Variable speed drives for HVAC from ABB have been installed by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to 28 air handling units across its sites at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) and St Luke’s Hospital. These are for use in critical areas such as theatres and infection control zones, where the air flow is controlled to promote both safety and comfort.

According to the company, the load on the air handling units varies with the outside temperature, but the biggest difference is between day and night, as the fans typically run at half speed at night to conserve energy, reduce noise and minimise wear.

Supplied and commissioned by Drives Alliance member, Halcyon Drives, the VSDs are rated from 0.75kW to 30kW.  The two-month project was carried out in four phases. The ear, nose and throat department at BRI was first, followed by maternity. The team then moved on to plant room one at St Luke’s before completing the project in plant room two. 

Each drive is connected into the wider building management system (BMS) arranged by the onsite BMS systems company to communicate using the ABB HVAC drives standard protocol BACnet. 

Together, the drives are expected to save more than 200,000kWh and 110 tonnes of CO2 per year, and provide savings of more than £26,000 a year.                   

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