Never has industry been more challenging. With soaring energy costs and supply chain issues weighing down heavily on many businesses, most organisations are keen to be as efficient and effective as possible.
In some industries, where advanced technology requires precise temperature control for efficient operation – data centres, nuclear power stations and pharmaceutical laboratories for example – efficient and reliable cooling equipment is fundamental to the operation of their plant and accounts for a large portion of their energy usage. For a long time, this critical cooling equipment has been managed on a site-by-site basis, with unexpected, costly, breakdowns interrupting productivity, often at the most inconvenient of times.
That’s why AiredaleTM, the critical cooling specialists, has developed Cloud DiagnosticsTM, a cloud-based monitoring and diagnostics platform for owners of mission critical HVAC plants. Offering remote access via a secured communication channel, Cloud Diagnostics allows Airedale and other manufacturers’ HVAC products to be connected, monitored and analysed, with the overall objective of extended longevity and improved efficiency. With the secure data being available online to authorised users, facility/energy managers can access the data and receive alerts for any number of chillers, for example, from any location in the world. Whilst the list of benefits to using Cloud DiagnosticsTM is extensive, we look in detail below at the top 3 benefits to maintenance and facility managers:
- Predictive maintenance
- Refrigerant leak detection
- Performance analysis and efficiency monitoring
1. Predictive Maintenance
When cooling equipment goes down in mission critical environments, the disruption to operation and cost to the business can be significant. By connecting kit to Cloud Diagnostics, a facilities manager has access to constant real time monitoring and analysis, which in turn can deliver alerts before a breakdown situation occurs. The data can be instantly interpreted so a detected drop in performance could act as an early warning, allowing the maintenance team to investigate before a crisis situation occurs. Early intervention can prevent prolonged periods of higher energy consumption and eventual breakdown.
2. Refrigerant Leak Detection
One key area of concern for refrigerant based cooling systems is leakage of refrigerant. Because leakages tend to happen slowly and performance drops steadily, leakages often aren’t detected until too late, by which time it could have consequences to the planet, performance and the purse. Until now, leak detection required an engineer attending site. Cloud Diagnostics has the ability to catch such leakages earlier by detecting small losses in performance or changes in the power profile; changes that the human eye might not recognise. In tests, leakages have been detected at an astoundingly low 5%.
3. Performance analysis and efficiency monitoring
Critical cooling equipment consumes an estimated 40% of an plant’s total energy expenditure, so analysing efficiency and adjusting settings is essential to protect both the planet and the operational costs of the business. When a piece of equipment or a process chain is connected to Cloud Diagnostics, it is constantly feeding performance data in at speeds incomputable to humans. Furthermore, that data is instantly translated against not only its own environmental settings but also those of other machines in other settings, which allows it to assess its own performance against a much wider benchmark. For example, it can automatically recognise if a setting needs to be changed to improve efficiency, make that change and report that change back to the operator, all within a split second.
Security is of paramount importance and Airedale use only use proven secure connections; military level encryption is an integral part of the system and only company-authorised users have access to the dashboard. With robust technology in place, any risk to security is mitigated and companies can limit access to their system as they deem appropriate.
Cloud Diagnostics creates the ability to monitor cooling systems 24/7, in real time operation, giving peace of mind to customers working with tight service level agreements, by providing performance, prediction, maintenance and efficiency intelligence. It is available as an option on all new Airedale equipment and can be retrofitted to units already installed. For more information visit www.airedale.com