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Evaporative Cooling: the cost effective cooling technology for industrial and commercial spaces

Evaporative Cooling: the cost effective cooling technology for industrial and commercial spaces

16-Jan-2018 by: Cristina Piattelli SEELEY INTERNATIONAL EUROPE

Evaporative cooling is fast becoming the most efficient option when cooling large areas. Air conditioning is not such a viable option, because in warehouses or industrial plants, the capital and running costs would be extremely prohibitive for end-users.

Most industries with high heat loads, for example printing or ceramics, have no cooling system installed, and this impacts on the workers’ morale and productivity, as well as on their health. In cases where they have traditional cooling systems installed, they rely on recirculating the air in the indoor space, which can be full of fumes and germs.

In all these examples, Direct Evaporative Cooling could be the right solution. The beauty of evaporative cooling is simplicity: based on the simple principles of evaporation, hot outside air is pumped through water-soaked pads. As the air blows through the pads, the water is evaporated and the heat in the air is absorbed, which lowers the air temperature. A fan then pushes the cool air through a ducting system, which then let the cool air inside the whole building.

The only power-consuming components of a direct evaporative cooler are the fan and a small water pump. Evaporative air cooling uses between up to 87% less energy than conventional air conditioning; it brings in 100% fresh outside air and utilises water for cooling instead of synthetic chemical refrigerants (CFC’s, HFC’s and HCFC’s). That all adds up to very responsible environmental and energy saving characteristics.

Conventional air-conditioning impacts significantly on a building’s operating costs as it uses in excess of 25% of the building’s energy consumption. It therefore makes sense to employ Evaporative Air Cooling, a far more energy efficient system, to create a pleasant environment for workers to maximise productivity whilst at the same time minimising energy costs.

What if the ambient air (outside the building) is cold and instead the air inside the building is extremely hot? Evaporative cooling units feature a powerful fan, which can also be used in fan only mode (no water) to blow fresh air through the vents.

It is important to remember that cooled air inside the building is not recirculated, so doors or windows must be left open for this air to escape, or extraction fans need to be installed. This can be a great solution to improve indoor air quality, in production areas where fumes and germs are involved. The wet cooling pads trap mist of these particles, which are washed down into the sump by the circulating water.

Evaporative air coolers are extremely simple to install and maintain. Cooling pads need check and cleaning regularly (once a year or every six months depending on the pollution levels in the environment) and cleaning can be done just using water.

People erroneously connect evaporative air coolers with Legionella disease: however, properly maintained evaporative coolers will not transmit the disease because they produce no aerosols. Evaporative coolers should not be confused with cooling towers or evaporative condensers, which involve different technology. Secondly, in a quality evaporative cooler, water is drained from the unit when it is not required, so there is no standing water to rise to ambient temperature. But above all, as we have said, well designed evaporative coolers do not produce any aerosol, meaning that even if bacteria were present in the cooler, there is still no mechanism there to transfer them to humans. Moreover, there are no recorded cases of an evaporative cooler causing Legionnaires’ disease and research indicates transmission of the bacteria is not possible by the evaporative method.

Being so simple to install and maintain, these coolers are taken on board by a raising number of installers in the UK, which see in the product a real business opportunity, first of all because they are extremely cheap to run and therefore more and more companies are willing to install such systems; secondly, because evaporative cooling is extremely environmental friendly and it is based on a natural technology to cool the air without damaging or depleting the planet.