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The Icon, Luton’s newest four-star hotel, is ensuring energy efficient climate control from the bar to the bedrooms with a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat recovery air conditioning solution and a range of Split Systems from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Europe (MHIE). The project by local property developer Franco Anacreonte has involved the refurbishment and joining together of two substantial office buildings to create a luxury hotel close to the town centre.

A VRF system from MHIE’s Ecolution HyperMulti KX6 range will serve 34 guest rooms, while high performance Split Systems from the FD Series are being installed for ground floor facilities, including the reception, restaurant and fitness room. The VRF and Split systems both feature advanced inverter technology which adjusts compressor output to match the cooling or heating demands of the indoor units to save energy and eliminate temperature fluctuations.

Completing the hotel’s air conditioning package is MHIE’s new RCH-E3 control solution. Each room has a controller, which will be linked to the hotel’s Building Management System (BMS) via MHIE’s SC-LGWN-A LonWorks interface device. Designed specifically for use in hotel rooms, the RCH-E3 includes an easy-to-read control panel with adjustment of cooling and heating by guests restricted to a range of 16 to 30 degrees. Programmable timer functionality and other advanced functions are controlled centrally through the hotel’s BMS.

The MHIE package for the new hotel is being supplied by distributor HRP Ltd and installed by Essex-based D R Energy Services. Dave Rodwell, director of D R Energy Services, says MHIE’s comprehensive choice of VRF and splits offered the best value solution for the hotel’s needs: “The RC-E3 air conditioning controller is really simple to use, hotel management can set up the system for maximum efficiency, and guests have some control without being able to override important functionality.”

The MHIE VRF system serving hotel rooms on the upper floors consists of one 22hp KX FDC615 3-pipe heat recovery outdoor unit to provide either a heating operation up to 69.0kW or cooling up to 61.5kW to 34 ceiling ducted FDUM22KXE5 (2.2kW) indoor units. A 3-pipe heat recovery system allows different rooms to function in cooling or heating mode simultaneously, with surplus heat from one providing useful energy for the other.  

On the ground floor, three FDT100V twin Split Systems from MHIE are driving six indoor units located throughout the reception, bar and restaurant. The FDT100V has a cooling range from 4.0 to 11.2kW and 4.09 coefficient of performance. The indoor units incorporate several advanced features to increase comfort and air distribution. By redesigning the air flow direction of the discharge, MHIE has reduced potential pressure loss inside the unit and minimised ceiling stain contamination. In addition, the unit’s new reinforced sound absorbing material means a significant reduction in sound levels and fewer disturbances for guests.

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