Energy-efficient HVAC system uses 30 percent less power at Shanghai Library

Energy-efficient HVAC system uses 30 percent less power at Shanghai Library

The East Branch of Shanghai Library, which opened in September 2022, is a 115,000-square-meter building with seven floors above ground and two underground. It is an important educational site and, located beside the beautiful Century Park, a pleasant place to spend leisure time.  

The huge building must remain comfortable in Shanghai’s variable climate, which regularly exceeds 30°C (86°F) in the summer and drops to freezing in the winter. The key to maintaining a comfortable temperature is the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system – but these systems typically consume around 50 percent of all energy used in buildings.  

To meet the government’s Action Plan Towards Carbon Neutrality, the library must use the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible.  

Shanghai Songneng Mechanical and Electrical Equipment Engineering Company was brought in to work on the HVAC system. Experts from the company recommended variable speed drives (VSDs) to greatly reduce the building’s energy use. VSDs can cut a motor’s energy use by as much as 60 percent if it is running at partial load, which is common for motors in the HVAC system.  

The library was equipped with 129 VSDs throughout the HVAC system. This means that the pumps, fans and compressors will run at exactly the required speed, saving power. The drives further save power by reducing electromagnetic interference. The use of VSDs is estimated to cut power use by 30 percent, saving the library over 635 megawatt-hours (MWh) every year.  

Energy saving will be combined with other sustainability measures to make the library as sustainable as possible. It uses energy management software to optimize energy use, generates power using solar panels, and operates a heat recovery system.  

“ABB’s ACH580 is dedicated specifically to the needs of HVAC applications. This drive was chosen to ensure the right environmental conditions for the East Branch, while saving tremendous amounts of energy per year. It stood out due to its proven product characteristics such as stable operation, precise control, and advanced safety features,” explains Yongjian Wang, General Manager of Shanghai Songneng Mechanical and Electrical Equipment Engineering Company.