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The challenge

The need to improve heating, ventilation and air-conditioning efficiency

Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems provide year-round indoor comfort in buildings regardless of the building type or temperature outside. HVAC systems account for between 40–50 per cent of a commercial buildings energy use and contributes 34.7 megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

By improving the efficiency of HVAC systems we can decrease energy consumption; lowering operating costs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Our response

OptiCOOL intelligent control technology

CSIRO’s experts in automatic control, artificial intelligence, and mathematical modelling have developed an advanced HVAC control system, OptiCOOL intelligent control technology that can be retrofitted to an existing HVAC system.

OptiCOOL uses multiple data inputs, including weather, energy pricing and feedback from occupants, to adjust a building’s HVAC and reduce energy consumption.

Next generation HVAC and refrigeration control technology also integrates self-learning fault diagnosis, suboptimal operation detection, and predictive control of commercial refrigeration facilities.

The results

Improved energy efficiency of commercial buildings around the globa

Strategic collaboration between CSIRO and industry has led to OptiCOOL’s successful commercialisation, improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings around the globe.

OptiCOOL is now controlling HVAC systems across approximately 15 million square feet of floor space in Australia and the United States (August 2014), including the iconic Rockefeller Centre in the City of New York.

Independently tested, OptiCOOL technology results in energy savings of 10–30 per cent in commercial buildings.

A recent economic assessment has forecast that the benefits generated by BuildingIQ (using OptiCOOL technology) for Australia could reach $106.2 million over the next decade. The technology could potentially save the United States building sector $2.6 billion a year in energy costs.

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