InterContinental Hotel deploys ABB technology to cut energy usage by 40 percent T

he InterContinental Madrid hotel is saving energy and meeting its environmental goals after equipping its heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems with ABB drives and high efficiency motors. Energy usage has been reduced by 445,000 kWh a year – enough to boil two million kettles of water.

Energy survey identifies areas of low efficiency The hotel has eight pump groups that serve its HVAC systems as well as hot water supply for guest rooms, kitchens and other facilities. Although these systems were well maintained and in good condition, the hotel management was concerned that their energy efficiency levels were below current best practice. ABB’s official value provider in Madrid, Exel Industrial, was asked to carry out an energy survey. The survey revealed that the hotel’s energy use was high, particularly in the existing baseplate pumps, where both the motors and the pumps were inefficient. “The study showed that 40 percent of energy could be saved by decreasing the frequency of the motor by 10 percent,” states Enrique Bernad Lillo, Quality and Financial Manager at Exel Industrial.

Improved process stability and energy savings ABB recommended that the pumping systems should be upgraded with variable speed drives (VSDs) and electric motors with IE3 energy efficiency classification. A total of 13 ABB HVAC drives and 16 IE3 motors were installed in new baseplate pump groups and integrated into building management systems. Using VSDs to regulate the pumps provides the system with greater stability and considerable energy savings, as the motor speeds are now adjusted to match the precise demand at any given time.

The drives and motors also offer operational benefits as they help to lower running noise while offering smooth starting. This reduces the stress on the pumping systems, helping to extend maintenance intervals. Overall maintenance needs are also being decreased by a longer pump life span, especially as the VSDs can eliminate the potentially harmful effects of pump cavitation, which refers to voids in liquids that implode near a metal surface and trigger intense shockwaves inside the pump.

Payback in less than two years ABB’s intelligent motion solutions have cut energy use at the hotel by around 40 percent. Over a year that adds up to 445,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), cutting the hotel’s annual energy bill by more than £28,000 to deliver a projected return on investment in less than two years.

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