Trane Air-Fi® Wireless Innovation & Technology Solution Helps Chinachem Enhance Energy Efficiency and Thermal Comfort in Nina Tower Offices

I. Project Overview

Chinachem Group has partnered with Trane Hong Kong to adopt a comprehensive Air-Fi® wireless communication and control solution for its underfloor air-conditioning system in the Nina Tower office building, integrating wireless controls, digitised operation, internet of things (IoT) strategies, and innovative data analytics across the design, construction, and retro-commissioning phases. This made Chinachem the first leading local property developer to implement such an innovative solution.

II. The Challenge
The major challenge of retrofitting Nina Tower was adhering to a tight installation, testing, and retro-commissioning schedule. The previous underfloor cooling system, or so-called floor tile units (FTUs), had several issues to be solved, including the uneven distribution of zone temperatures and inadequate fan speed controls which couldn’t satisfy the comfort requirements of the occupants.

Thus, Trane was expected to help Chinachem balance comfort and energy efficiency by installing a total of more than 400 new FTUs (dimensions: 600mm x 600mm) on four floors and adopting a remote, centralised FTU control and monitoring system using innovative technologies.

III. Trane’s Solution

The core of Trane’s solution is a Tracer® Air-Fi® Wireless System, which utilises self-healing mesh technology to prevent communication loss and eliminate the risks associated with wired networks. This ensures easier, flexible, and reliable building controls, efficient performance, and cost savings. The system offers twice the signal range and four times the number of potential paths compared with other wireless systems, helping to maintain communication even when signals are obstructed.

Besides, the new FTUs are equipped with Trane’s programmable Tracer® Air-Fi® controllers to provide accurate and optimal supply air temperatures. Real-time data can be collected with Trane’s powerful Tracer® SC+ building automation system, to meet engineers’ daily operation and maintenance needs. Trane has made it easy and hassle-free for engineers to monitor, troubleshoot, and clean the new FTUs, and relocate them in case of renovations in the future.

Furthermore, other innovative technologies adopted by Trane in the project encompassed cutting-edge computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analytical modelling, electronically commutated (EC) fans enabling variable fan speed controls, and precise control of air distribution velocity in compliance with the latest comfort standards to best meet the thermal comfort needs of the occupants.

IV. Key Outcomes

From Strategy to execution, Trane’s innovative and comprehensive Air-Fi® wireless control solution has successfully helped Chinachem achieve excellent results in energy optimisation, system reliability, and thermal comfort, boosting the overall occupant experience with premier indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and worry-free operation. Here are the key indicators:
  • Accelerated Project Delivery: Installation time reduced by over 50% without wiring
  • Enhanced Energy Efficiency: Achieved a reduction of 30% in power consumption
  • Excellent Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): Certified as “Excellent Class” by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), meeting their stringent requirements for IAQ ratings
  • Increased Thermal Comfort: Complied with the ASHRAE Standard 55 for buildings
Trane has demonstrated a strong commitment to innovation and sustainability in this project, which perfectly aligns with Chinachem's dedication to balancing its three fundamental principles of “People, Prosperity, and Planet”. Trane’s focus on energy efficiency, mitigating environmental impact, and adopting sustainable practices has played a vital role in fostering a shared vision and solidifying a mutually beneficial win-win partnership between Chinachem and Trane.

Learn more: https://www.tranehk.com/en/News_Newsletter.aspx