Nestled between The International Financial Services Centre, The Convention Centre Dublin and The 3Arena, Dublin’s 40-acre EastPoint Business Park provides state-of-the-art cost effective, flexible and well serviced office buildings to a thriving business community of 50+ companies and 6,000+ employees. The Business Park is set in beautiful landscaped surroundings alongside the Tolka Estuary and Dublin Bay.
Easily accessible, EastPoint is home to Irish and International ‘Blue Chip’ companies, including one major, internet search giant. This particular company occupies 50,000ft² of office space in this prime location, which required a sustainable and energy friendly heating and cooling solution. Dublin-based Panasonic PRO Partner, Tech Refrigeration was the installer for the Panasonic-specified VRF solution.
The first challenge was the size and design of the building. System Installer Jim Weldon from Tech Refrigeration says, “This search engine giant needed to find a system that would more than comfortably cope with the 50,000ft² office footprint. The open atrium in the centre of the building was an aesthetic feature, however, cooling such a large space covered in glass in the height of summer and then heating it during the winter was a major potential issue.” This company employs over 280 staff from over 24 nationalities and keeping everyone comfortable was a real challenge. However this was overcome thanks to the performance and flexibility of Panasonic’s heating and cooling technology.
The Panasonic Solution
Panasonic’s 3-Pipe ECOi MF2 6N Series VRF solution was specified as a result of an excellent recommendation from the consultant Ethos Engineering, as it offers the best solution for this most demanding of applications.
In a bid to ensure the comfort of the staff, the Panasonic system has a wide temperature setting range from 16-30⁰C. The large floor plan of the office space proved no problem for the ECOi MF2 range, as it is adaptable to various building types and sizes due to the options to select the best fitted airflow / static curve. In total, the installation covered four floors.
“A major advantage of the Panasonic system over the competition was the ability for off-coil temperature control” continues Jim. “A sensor within the indoor units allows the overall system to adjust the supply-air temperature to a pre-set minimum temperature. This temperature is adjustable during commissioning to between 7 and 22⁰C. This not only increases comfort, but saves energy and running-costs.”
With any large scale system, maintenance will always be a factor. The benefit of using this Panasonic range is that even when an indoor unit requires maintenance, other units continue to function to decrease down-time and provide optimum system performance. Aside from the technical ability of the Panasonic hardware, the support of a local Panasonic installer with extensive experience, and the knowledge of the consultant, added to the confidence in this system.
A key feature of this system was the ability of the Panasonic ECOi MF2 system to offer various comfort levels over different areas – and on such a large scale. The benefit of using this 3-pipe Panasonic VRF solution over a water-chilled system is the ability to offer efficient, demand based control, localised to each unit to provide either heating or cooling, offering maximum comfort and efficiency. With one outdoor unit chassis size offering economical dimensions, this solution offers maximum benefits and output with market leading COP as well as noise reduction.
The project has been such a success that it has recently been awarded a Panasonic PRO Award for Best Contribution of efficient projects within Europe.