Gerab Energy Systems applies ‘Smart Cooling’ to Etihad retrofit project.
Executive director highlights benefits of adiabatic pre-cooling systems:
Gerab Energy Systems has applied ‘Smart Cooling’, an adiabatic pre-cooling system, to more than 20 chillers in
Etihad ESCO retrofits for WASL Properties. Adnan Sharafi, Executive Director, Gerab Energy Systems, elaborated on the benefits of the technology, which, he said, was rolled out in cooperation with Blue Energy Global. The new generation intelligent adiabatic pre-cooling device, he said, offers faster installation, is more technologically
advanced, uses less water, requires less maintenance and has been approved by Etihad. “Most of our clients are concerned about high cost of the energy consumption of the chillers for cooling,” Sharafi said, “and that’s why they want us to [retrofit it] for them. This includes ESCOs, because ESCOs need to find ways to guarantee a reduction
in power consumption.”
Janis Strelits-Strele, Business Development Manager, Gerab Energy Systems, added that major chiller manufacturers have approved this technology, highlighting the company’s commitment to cost-effective after-sales and maintenance services. He said that for all the projects, the company, through its after-sales service mechanism, carries out maintenance once every 30 days.
Sharafi stressed that the company recognises that maintenance is part of cost, as the company calculates
the return on investment and payback to include cost and extended warranty to ensure clients’ ease of operations. Strelits-Strele added that operations greatly benefit from proper technical know-how and that the company’s knowledge and expertise in ensuring the installation, maintenance, performance and operation of equipment
makes Gerab Energy Systems a good partner for ESCOs. “[Clients] know,” he said, “that it will be installed and maintained properly and that the performance on the first day will be the same after two, three even five years.”
Pointing to benefits of the system, Sharafi said that the company is working with manufacturers to enhance the efficiency of even brand-new chillers. “With all the chillers we get more efficiency,” he said, “because
with time, chillers become less efficient; when you retrofit, they will reduce energy consumption and increase the Co-efficiency of performance (COP).”
On whether the company has seen greater demand for HVAC retrofit solutions, Strelits-Strele said while the market is still in its early stages, the company has invested in improving awareness among chiller manufacturers about the
benefits of pre-adiabatic cooling systems and that the market is becoming more educated. “People are responding,” Sharafi said. “In the beginning, people were not aware of what it can do, because there has been a lot of
green washing as you know, and people get scared. Now, we have done a lot of case studies and a lot of installations to show that this works – and it works extremely well.” Sharafi stressed that the payback period for investing in retrofit solutions is also attractive, as it is approximately less than two years.
Strelits-Strele said the company is eager to showcase its success stories to overcome perception with regard to adiabatic precooling systems. He added that there have been some apprehensions as older models of poorer design had damaged chillers. “We are changing understanding about the adiabatic solution itself,” he said, stressing that
technology has evolved in such a way that it has been able to address previous concerns. “People in the past used very crude adiabatic systems that damaged their chillers,” Sharafi said, “and that scared them.”
Strelits-Strele said that to battle this perception, the company conducts seminars and participates in relevant events. “We are also supplying chiller manufactures,” he said, “and once approved by a chiller manufacturer [it provides] some kind of trust in the customer, because a chiller manufacturer will never use something that can damage their chiller.” Sharafi echoed this. “They will lose a lot of the goodwill they have built over the years,” he said. “So they don’t take things lightly.”
Speaking on the company’s profile of activities in Saudi Arabia, Strelits-Strele said the company has signed partnership agreements in major cities in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam and is looking forward to finalising private projects in the country.
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