Home Energy Management Keep the Power ‘Variable’ to Reduce Your Hotel’s Energy Costs

Keep the Power ‘Variable’ to Reduce Your Hotel’s Energy Costs

Glenn Hasek

One of the most important words to look for when considering energy-efficient equipment for your hotel is “variable.” I come across it often. In some cases, the technology has been available for years; in other cases, not. The main idea with “variable” is to not be running on 100 percent all the time. This past week in my feature on the very green Revisn aparthotel in Raleigh, N.C. you will see mention of a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heating and air-conditioning system. By operating at varying speeds, heat recovery VRF units work only at the needed rate allowing for substantial energy savings at partial-load conditions. (See related article for more details.)

In the kitchen, exhaust hoods are another great place for variable speed systems. Fan speed is based on load. A sensor is placed in the exhaust duct to monitor air temperature. A signal is transmitted to a processor to vary the fan speed in proportion to the actual heat load. An optic sensor inside the hood monitors when actual cooking is taking place. Upon the detection of any smoke/vapors inside the hood, it sends a signal to a processor to speed up the fans to 100 percent capacity until the effluent is removed. (See related article.)

A number of years ago at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., the hotel installed variable speed drives (VFDs) on air handling units to control static pressure, and on cooling towers to slow down the control fan motors which cool the water that is used at the hotel. The VFDs help to slow the drive motors by reducing electricity going to the motor, and therefore reduce the number of consumed kilowatts. (See article.)

Appears in Commercial Laundry Equipment

One commercial laundry machine producer recently touted its new multi-load washer with a variable frequency drive system. Two years ago, I reported on the St. Julien Hotel & Spa and its installation of variable frequency drives on motors. One ozone laundry system provider says its variable ozone system automatically delivers custom amounts of ozone as determined by each wash load.

Do a search on “variable” on the Green Lodging News website and you will find many other examples of suppliers and hoteliers investing in variable speed technologies.

Variable speed systems may qualify for rebates or tax deductions. Be sure to check with your supplier, local utility or this website for information.

According to the Green Lodging Trends Report 2018, 74.7 percent of hoteliers participating in the survey have installed variable frequency/speed drives and/or electronically commutated motors in an HVAC or elsewhere. A total of 59.6 of respondents indicated that variable frequency drives (VFDs) are used in water pumps, 52.6 percent are used in main air handling units and 50.8 percent used in elevators.

You may pay more for variable speed technology but expect a strong return. Dicky Walia, CEO and Managing Director of Welcome Holdings which developed the “green” Revisn brand, said of the Revisn property’s VRF system, “It is two times expensive but 55 percent more efficient.”

How to Search on Our Website

Like other search engines you find online, a search using one word will produce articles with that word included. If you would like to search for something that is more than one word long—ozone laundry, for example—you will need to put quotation marks around the words or phrase. Ozone laundry would then be “ozone laundry” in the search.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Get in the Green Suppliers Spotlight!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, announces the launch of Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to 19,225 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast features multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)

Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs.

Planning Advertising for 2019?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2019. Many excellent spots are available on our new website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2019 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 19,225. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail editor@greenlodgingnews.com to be added to our list.

Green Lodging News & Social Media

Green Lodging News now has 1,803 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 936 Facebook likes.

As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.