Spotlight on Award Winners: NexRev DrivePak Fulfills Energy Program Goals
This article is sponsored by NexRev.
When it comes to energy management, the best way for companies to improve on their energy goals is to include both the energy team and the facilities team, advises Kenneth Smith, CEO of NexRev. “Both teams must be incentivized to save energy. Energy programs that yield the greatest returns will require some procedural adjustments on the part of facilities operations,” he says. “Additionally, we find that energy programs tend to uncover facility equipment issues that need to be resolved to fulfill the entire energy program goals. This requires budget cooperation between both groups.”
NexRev’s DrivePak HVAC Efficiency Retrofit, winner of Environmental Leader’s Top Product of the Year Award, was created to help companies yield the greatest possible returns from their energy programs. The product reduces the waste of energy that occurs in heating and air-conditioning equipment during non-peak load conditions and improves on the humidity levels in the facility, thus saving energy while improving comfort. “DrivePak is a product built with a cost structure, delivery method and warranty that meet the needs of an aggressive ROI model, while providing a low total cost of ownership with reduced risk, helping insure a favorable financial return, even without the use of utility incentives,” Smith says.
DrivePak is an energy-saving upgrade for existing packaged rooftop air conditioning units, found in quantity on retail, grocery, entertainment and dining facilities. DrivePak brings variable speed technology to standard RTU and blower motors in the 3-5 horsepower range. By matching the supply fan speed to run only as fast as the actual load requires, the reduction in energy consumption is automatic, and the savings impact of reduced motor speed is exponential, according to the company. Additionally, simply using preset speeds, without considering the actually air delivery of an existing piece of equipment, can result in unsafe airflows and potential damage to the unit, and DrivePak reduces that risk.
NexRev says that with DrivePak, total fan energy is typically reduced by over 70% and total unit energy usage by up to 50% – with payback of two years or less. Some customers have seen as much as a 15% reduction in overall store electrical consumption, the company says. “A cost-effective VFD solution for existing roof top units is great. Anything less than a 3 year payback should be on anyone’s list of projects to implement,” said one Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards judge.
Energy management and energy efficiency should start with all HVAC equipment, suggests Smith. However, he says, in the case of large facilities with larger HVAC systems, this is easier to do from the beginning. For that equipment and those facilities with long-term leases or ownership, the upfront costs and complexity in setup, along with the ongoing maintenance, are justifiable. Facilities with rooftop air-conditioning equipment have historically been facilities with short term leases, little sophistication in the level of facility personnel on site to manage the equipment, and strict upfront cost pressures that force equipment choices with little technology installed or in setup. As technology has improved in the reliability and the cost of components required to modify the HVAC equipment, it has become easy to justify adding this technology to package rooftop equipment.
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