Energy-efficient air conditioning on luxury cruise vessels
Vacon AC drives to control Koja Marine's fan systems.
Large cruise liner companies are becoming increasingly interested in optimizing the output of the air conditioning systems in their new ships. The innovative and energy-efficient air conditioning technology the world’s newest and most revolutionary cruise ships under construction at STX are supplied fan systems controlled by Vacon AC drives.
Technology innovations improve overall efficiency
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems on cruise vessels consume a substantial amount of energy.
The sealed HVAC systems can also be manually closed or electronically closed off at dampers located at specific sections of a ship to expire oxygen.
The energy consumed by the HVAC system on a typical cruise vessel dating back to 10 years is equivalent to that of the total propulsion system or the combined hotel load.
Koja Marine, known for supplying air conditioning systems to the world’s most exclusive cruise liners, has been developing an economical and space-saving air conditioning systems.
The air conditioning system features a number of automation technology innovations that improve overall efficiency. For example, the air conditioning systems for cabins and public areas, and air conditioning automation represent totally new technology,” says Esko Nousiainen, director of Koja Marine.
The out put of controlled heat or air to all cabins located at the end of terminals.
Vacon AC drives control temperature & humidity to every space within each designated self contained system.
Since 2000, Vacon has supplied Koja Marine with approximately 3,500 AC drives. Vacon AC drives control the fans of Koja’s air conditioning systems used on board over 20 new cruise liners — a majority of which is sailing in the Caribbean. Vacon’s scope of delivery to Koja Marine includes air-cooled AC drives up to 50 kW, mostly 380 - 500 V units in IP54 enclosures, providing a high degree of protection against humidity.
Fans used in air conditioning systems often use excessive amounts of energy. Stepless speed control of the fan by means of an AC drive can bring considerable energy savings. In some cases, the payback time can be as short as one year.
More importantly, Vacon AC drives control the temperature and the level of humidity in the staterooms and in the public areas, thus guaranteeing better air quality on board. On a vessel carrying thousands of guests, the varying need for air conditioning is not a problem as adjusting the Vacon AC drives according to changing needs is easy.
Vacon AC drives are silent since they require no large built-in fans, and consequently, the air conditioning system does not cause any disturbing noise. All this adds to the passenger and personnel comfort.
In maritime air conditioning systems, space saving is one of the most important design criteria: air conditioning technology should take as little space as possible to leave maximum room for the staterooms and public spaces on board. The mechanical design of the Vacon AC drives is extremely compact. The IP54 units in particular are among the smallest AC drives on the market.
Fan control via Profibus
The Vacon AC drives are connected to the air conditioning system via Profibus. Fieldbus technology reduces the amount of wiring and the number of connections, the costs of installation, commissioning and service, and makes the system more resistant to malfunctions. Furthermore, fieldbus technology provides unlimited possibilities for control commands and access to a wide range of measurement and control data on the process itself.