Nepal Purbadhar

आइतवार, बैशाख २, २०८१
Sunday, April 14, 2024

आइतवार, बैशाख २, २०८१
Sunday, April 14, 2024

KU commissions research on HVAC

KATHMANDU: Kathmandu University (KU) has commenced the first-ever research in Nepal to reduce energy consumption in pharmaceutical industries by building an underground air tunnel.

With the support of the Norwegian Government’s ‘Inrise Nepal Program’, the Department of Pharmacy at KU is undertaking research on the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system integrated with the Earth Air Tunnel. The research will explore ways to reduce the currently required 25-degree centigrade temperature in the pharmaceutical industry given the application of natural methods.

A five-member research team is being led by KU’s Prof Bivek Baral. Mohan Pant, one of the team members, said that the planned study will cover 20 industries to analyze energy consumption and the potential of HVAC systems.

According to Pant, the research will be completed within two years and KU will pilot the system in the pharmacy. Currently, 10 MW of electricity which include 8 MW of hydroelectricity and 2 MW of thermal power is being used in the pharmaceutical industry.  “About 65 percent of this electricity is used for heating and cooling during the production,” said Pant.

The pharmaceutical industry requires 25 to 27 degrees centigrade of energy for the HVAC system.  Constructing an air tunnel 4 meters below the ground under the HVAC system, it reduces its temperature needs to 20 degrees centigrade in both winter and summer.

“While pharmaceutical industries are currently spending a lot on heating and cooling for production at 25 to 27 degrees centigrade, the use of this system will save energy of 5 to 7 degrees centigrade and it will significantly reduce the energy expenditure of pharmaceutical industries,” said Pant. “After this research, it will help with the production of medicines through environmentally friendly green energy.  It is estimated that this system will reduce the cost of electricity per unit by 80 percent,” added Pant.

 During the study, since the air pressure in the corridor and room of the pharmaceutical industry is different, it is planned to analyze the balance of the air condition in the production area as well. During the research, it is planned to give an opportunity to two undergrad students to research with the team; among them, one will be a mechanical student and another will be a pharmaceutical student. Two conferences with experts will also be part of the research. European countries are reducing energy consumption by applying HVAC systems, especially in housing. The study is expected to help with temperature management in pharmaceutical industries as well as large residential houses.

What is an HVAC system?

HVAC technology regulates air temperature, air purification, humidity control, and pressure adjustment. Its purpose is to provide quality air by building an air tunnel inside the ground. This system is also a subject of mechanical engineering based on thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer principles.

This system is considered important for air management in various industries and residential structures. This system can also be used mainly in hospitals, cars, trains, airplanes, and ships.

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