Air conditioning supplier Eco Aire distributes ecofriendly solutions that limit the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere, and use and reuse energy responsibly in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
Eco Aire designs and manufactures residential, commercial and industrial air conditioning
units. These units also encompass a range of ecofriendly solutions such as R410 inverter systems, heat pipe energy recovery systems, three-stage evaporative cooling systems and four-stage hybrid systems with a coefficient of performance of less than eight.
“We are recognised in the industry for our technical capabilities, meeting the requirements of our clients through careful specification of solutions that match needs and budgets. “Our differentiator is our ability to specify or design and engineer tailor-made solutions,” says Eco Aire MD Gerhard van Niekerk.
He says the company gives comprehensive input into the manufacturing process, ensuring the product is of high quality and suitable to South African conditions and it also provides full technical support and spare parts to its clients.
Van Niekerk says Eco Aire has been the agent for tools and equipment manufacturer Hitachi’s VRF systems in South Africa for 20 years, offering both heat pump and heat recovery options.
“Eco Aire’s deep industry experience, broad product range and strong engineering skills help its clients meet those requirements, as well as standard and custom-designed solutions for multiple HVAC applications.”
He notes that, with the recent purchase of Hitachi by building technology systems multinational Johnson Controls, Eco Aire is looking forward to leveraging the advanced control capabilities the company brings to enhance the Hitachi solutions.
Hitachi SmartFlex VRF Gateway
Van Niekerk says a new VRF solution, the Hitachi SmartFlex VRF Gateway has, for example, just been released by Johnson Controls and it works over Wi-Fi to discover all point data from Hitachi solutions, enabling the Hitachi VRF to connect with any building management system (BMS) using ‘building automation control and network’.
“VRFs are finding a niche in the market as they fit neatly in the gap between mini split units used in smaller, often residential, applications and the big central plant water chilled systems used in large applications, such as shopping malls.”
He says Hitachi VRF is highly flexible, catering to small residential applications all the way up to 50 storey buildings.
How It Works
A single outdoor unit feeds into multiple indoor units, with load control not managed with an on/off switch but by changes in the amount of refrigerant flow to the different units.
“While these units can be more complex to install, they are becoming more trusted as the installations are professionally done and the units themselves are high quality,” says Johnson Controls South Africa GM Neil Cameron.
He adds that Hitachi is one of the top brands in the world and it is known for its advanced ‘destructive testing’ methodologies that ensure that units are ruggedised and meet the typically long periods of application it is used for.
Van Niekerk says the new Hitachi SmartFlex VRF gateway system will add further value and when the control system is used with the Hitachi VRF, it enables data exchange and communication with BMSes to facilitate integrated management of facilities.
“We look forward to deepening our relationship with Johnson Controls as it continues to add intelligence and other enhancements that will help us grow Hitachi’s market share in South Africa and on the Africa continent,” Van Niekerk concludes.