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easyHotel transforms guest comfort with next-gen controller

easyHotel, the international value hotel chain, is equipping guest rooms with Toshiba Carrier UK Ltd’s (TCUK) pioneering new mini-touchscreen air conditioning controller.

Linked to high-efficiency Toshiba Super Heat Recovery Multi Enhanced (SHRM-e) three-pipe variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air conditioning, the mini-touchscreen enables hotel guests to quickly and easily adjust the temperature and ventilation speed to create ideal comfort conditions in their rooms. TCUK is a joint venture between Toshiba Carrier Corporation and Carrier in the United Kingdom, and is part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), a leading global provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies.

 “Traditional air conditioning controllers are often complicated and difficult to use,” said David Dunn, managing director of TCUK. “In some cases, users may struggle to understand the symbols and navigate through complex menus. This is obviously not good for hotel guest satisfaction, or the reputation of air conditioning among the public.”

Toshiba Carrier designed the new controller to easyHotel’s ideal requirements, making it easy to use and complementary to the contemporary décor of the hotel rooms. The new mini-touchscreen room controller features a crystal-clear capacitive icon-driven screen and operates on the same principles as a high-end Smart phone. It is designed to be intuitive for the end user and very simple to install for contractors.

 “Problems operating room air conditioning are one of the most frequent reasons guests call hotel reception,” said consultant David Yates, managing director of Beechfield Consulting Engineers Ltd, which works closely with easyHotel. “We wanted to take a new approach to make it as easy as possible for guests to achieve their perfect comfort conditions. Toshiba Carrier was very receptive and we worked closely with them on a completely new approach.

“The result is a game-changer in terms of ease of use, and a perfect fit for the philosophy of easyHotel, which is to make life as easy and convenient as possible for guests. Even though it has a simple interface, it is also very powerful and sophisticated under the hood. It enables clients to monitor the whole estate remotely and adjust key parameters to optimise performance and control running costs.”

For installers, the unit uses the same two-wire connectivity as a standard controller. This means the device can be easily installed onto new and existing systems, with no external power supply needed. 

The screen interface can be customised to match any room décor, with up to 30 different backgrounds available to create different moods, or sales messages.

The icons and functions displayed are determined during installer set-up, according to the client’s preference. This feature overcomes a problem with some traditional controllers, which make visible all functions but deny users access to some of them, leading to frustration. The easyHotel version has just three icons on the home screen – on-off, temperature and fan speed, making it a breeze to operate.

Development of the controller followed easyHotel’s decision to specify Toshiba’s SHRM-e VRF as its default air conditioning solution.

“Toshiba equipment is known to be very reliable, and our modelling showed that the SHRM-e system is also highly efficient,” said David Yates. “This significantly reduces the cost of ownership over the lifetime of equipment, which is obviously highly desirable for clients operating large air conditioned estates.”

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