The road towards decarbonisation for the Hotel Meliá Castilla
Located in the financial district of Madrid, the Hotel Meliá Castilla is one of the city's most iconic hotels, spanning over 70,000 m2 and boasting 909 rooms. This city hotel enjoys a high occupancy rate all year round. These characteristics mean that the energy requirements of the hotel are very high, mainly due to the production of heat and cooling.
A few years ago, the management agreed a project to refurbish the thermal installations, focusing on sustainability, to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions into the environment. This would also enable them to reduce the associated operating costs.
After defining the hotel's desired sustainability objectives and analysing the various potential energysaving areas, the project was planned in different stages to ensure business continuity for the hotel.
Maximum Seasonal Efficiency
The first stage involved replacing the existing water-to-water chiller units, used for cooling, with other similar units offering greater seasonal energy efficiency.
The chosen units were equipped with screw compressors with a variable-capacity valve used to perfectly adjust the cooling capacity to the actual demand of the installation. Thanks to their compact design, these units could be incorporated into the building without major complications.
Additionally, one of the chillers would be equipped with a condensing heat recovery function. This unit, which will function as the first stage in the cooling production process, will enable the domestic hot water in the hotel to be heated up to 50°C, reducing the energy consumption of the business due to its existing boilers.
This configuration provides a stable source of controlled hot water and a base load of cold water, improving the overall efficiency of the system.
The next stage of the project involved incorporating a heat pump capable of producing water at high temperatures to minimise fuel consumption in domestic hot water production.
This heat recovery unit is sized according to the base heat demand of the installation, and is installed in parallel with the rest of the chilled water production units. To make optimal use of this equipment, it is key that there is simultaneous demand for cooling and heating over a long period of time.
Some of the most important aspects to consider when designing this heat recovery solution using dedicated water-to-water units concern the location of the new production equipment, assessing the electrical and hydraulic connection to the existing loop, checking the volume of water available in the installation and incorporating the units into the existing control system, where applicable.