JBC has worked closely with Daikin to provide just the right level of climate control and comfort in all of its stores.
“Having a comfortable climate in the shop is crucial for customer satisfaction and retention.” Gert Laeveren, JBC adjunct technical manager.
More recently, in ongoing search to optimise running costs, JBC conducted a site trial with Daikin designed to evaluate the potential gains generated by Variable Refrigerant Temperature (VRT) technology. The results of the test were more than conclusive.
“It is very important for us to work closely with specialists like Daikin,” explains Gert. “It enables us to make properly informed decisions for planned store refurbishments – as well as to ensure that the correct investments are made for the future.”
To make sure the test could be conducted in a real, busy retail environment, the JBC store at Vilvoorde was selected to trial the VRT technology. This JBC outlet covers a floor area of 885 m² and is equipped with 80 kW of Daikin equipment, including Daikin Round Flow cassettes. To obtain an accurate comparison, two identical Sky Air outdoor units were used, each connected to Daikin’s unique Round Flow Cassette system.
The central area of the shop was chosen, where there is minimal influence from the store’s windows and the thermal loads are evenly balanced. One system for the test featured Daikin’s Variable Refrigerant Temperature technology, which balances the refrigerant temperature to match the actual load in the room, while the other system did not have the VRT function enabled.
To ensure identical operating times and settings to provide an accurate comparison, the two units were connected to the same remote control unit, with the same room temperature, fan speed, airflow rate, etc. This data was collected for every minute of the day, from June 2017 to May 2018. The ongoing readings were monitored and reported remotely using the Daikin Cloud Service.
The VRT-enabled unit performed considerably better in terms of energy consumption and comfort, for both visitors to the store and shop staff alike.
“Comfort is key,” says Gert Laeveren. “Around the fitting rooms, temperature is extremely important. Having a comfortable climate in the shop is crucial for customer satisfaction and retention.”
From an energy efficiency point of view, the VRT system consumed up to 21% less power in mild conditions, with annual savings recorded at an impressive 14%. When you multiply that figure over the total number of JBC stores and you have an idea of just how much JBC can save on its running costs by using VRT technology.