime of the rooms. The first phase of the air conditioning installation by Clover Technical Solutions involved fitting Vision 2.3 units at low level in 45 rooms. See the installation here:
Condenserless heat pump air-conditioners, such as Powrmatic’s Vision 2.3 and Climapac units, are the ideal solution for many hotel air conditioning applications. The latest DCINV version of Vision offers even lower (up to 30%) energy consumption and reduced noise levels (only 27 dB on low fan speed.