By: Jason D. Mills, Director of Marketing and Communication
Imagine a school district where classrooms are comfortable, energy costs are low, and maintenance is minimal – all without the need for expensive, intrusive construction and system upgrades. That’s not only possible, but now it’s affordable, thanks to the groundbreaking KMC Conquest Airflow Measurement System (AFMS).
KMC Controls’ revolutionary AFMS is changing the game for school districts across the country. The patent-pending technology eliminates the problems associated with meeting ventilation requirements set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and state and local ordinances. With the KMC AFMS school districts can breathe new life into old or outdated unit ventilator economizers. With this state-of-the-art system, schools can accurately measure airflow, actively adjust economizer dampers to maintain required rates, and achieve massive energy savings by no longer over ventilating.
A recent example of this includes a large school district in California, which faced a problem with meeting ventilation requirements set by ASHRAE and local/state code. The only means to meet these requirements was through the current unit ventilator economizer, which had several issues. There was no way to accurately measure airflow in the unit ventilator, leading to the economizer being set to a higher open position to ensure minimum ventilation rates were met. This caused massive energy usage due to the local climate and affected cooling comfort, leading to more calls to an already overwhelmed maintenance department.
Initially, adding energy recovery units (ERVs) to each classroom was proposed as a solution, which would provide the minimum ventilation rates and guarantee that the minimum rates would be met for each classroom. This would allow the unit ventilators to no longer be used for ventilation, saving the energy wasted due to over ventilation. However, the solution had several drawbacks, including a high initial cost of around $12k per classroom, added maintenance with two more fans and two more filters to change, future adjustments to requirements being an issue, and potential smoke issues if outside air was not safe.
That’s when the KMC Conquest AFMS Solution was proposed to address the issues. The revolutionary airflow measuring system eliminated all the issues with using the unit ventilator by actively adjusting economizer dampers to maintain required rates, resulting in massive energy savings due to no longer over ventilating. This solution has zero maintenance, an estimated installed cost of half of the ERV option, easily adjustable outside airflow settings through existing building automation system (BAS), and the ability to close economizer when outside air is not safe. The solution also used air changes per hour to purge the space properly, with CO2 sensors as a starting point. Furthermore, the solution was tied to the existing BAS, which allowed for easy shut down of dampers in case of smoke or other air quality issues.
With the KMC Conquest AFMS, not only is the solution energy-efficient, but it’s also low-maintenance, with zero upkeep required. Plus, it’s cost-effective, with an estimated installed cost that’s half that of traditional energy recovery units. This makes the KMC AFMS a perfect solution for school districts looking to upgrade their ventilation systems without breaking the bank.
Data from the pilot site further solidified the effectiveness of the KMC AFMS. The pilot installation showed that the unit ventilator economizer dampers leaked badly, resulting in even more savings. The air change rates were being met anytime CO2 exceeded the set point, indicating that the system was effectively providing the minimum ventilation rates required. Adding the KMC AFMS to the unit ventilators not only saved energy but also made it a more sustainable solution. The solution also had an exceptionally low noise level, making it ideal for a classroom environment, where noise can be disruptive to learning.
The energy savings of the KMC AFMS solution was significant, with an estimated over 750,000 kWh per year if 500-unit ventilators adopted KMC’s AFMS. The solution was estimated to lower incoming coil air temperature by 10-15°F during hot/warm seasons and was expected to meet higher ventilation rates for 6 hours per day and based on the climate, 18 weeks (about 4 months) a year. The solution also had additional savings like chiller life span, pump energy, and gas savings during winter. The estimated annual savings would be around $250k but would be even more with electrical rates increasing every year.
The pilot installation of the KMC Conquest AFMS was a solid proof of concept that the solution works, with lower energy costs, lower maintenance costs, and a lower initial cost than the ERV option. The return on investment for this solution, based on energy cost alone, was estimated to be less than five years, making it a highly attractive option for the school district.
The patent-pending KMC Conquest Airflow Measurement System is a game-changer for budget conscious school districts looking to upgrade their ventilation systems. The revolutionary airflow measuring system eliminates the problems associated with meeting ventilation requirements set by ASHRAE and state and local codes. It actively adjusts economizer dampers to maintain required rates, resulting in massive energy savings, zero maintenance and an estimated installed cost that’s half that of traditional energy recovery units. With the KMC AFMS, school districts can upgrade their ventilation systems without breaking the bank, while also providing a safe and comfortable learning environment for students.
Contact us today to learn more about how the KMC Conquest AFMS can benefit your district!