New and more sustainable ways of air distribution in the sight of the energy crisis
Energy, production, and transportation costs are increasing rapidly around the world. As in every sector, increasing costs are pushing the cooling sector towards change. Now, traditional methods of cooling applications are losing their sustainability due to increasing costs. In such an environment, engineers need to think about new ways to implement efficient cooling to meet their customers’ needs when designing their projects.
While creating comfortable indoor air conditions for the employees in the production facilities, it is very important to provide the appropriate conditions for the machines. When energy saving and environmental sensitivity are added to these requirements, adiabatic cooling has come to the fore in recent days.
Adiabatic cooling technology, which emerged as “desert coolers” in climates with hot and dry outdoor air, has evolved over the years to operate under wider conditions. Adiabatic cooling has been gaining popularity in recent years as an energy-friendly alternative to high-energy air-conditioning systems.
However, air handling units are only part of an environmentally friendly air conditioning project with low energy consumption. Energy and cost savings from air distribution, ie ducts, which are the other big part of the air conditioning project, are often overlooked.
Conventional metal ducts made of sheet metal have some disadvantages that will negatively affect indoor air quality, energy consumption, and project costs. Metal systems are insufficient to meet the requirements of the post-pandemic world due to the rapid increase in metal raw material prices, high transportation costs, and long man-hours for assembly, balancing, and similar field works. On top of all these costs, you can add other difficulties such as extra support to bear the weight of the ducts, high-pressure loss, hot/cold dead zones that may occur in the space, and other issues with conventional solutions. But for a while now, the HVAC industry had an alternative that is continuously growing around the world.
Invented in the 1970s to improve cooling conditions at a meat processing plant in Denmark, the fabric-based air distribution systems helped prevent staff working in the cold area from being exposed to air currents frequently and provided business owners with significant savings on cooling costs. Over the years, fabric ducts have been further developed and are now used in almost all applications where visible ducts are used.
Today, the fabric duct system eliminates the disadvantages of traditional metal ducts in many applications such as factories, food production facilities, industrial facilities, swimming pools, warehouses and logistics centers and provides high indoor air comfort with very low energy consumption. Metal ducts cause energy loss by transmitting the heat over the sheet metal and there is also the risk of condensation. Isolation can be applied to the duct system. But it leads to additional costs. Fabric ducts do not condense, so ducts do not need to be insulated despite ΔT. Since the system does not require balancing in the field, its assembly is completed quickly. It greatly saves labor and time.
The fabric duct system, which is specially designed and produced according to the area to be conditioned, provides high energy savings compared to traditional metal systems with its low-pressure operation and sensitive airflow models. Fabric air duct systems can be easily adapted to already installed air distribution systems, providing both energy savings and better thermal control conditions within the space through low-speed air supply and thermal layering.
Throughout decades of installations and research done, it has been revealed that it is possible to save up to 70% of the total air distribution system costs in the project if the fabric-based air distribution system is installed instead of metal ducts.
As a result, fabric air ducts and adiabatic cooling technology complement it wonderfully, both in terms of sustainability and creating the perfect indoor environments for individuals.
A combination of adiabatic cooling and fabric duct technology is one of the innovative ways of sustainable HVAC technologies of the future, which provides low energy consumption with low pressure and correct airflows, where cold air is discharged exactly where it is needed.
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