Achieving Chiller Plant Efficiency in HVAC Facilities with Azbil’s Electronic PICV Solution

Buildings, where we spend most of our day, are being constructed increasingly as cities grow worldwide, accounting for a vast amount of global energy consumption. With heightened demand for protecting the environment and achieving a sustainable society, energy-efficient buildings are essential in shifting to a low-carbon future.

Enabling energy conservation in buildings

Advanced automatic control equipment manufacturers and building professionals need to incorporate HVAC control solutions that provide an optimal balance between a comfortable indoor environment and energy savings. An early start for HVAC design in buildings is critical in enabling energy efficiency that maps out ideal operations during implementation. In addition, a comfortable experience for building occupants may enhance their work productivity.

HVAC water delivery systems achieve efficiency by balancing water pressure and controlling the water volume. Azbil’s electronic Pressure Independent Control Valve (PICV) – ACTIVAL+TM is designed to collect data on the flow rate, pressure, temperature and energy to be analyzed and control the water volume while measuring flow rate.

Electronic PICV ACTIVAL+ as a dynamic solution for balancing water pressure and controlling the water volume

ACTIVAL+ uses the pressure sensor measurement value to automatically control the entire piping system, enabling minimum pressure loss in the valve, which eliminates the need to apply excess pressure.

ACTIVAL+ features the following functions:

  • Controls and limits flow rate
  • Keeps the differential pressure across the valve constant
  • Measures energy consumption, flow rate, temperature and pressure

Unlike balancing pressure mechanically, the automated control of ACTIVAL+ enables the flow rate characteristics of the control valve to be constantly maintained without relying on its differential pressure. As a result, ACTIVAL+ cooperates well with a pump’s pressure control, minimizes pressure loss and eliminates the need for applying excess pressure. The unit also outputs the measured flow rates and energy to host systems via a communication protocol such as Modbus. ACTIVAL+ measures energy without using a flowmeter or calorimeter and helps assess the operational status and review operational performance for improvements.

Advantages of automated control in water distribution systems

  • Enables Energy Conservation – Optimizes flow rate control, requires fewer operating chillers and pumps for limiting excess flow rate, saves energy more effectively by adding return temperature compensation control, and reduces the pump’s power consumption
  • Enables Energy Management via Function Integration – Integrated measurement functions remove the need for additional energy management equipment, save space and cost, and enable energy management for individual air handling units
  • Enhanced Comfort – Constantly maintains optimal flow rate regardless of pressure fluctuation within the piping, leading to enhanced indoor comfort

In conclusion, it is essential to enable energy conservation by balancing water pressure and controlling the water volume in water distribution systems of the building HVAC facilities as part of conserving the global environment and creating a sustainable society. Therefore, Azbil’s ACTIVAL+, a comprehensive flow-measuring control valve, which can obtain the measurement values of flow rate, pressure, temperature and energy to help analyze and control, is recommended to achieve an optimal performance of HVAC control.

For details, download the white paper titled “Enabling Energy Conservation in Water Distribution System in Building HVAC Facilities” and explore a range of building automation solutions by Azbil Corporation.