Home Interviews HMX-Ambiator enhances the feeling of health and comfort.

HMX-Ambiator enhances the feeling of health and comfort.

HMX-Ambiator enhances the feeling of health and comfort.

The need of the hour is to promote non-refrigerant-based sustainable cooling solutions – as alternatives to air-conditioners in some cases and to supplement air-conditioners in others, says Sunil Tiwari, General Manager, Global Sales & Marketing, A.T.E. Enterprises Pvt Ltd (Business unit HMX).

adobeinter_200.jpgWhy are alternatives to conventional air-conditioning important? What are these alternatives?

Conventional air-conditioners are energy-intensive and hence increase CO2 emissions with high intensity, which contributes to climate change. In fact, the fastest growing contributor to the rise in energy consumption in warmer companies is cooling through conventional air-conditioning.

The need of the hour is therefore to promote non-refrigerant-based sustainable cooling solutions – as alternatives to air-conditioners in some cases and to supplement air-conditioners in others and we are fortunate enough to have a few options available. Earth cooling, night ventilation and free cooling are some of the methods of cooling air. Evaporative cooling is one of the most ancient and popular ways of cooling air efficiently and is widely used in the hot and dry areas of our country and across the globe. Smart building design and new techniques of evaporative cooling can be deployed to reduce cooling needs and increase cooling efficiency. These alternatives are also usually healthier for people. Though these methods have not been as widely used as they should be till now, the ever increasing gap between energy required and energy available has forced us to look at these alternatives.

What is the difference between direct and indirect evaporative cooling?

Both direct and indirect evaporative cooling are methods of cooling where a stream of air is cooled by evaporation
of water.

In direct evaporative cooling, the stream of fresh air to be cooled is passed through a heat exchanger made of cellulosic material. In this heat exchanger, air comes directly in contact with water as a result of which there is a drop in temperature of the air and it is also humidified in the process.

In indirect evaporative cooling, the primary stream of fresh air is cooled sensibly by a secondary stream of air. The primary stream of air doesn’t come in direct contact with water and hence doesn’t get humidified.

How effectively does the HMX-Ambiator perform as an alternative to conventional air cooling using the combination of direct and indirect evaporative cooling systems?

The combination of direct and indirect evaporative cooling has brought a revolutionary change in the field of evaporative air cooling. The HMX-Ambiator is our flagship product and is an example of an extremely efficient combination of direct and indirect evaporative cooling. Temperatures delivered by the HMX-Ambiator have regularly met the year-round requirements of the customers, be it for people comfort or for process cooling. We have provided cooling solutions successfully for factory sheds, raw material and finished goods warehouses, fulfillment centres, commercial buildings and residences in India and abroad.

Though the temperatures delivered are not as low as that delivered by a conventional air-conditioning system, the 100 per cent fresh, clean and cool air delivered by the HMX-Ambiator enhances the feeling of health and comfort. The higher air volume we typically provide also enhances the comfort people experience.

What are the factors that determine the selection of an appropriate system and unit size?

Most of HMX’s products are customised as per the requirements of our customers, including a local climate and site conditions. Also, our suggestion for a suitable product and unit size to the customer depends on the relevant application. We have a dedicated proposals team in place at different locations for assessing and recommending
various solutions.


What are the main markets served presently by HMX? Given the obvious cost benefits, what is the potential for growth here?

HMX’s products cater to all the major industries like auto/auto ancillaries, engineering, print and packaging, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, rubber and moulding, electronics, commercial and residential buildings.

The world is experiencing rapid industrialisation and people across industries are slowly warming up to the fact that human comfort is directly related to productivity. Also, with a constant rise in day time temperatures that people experience across the globe, cooling has become a necessity rather than a luxury.

The potential for growth is undoubtedly high keeping in mind the above factors.
Up till now, HMX has the world’s largest installation base of indirect evaporative cooling with over 21,000,000 CFM and more than 4,200,000 sq ft of area already cooled.

Why these systems are still not widely adopted?

I feel most of it has to do with how conventional air-conditioning systems got marketed all across the globe in the later part of 20th Century. Also, people prefer installing a more compact system in place rather than a large direct evaporative cooling system.

All this is now changing due to increasing energy scarcity, growing awareness of environmental impact of high energy consumption and increasing cost of operating conventional air cooling systems. People also understand much better the health impact of stale air. More and more people are looking up to technologies like indirect direct evaporative cooling. These systems bring you the best of both these worlds – with respect to a direct evaporative cooling: A larger temperature drop (3.5°C); Lesser humidity addition (40 per cent); Lesser air flow required (40 per cent) and with respect to a conventional air conditioner – Much lesser operating cost (60 per cent) and 100 per cent fresh air application rather than a recirculated one.

Is there a potential for commercial complexes of HMX products?

Initially, HMX was more focused on automobile/auto ancillaries and engineering factory shed cooling, catering to some of the biggest names like Volkswagen, Bosch etc. But over the years we have been able to diversify in so many new sectors and applications. Some of these include office pre-cooling for Infosys, fulfillment centres for Amazon, hotels for Trident, auditorium/halls for St. Mary’s School, commercial complexes for ICC Devi Gaurav etc.

To sum up, indirect evaporative cooling has an enormous potential in a lot of industries and sectors including commercial, and I am sure, these types of non-conventional technologies would be very commonly used in all areas in the near future.

What is the export potential?

We are exporting to the Middle-Eastern market with our channel partner Gulf Engineering System Solutions (GESS) based in Sharjah, UAE and the response is tremendous. With temperatures soaring up to 50°C there, our technology proves to be of much help in maintaining a comfortable environment. We have also observed the efficiency of our patented heat exchanger DAMA in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is very high, which means a better amount of cooling. Further, we have plans to cater to a much larger audience all across the globe in step by step manner.

Is there any competition in this domain – both in terms of products and technology?

At the heart of each of our products is DAMA, a heat exchanger developed in-house for which we have already received Australian and US patents. DAMA stands for ‘Dry Air Moist Air’ – a cross flow type sensible heat exchanger built out of engineering polymer. As a patented product, this is our unique offering.

With regards to other heat exchangers present with indirect evaporative cooling methods, the DAMA is much more compact and easier to maintain. We have deployed systems with varied capacities ranging from capacities as low as 1,000 CFM to capacities as high as 140,000 CFM in one single unit. Moreover, we strive to establish long term collaborative partnerships with our customers and become their trusted partner.
We believe these competencies always allow us to be a step ahead of the others in the same business domain.

Given the fact that the cost of energy is a big factor, is there a breakthrough in sight?

All our products save energy when compared to conventional HVAC systems. The HMX-Ambiator can save up to 40 per cent or even 60 per cent of energy when compared to an air-conditioner of similar capacity in a similar application. The HMX-PCU can be installed in conjunction with existing DX/chiller units for pre-cooling. This reduces the inlet fresh air temperature which is being continuously supplied into the existing units which results in substantial tonnage savings. Our energy saving hybrid units (HMX-FAAC and HMX-DMA) have different modes, the operations of which change automatically according to the temperature and relative humidity (RH) conditions required.

We have a high expertise innovations team which works on perfecting all our existing products and conceiving of new ones with lower life cycle costs.

Using energy-efficient products saves money for an individual and organisation. It is also good for the environment and enhances the quality of life. When we look at a bigger picture, the nation’s economy improves and subsequently, we can look towards a sustainable future.

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