IKEA worldwide aims to become greener. A more sustainable environment is an important global responsibility.
"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 systems and this summer has really shown the benefits of desiccant cooling.
Examples of IKEA "going green" can be seen with their special program for LED lighting, which uses far less energy, and the flat pack sofa, that reduces the environmental impact of transport. It also features the exhibition space where customers are offered energy saving advice. Even in their department store buildings, IKEA require their energy to be green - from renewable sources, with maximum utilisation. Another benefit is that it takes less energy to heat ventilation air during the cold season because the desiccant wheel 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 insignificant 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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