How our cooling systems got cooler
Have you ever heard of an entire building used as a live lab for real-time comparative analysis, that too in a corporate organization’s campus?
Yes, that's right – we have an entire building that is being used as a live-lab. Read on to know more...
In our Indian campuses, air-conditioning contributes to a staggering 40% of the energy consumption of our buildings and eventually to our carbon footprint. To reduce our carbon and energy footprints, we wanted to test the effectiveness of the pioneering, environment-friendly Radiant Cooling system.
The goal of the experiment was to find out if the Radiant Cooling technology is more sustainable and efficient compared to conventional cooling systems.
What we did about it?
We carried out one of the world’s biggest and ‘first-of-its-kind’ experiments in comparing conventional systems with the Radiant Cooling system in a new building on our Hyderabad campus.
We challenged existing practices and took a radical approach to air conditioning by successfully experimenting with the Radiant Cooling technology.
With the most efficient conventional system: Per capita energy consumption is 78KWH Per Month
With Radiant Cooling system: Per capita energy consumption is 57KWH Per Month
What is radiant cooling?
Radiant cooling is a system that uses a temperature-controlled surface to cool indoor temperatures by removing heat, mainly through the radiation mode of heat transfer. In this mode, heat flows from warmer objects, occupants, and equipment to a cooled surface.
The cooled surfaces, in this case the building floor and ceiling surface, provide cooling. Pipes carrying chilled water are embedded in the concrete slab or in the building’s false ceiling at the time of construction. As water can carry 3,400 times more heat than air for the same volume, it makes Radiant Cooling far more efficient compared to air-based cooling systems. The system uses fresh air supply for ventilation and moisture removal.
How we implemented Radiant Cooling?
When we first considered adopting Radiant Cooling technology around 2007-08, it was relatively new in the world and had never been implemented in India in large-scale commercial spaces.
- At our live-lab in Hyderabad, we designed half of the building as radiant cooled, and the other half with conventional cooling methods. All other parameters, such as area, number of occupants, lighting, building orientation, building envelopes, etc., in both halves were identical. To make a clear comparison between Radiant Cooling and the conventional systems, we tracked data for a year, and gained radical insights.
- The Radiant Cooling pipes were laid in the concrete slabs during building construction. These pipes circulated chilled water to keep the floor and ceiling cool.
- Fresh air was circulated through an air system to keep the indoor environment healthy and the humidity in control.
Construction phase of the radiant cooled building at Hyderabad
Radiant Cooling was 30% more efficient compared to the most efficient conventional systems, and additionally, enhanced indoor air quality and thermal comfort.
We have a total area of 5 million sq. ft. with Radiant Cooling across PAN India Infosys
Believing that we could make our Radiant Cooling solution cost-effective and more efficient compared to installations available in the market, we drew up a plan to develop this technology in-house. This led to the development of the Radiflux Radiant Cooling panel technology, a ‘one-of-its-kind’ innovation by an IT company!