Ultimate Comfort Systems
In 1995, CADDET – the Centre for the Analysis and
Dissemination of Demonstrated Energy Technologies – published a success story
about the remarkable energy savings and short payback generated by this
integrated HVAC piping system in a Days Inn Motel in
Since then, more Ultimate Comfort Systems have been
installed in hotels, restaurants, and health care facilities across the world,
In 2002, two hotels in
After the initial push given by CADDET, Steven J. Clark, the
inventor and patent holder of the technology, installed the technology in a
number of hotels/motels and extended living centers. But in 2000, the prospects
for nationwide use of the technology increased dramatically.
Since his early projects,
How does this innovative HVAC technology work? Like most great ideas, the new technology is very simple. First, it uses existing hot water pipes already in place in hotels/motels and extended living centers to deliver hot water to guest rooms. The hot water used for heating the building is the same hot water used for showers and water taps and is distributed through the same lines. Chilled water is directed throughout the buildings using the piping already in place for the fire sprinkler systems mandated by code in these buildings. The integrated piping system is essentially a four-pipe fancoil system with the notable exception that, instead of running four dedicated pipes, the system uses pipes that are already a part of modern building construction. Figure 1 below shows a schematic of the system.
National fire code specifically outlines a procedure for using the fire sprinkler lines for air conditioning purposes. As long as all the components connected to the sprinkler lines are rated for the water pressures used in the sprinkler lines, and as long as the system is engineered so that it does not reduce the ability to respond to a fire, it is acceptable under the fire code.
Using this type of integrated piping system can dramatically lower the number of refrigeration units needed. Instead of separate units in each guestroom, just a few evaporative chillers can be located in a centralized location. In the Days Inn, for example, the number of needed refrigeration units and circuits was reduced from 65 to 2. In addition, installation costs for the integrated piping system is much less expensive than costs to install either PTACs or WSHPs in additional to standard hot water and fire sprinkler piping. Estimated installation cost savings are between $4 and $6 per square foot compared to installation costs for PTACs or WSHPs and a separate hot water and fire sprinkler piping system. Operational savings average between $.15 and $.30 per square foot annually.
Other benefits are equally important. The integrated piping system produces much less noise in guestrooms since air conditioners and heat pumps do not have to run in each room. In addition, little or no refrigerants are used, and rooms and exteriors are more aesthetically pleasing since AC or heat pump units do not protrude from the walls.
This innovative technology has stood the test of time. It received a Special Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Awards Program and an Award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
For more information about the innovative integrated HVAC piping system and about licensing the system, contact Steven J. Clark at 1-800-728-6674 or visit the Ultimate Comfort Systems, Inc., website at www.ultimatecomfortsystems.com.