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A step towards apartment building sustainability through AC systems

A step towards apartment building sustainability through AC systems
A step towards apartment building sustainability through AC systems

Air conditioning (AC) is a critically important building system, and a significant contributor to building capital and operating costs, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The findings of a 2010 CSIRO buildings energy use study included:

  • Building Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) contributes around 50% to building energy use 
  • Building energy use contributes 26% to Australia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

The effective and reliable operation of AC is essential for the comfort of apartment building occupants. Property owners expect, regardless of a building’s location and operating environment, that the AC system will provide effective performance and sustained energy efficiency, particularly in these times of expensive and incessantly rising electricity costs, as well as helping to limit GHG emissions, for the full 15+ year equipment design life.

The primarily metal construction of AC equipment requires that corrosion protection coatings are applied to the casings and mechanical parts. Standard factory coatings provide protection in low corrosivity conditions, such as areas away from the coast and where air pollution levels are very low. However, in coastal areas with moderate to extreme salinity, in urban areas with moderate to high air pollution, and industrial areas with high to very high air pollution, additional high-performance protective coatings are needed. AC equipment that is not adequately protected from corrosion can fail to provide effective climate control, lose 20% or more of the initial energy efficiency, and require replacement after only 5 years i.e. at only one-third of the expected life, a major and unexpected capital cost to property owners. AC equipment manufacturers’ warranty typically excludes failure or deterioration caused by corrosion.

A proper aftermarket service ensures the most effective protective coatings are applied without risking AC equipment damage or degrading system performance. To ensure you are getting the top-notch aftermarket AC corrosion protection, look out for the following:

Specialist AC coatings applicator, with rigorous processes and fully trained and qualified technicians

Coatings range specifically developed or selected for AC equipment requirements– particularly for the critical heat exchanger parts - standard paints applied to heat exchangers can severely reduce AC performance, increase power consumption, and cause early failure, thus defeating the purpose of the protective treatment. A polyurethane-aluminium composite coating specifically formulated with the optimum combination of protective and heat transfer properties is the ideal choice for heat exchangers.

Highest quality proprietary or commercial coatings are used for rust prevention in coastal, marine and industrial conditions. Preventing visible rust is especially important for apartment balcony AC units in full view of the residents.

  1. Excellent industry reputation and track record
  2. Exclusive or preferred supplier to major equipment manufacturers and AC contractors
  3. Local service for fast response and turnaround
  4. Fully equipped workshop for cost-effective treatment in controlled conditions before installation; mobile service for on-site treatment when required
  5. Provides a warranty

Summary

Air conditioning equipment installed in coastal, urban and industrial areas requires additional high-performance protective coatings for sustained equipment performance, to minimise energy consumption and associated GHG emissions, to maintain structural integrity, mechanical reliability and good appearance, and to achieve the maximum operating life. Local industry-recognised aftermarket AC corrosion protection specialists provide the coating materials, skills, equipment and responsiveness to achieve the optimum result.

Corroded AC outdoor unit installed on a balcony of a Lakes Entrance apartment:

A step towards apartment building sustainability through AC systems

Severely corroded heat exchanger and casings in an AC outdoor unit of a St Kilda café. Salty sea air is particularly destructive to copper (horizontal tubes) and aluminium (the comb-like thin vertical cooling fins) heat exchangers. Factory polyester powder coatings applied to the casings are permeable, which allows salty water to penetrate to the metal case which rusts under the coating.

A step towards apartment building sustainability through AC systems
 

A specialist AC coatings applicator technician in a workshop spray booth applying the red protective primer coating to the heat exchanger and mechanical parts of two AC outdoor units. 

Coatings are applied by high-pressure spray equipment to ensure full penetration into the heat exchanger’s narrow air channels to fully coat all surfaces. The blue surface is the original factory coating on the heat exchanger, which does not provide the required protection in corrosive conditions:

A step towards apartment building sustainability through AC systems
 

David Fry

David Fry

David is the Director of Blygold Victoria, a position he has held since acquiring the Oakleigh South-based business in 2012. Blygold Victoria is part of the Australia-wide and global network of Blygold air conditioning corrosion protection specialists. David’s previous positions included Operations & QA Manager of Invetech, a Melbourne-based product development consulting company, and he has worked in the aerospace, robotics & automation, automotive and engineering consultancy industries in Australia and abroad since graduating from RMIT in 1984 with a Bachelor Degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

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