Mandarin Oriental Hotel: Cutting energy use with the Loxone Audioserver

Magdalena Katzinger
2nd December 2022 in Know How

At the prestigious Mandarin Oriental, Prague, they decided to expand and upgrade their audio system to make it more efficient, and therefore more environmentally friendly. A small change to their audio system, to include the Loxone Audioserver, has presented a potential saving of thousands of pounds.

The energy and monetary savings are not the only selling points, but also the simplicity, ease of control and retrofit install is what is amazing, due to just requiring a small purple box (Loxone Audioserver), smart sound system and a Loxone Partner – allowing smart control of the audio throughout the whole building including hotel lobbies, changing room, gym and more.

The Mandarin Oriental, Prague, is a high-end hotel that often welcomes important guests. They decided to upgrade and expand their audio system. After research, they approached Loxone Partner, Fidotech. “We had two options. To add the same hardware as the existing one, which includes a rather bulky server and amplifiers. In this case, however, we would not have taken advantage of the potential savings that today’s options bring,” explains the supplier’s representative Michal Kubíček.

So the Loxone Audioserver was chosen to intelligently control the multiroom audio system. In the hotel, the Loxone Audioserver controls all 8 audio zones that make up the hotel’s public areas. Resulting in the solution now having a maximum power consumption of only 400 W. The previous system was much less efficient drawing a maximum of 1,200 W from the mains.

“The solution also saves space. Conventional amplifiers need cabinets, so-called AV racks. Audioservers can easily fit into a classic cabinet,” adds Michal Kubíček.

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In addition, as a Class D amplifier, the Audioserver has an efficiency of 90%, meaning that it has a significantly lower power consumption compared to commonly used, higher power, audio systems.

84% reduction in office energy consumption for audio

An interesting comparison is also provided by an example directly from the local Czech office for Loxone, where the audio system control was recently replaced. This is how they measured the savings:

The previous conventional music setup with 2 amplifiers and 24 speakers consumed 212 W per hour. Whereas, the Loxone Audioserver requires only 33 W for the same operation. That’s 84% less consumption.

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If you consider that, as an office, they are open 240 days a year, and the audio system runs for 12 hours from when the early bird employees arrive to when the last person leaves, for example the cleaner or those having an after-work beer. You can begin to see that the saving potential really starts to add up with such a reduced energy consumption for the audio setup. Here is an example:

Original solution

→ Maximum consumption 3 250 W

After conversion to kW, we multiply the unit price of electricity for 1 kWh:
3.25 kW × £0.66 = £2.14

Open 12 hours a day, 240 days a year:
£2.14 × 12 hours × 240 days = £6163.20 (annual cost at today’s electricity price)

Current solutions

→ Maximum consumption 540 W

After conversion to kW, we multiply the exchange price of electricity for 1 kWh:
0.54 kW × £0.66 = £0.36

Open 12 hours a day, 240 days a year:
£0.36 × 12 hours × 240 days = £1036.80 (annual cost at today’s electricity price)

Office ⇒ Potential saving of £5,000+ per year!

If we use the above logic of simply switching out a conventional music setup for the Loxone Audioserver and Stereo Extensions, with a hotel being open all year through (365 days a year) and the rooms with audio being utilised anywhere from 6am to 10pm (16 hours per day), the calculated potential saving is quite remarkable! We’ve put together an example n calculation using a convention audio setup and, based on the power consumption indicated in the datasheets, we’ve compared it to the power consumption of a Loxone multiroom audio setup to see how much the hotel could be saving.

Original solution

→ Maximum consumption 3 250 W

After conversion to kW, we multiply the unit price of electricity for 1 kWh:
3.25 kW × £0.66 = £2.14

Used 16 hours a day, 365 days a year:
£2.14 × 16 hours × 365 days = £12,467.60 (annual cost at today’s electricity price)

Current solutions

→ Maximum consumption 540 W

After conversion to kW, we multiply the exchange price of electricity for 1 kWh:
0.54 kW × £0.66 = £0.36

Open 16 hours a day, 365 days a year:
£0.36 × 16 hours × 365 days = £2,102.40 (annual cost at today’s electricity price)

Hotel ⇒ Potential saving of £10,000+ per year!

The benefits of smart multi-room audio in a large building

Nowadays, when installing audio, it is increasingly advantageous to choose automation, e.g. via the Loxone Audioserver. Contrary to common belief, you don’t need super-powerful audio systems everywhere, especially as they produce more heat, and thus increase the energy consumption for active cooling. The Loxone Audioserver can take care of sound in homes, offices, hotels (as discussed in this blog), restaurants and other large buildings. With much lower power requirements but with an unnoticeable compromise on audio results.

The audio system now fulfills the hotel’s requirements, since being controlled by the Loxone Audioserver. Including allowing for the same music to be played in any combination of rooms in sync, or separate parts of the hotel can have their own different music playing. This flexibility is just what the hotel was looking for.

One of the factors that has seen the Audioserver save money, is the fact that it is possible to control music based on presence. For example, the lobby restrooms don’t need music playing all the time, so the system uses presence detection in order to only play audio when someone is in the room. With this automated on/off logic for the audio also being tied to the building’s opening hours and/or when the last employee leaves.

With the intelligent audio system, the hotel also gains extra bonus features that they can use, which make it a truly intelligent building:

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Security – Speakers can be linked up with the alarm, meaning that if triggered they will play the alert in all set zones. This can be used in case of a burglary, but also in case of a fire or a water leak (it is necessary to also integrate window and door contacts/smoke detectors/flood sensors if looking to use the audio system in this way).

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Intelligent doorbell – When connected to the intercom, the sound of the doorbell can be played through the speakers, in rooms where it makes sense. For example, at the reception desk. But not in the work-focused IT room.

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Text-to-speech – Text-to-speech will occur over the speakers if an anomaly occurs in the system.

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Individual reports – Does the manager want to call all departments into an emergency meeting in the boardroom? Just record the message in the app and play it in all of the audio zones.

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Adaptable for any time of day and any situation – In the restaurant, for example, the chefs play energetic music all day long. In the guest area, a relaxing tune or playlist of current hits plays at lunchtime. Then at 5pm, the audio automatically switches to lounge music to create the right atmosphere for a relaxed dinner.

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Controls – …intuitive in the app or on the elegant Touch, which also allows for control of the lights and blinds. This makes any manual control simpler and more unified.

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Smart Building – The Audioserver is part of the holistic building automation solution from Loxone. Which can be expanded quickly and easily at any time by a Loxone Partner. This is even done with wireless Air technology. Meaning that lighting, shading, heating or cooling, ventilation, access and other technologies in the building can be intelligently controlled if requested in the future. Providing an all-in-one solution, meaning that there is no need to buy any additional, single-purpose systems.

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