LG Electronics is banking on a thriving real estate sector and increased demand for energy efficiency to bolster sales of its commercial and residential air conditioning (AC) appliances in Kenya and the wider East African region.
Speaking at the LG AC Academy at the Nairobi LG offices, Mr. Jinan Choi, the LG East Africa Head of Air Conditioning said LG had already clenched and executed major projects locally including the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Terminal, UNHCR Offices, Kenya School of Monetary Studies and Kenya Red Cross’ Bomas Hotel among others.
“We are cognizant of the fact that in Kenya energy is very expensive and that’s why some of our appliances guarantee you twice the energy efficiency of conventional air conditioners,” said Mr. Choi.
He also notes that LG air conditioners no longer use R22 gas, a common refrigerant that is currently being phased out due to its very high potential to exacerbate ozone-depletion (R-22 is also a global warming gas). “All our AC appliances are now using R-410A gas which is eco-friendly,” said Choi.
Saving on energy, he says, is one of the company’s strongest selling points in their renewed emphasis on B2B business in Africa, where demand for energy-saving technology is growing fast. “We set out a very ambitious plan in 2010 to secure $US10 billion in global sales by 2014.
“When it comes to environmental concerns, we’re top of the list of air conditioning manufacturer that are committed to the cause,” said Kranthi Mahakala, an engineer at AC Academy & Marketing. For instance, LG Multi V III, LG has set a world record level of 4.6 for its COP (Coefficient of Performance), the clearest measure of energy efficiency in air conditioning.
In installing this advanced air conditioning system, said Mr Mahakala, building owners aren’t just embracing a technology with a far lower impact on the environment; they’re looking at greatly reduced energy bills, too.
The Multi V III’s record-breaking energy efficiency is made possible by a technology called HiPORTM (High Pressure Oil Return). HiPORTM enables the compressor to return the oil directly to a high level of pressure, instead of the low levels on conventional AC units. By minimizing unnecessary re-compressing at lower levels of pressure, HiPORTM reduces energy losses and increases COP levels.
Presently, much of the world faces dreadful air pollution along with the attendant threat to public health. Against this backdrop, there is need to re-examine how they use the air, not least the makers of air conditioning appliances.
“The type of AC appliances we install are dependent on whether the building is a residential flat, auditorium or manufacturing plant. We have software and engineers we send on site that measure the cooling load and advice on theAC systems to put in place,” said Mr Choi.
He explains that, for instance, the LG Titan series of ACs has been designed to last, as it combines high-tech performance with rugged durability. As the African region often suffers from unstable power supplies, LG has installed the Super Automatic Voltage Switcher (AVS) to protect the compressor from being damaged by fluctuations in the electric current.
The Super AVS does so by monitoring voltage supplies and shutting down the flow of electric currents that are not between 170-290 volts. In addition, the Tropical Compressor is designed to operate for 24 hours a day, even through sandstorms and temperatures as high as 54°C. The anti-corrosion coating, the Gold Fin, makes the unit’s heat exchanger more resistant to corrosion.
The Titan series also boasts power cooling, an essential requirement in a punishingly hot region. The Titan can blast out cool air at distances of up to 10 meters, the longest range of any air conditioner on the market today. The Jet Cool function and the 4-way Swing system enable the unit to blow cool air in practically any direction at maximum speed, cooling rooms in the shortest possible time, regardless of the outside temperature.
“LG guarantees satisfaction to its African consumers, who desire stable and powerful cooling solutions that can overcome extremely hot climates,” said Mr Mahakala.