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Article Date: 15th April 2013

Munters - IKEA Goes Green with Munters Desiccant Cooling

Cooling Systems - Ventilation Systems - Comfort Cooling - Air Treatment

Munters Ikea

It is in the nature of sustainability that not everything can be fixed quickly, says Ferdinand Berglund, manager at IKEA properties. A thermal driven cooling system reacts a little slower. However, Munters system is both cost effective and good for the environment. Operational staff have special praise for Munters system and this summer it has really shown the benefits of desiccant cooling.

Examples of the IKEA "goes green" can be seen with their special program for LED lighting, which uses less energy, and the flat pack sofa, something that reduces the environmental impact of transport. It also features the exhibition space where customers are offered green advice.

At IKEA in Västerås the green initiative is extra noteworthy, as the 48,000m² store was built with Munters desiccant cooling system, which uses district heating when the air needs cooling. The main advantage of this technique is that it rarely uses any electricity at all, instead it uses waste heat to cool the air. This means major environmental and economic benefits for both businesses and society.

The most economical solution

IKEA Real Estate chose this solution because it meets their investment and long-term sustainability plans. The Deiccant cooling solution is a wise investment because it uses waste heat instead of electricity (unlike conventional refrigeration compressors). The property owner does not risk compressor breaks down when it is at its warmest during summer holidays.

Another benefit is that it takes less energy to heat ventilation air during the cold season because the desiccant wheel which is part of the Munters desiccant cooling system, acts as a good heat exchanger. Approximately 90% of the heat in the outgoing air is recycled during winter which means a heating cost saving of up to 75% compared to a standard HVAC system.

IKEA's energy supplier Mälarenergi have been able to bring down peak loads in winter, when it is most expensive to produce heat. In summer, Mälarenergi can dispose of waste district heating to provide cooling. A positive side effect of IKEA's choice, is that other consumers now get more access to climate-neutral electricity.

An important part as to why the solution is so cost effective, is that Mälarenergi offer differentiated pricing for the heat used for cooling.

It may seem an insignificant green focus to install LED lights, flat pack a couch or to install Munters evaporative cooling system for comfort cooling in Västerås. But when you look at the large volumes and many units possibilities with IKEA's global distribution which can effect the global environment - this is a positive direction. Hopefully many companies will follow.

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