Rising temperatures and inadequate ventilation in buildings provide another hurdle for businesses looking to get back to normal amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Toby Beresford, Head of Technical Operations at EcoCooling, explains how evaporative cooling can offer an effective solution in a cost and energy-efficient way.
With over 500 installations for some of the largest manufacturers and distributors in the UK, EcoCooling evaporative cooling systems are a proven, flexible solution that can be deployed quickly to address overheating and ventilation issues. From compact workshops to large warehouses, there are many reasons why evaporative cooling is becoming a first-choice option for many businesses.
As part of a balanced ventilation system, evaporative cooling is achieved through the natural process of direct evaporation of water into supply air, which is extremely effective in temperate climates like the UK. Air supply temperatures off the coolers do not exceed 25°C, without the need to utilise any refrigerant technology.
Even on the hottest days, a standard unit covering a 250m2 area or spot cooling a 15m diameter zone can operate at a cost of less than 13p in electricity and 1p in water per hour, based on service costs of £0.12/kWhr and £1.20/cum respectively. This gives an energy saving of 90% on an equivalent refrigeration-based system with a 35kW cooling load.
An additional benefit of an evaporative cooling-based solution is the cost of installation, which is a fraction of that of refrigeration.
In terms of carbon footprint, a cooling unit would account for 1,749kg per year, compared to 17,495kg for the alternative. When combined with the latest EC fan technology, efficiency is second to none and can help businesses achieve ambitious carbon reduction targets.
Effective and simple
Aside from the cost and energy-saving benefits, evaporative cooling is a versatile and resilient solution that can often be used in facilities where traditional cooling methods are either impossible or cost-prohibitive.
Evaporative cooling solutions work just as effectively regardless of the facility’s level of containment, such as areas where windows and roller shutter doors are in constant use or factories with extraction requirements. Due to the modular nature of the units, they can even be installed in conjunction with existing AHUs and extract fans to reduce costs further and get the cooling the facility needs quickly and effectively.
As standard, a cooler comes with a variable speed fan, allowing manual and automatic thermostat-based control, which can easily be integrated into a BMS or fire system. Facilities requiring a more tailored approach can take advantage of PLC-based control, allowing a wide array of configurable options, from scheduling to temperature mapping.
Combined with a range of filtration options, evaporative cooling can be utilised in facilities with high air quality standards, such as food manufacturing and pharmaceutical settings.
Having a well ventilated, comfortable work or storage area has been shown to increase productivity, product stability and improve the wellbeing of staff throughout the year. This is especially true in the summer months, where without an effective cooling solution, some processes may need to be halted altogether, and excess heat becomes a safety and quality concern for staff and product.
A well-balanced ventilation system is particularly important for businesses looking to maintain consistent and efficient operation in light of the ongoing COVID-19 risk while also helping to remove unwanted dust and particulates from the air.