Displacement ventilation solves industrial problem


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 1 March 2000




(2000), "Displacement ventilation solves industrial problem", Facilities, Vol. 18 No. 3/4. https://doi.org/10.1108/f.2000.06918cab.006



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Displacement ventilation solves industrial problem

Displacement ventilation solves industrial problem

Keywords: Heating, Industry, Ventilation

A seminar held by East Midlands Electricity at its Technology Demonstration Centre in Nottingham provided the inspiration for a successful air-conditioning scheme in an exemplary industrial refurbishment.

The Acordis site (recently Courtaulds) in Coventry specialises in synthetic fibre technology although some of its factory space dates to the 1900s, when it was built for motor car production. Like most factories of the era, it is brick-built and covered by a north lights roof.

The company's Facilities Management undertook the refurbishment of a factory area, previously occupied by laboratories, to create a ground floor office suite. A deliberate attempt to preserve much of the building character even extended to the heating. A wet radiator system was adopted, visually blending well with some period features including iron columns, timber beams and exposed brickwork.

However, a problem arose due to the lack of cooling and ventilation during warm weather. Operating as a cost centre, Facilities Management rents offices to other departments and in this case it found it impossible to interest a tenant in the refurbished space. Instead it moved in and took on the overheating problem directly.

Facilities manager, John Nicholls, recalls: "I had recently attended a seminar held by East Midlands Electricity at their Technology Demonstration Centre, in which displacement ventilation was the main topic. It was clear that it could offer a good solution for our type of building, with its high roof lights."

In response to Mr Nicholls' subsequent enquiry East Midlands Electricity ran an ESICHECK computer analysis for the offices. This compared a standard air conditioning approach with a displacement ventilation scheme incorporating heat recovery, the latter option proving the most suitable and most energy efficient option.

A displacement ventilation system was designed and installed by Shearflow Phoenix. With a single air handling unit located on the roof, the system has four inlet ducts, three of which drop to Polman corner diffusers at floor level in a meeting room and partitioned offices. The fourth duct serves the adjacent area, which is open plan. Here, the diffusers were purpose built to fit in with a central row of modular storage cabinets.

Air is extracted by a grille in the roof and ducted through a recuperator to exchange heat with the fresh air. Up to 20kW of cooling is provided by an air to water reversible heat pump, which feeds chilled water to a coil in the AHU. If a heated air supply is required in winter, the control system can reverse the heat pump to provide warm water to the coil.

Monitoring has confirmed that the system maintains set temperature to plus or minus half a degree on warm days. In fact the installation has been such an outstanding success that a similar project is already under way elsewhere on the site.

For further information contact: Mike Newall, Networks Commercial, East Midlands Electricity, Woolsthorpe Close, Bilborough, Nottingham NG8 3JP.

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