HVAC System

Take control of temperature

Sheila Kennedy says heating and cooling equipment just got hotter and cooler.

By Sheila Kennedy, contributing editor

Vendors of temperature control equipment are breaking new ground with innovative fan technologies, specialty heating and cooling solutions, and thermal fluid calculations.

Fan coverage and control

Altering the design of industrial-strength ceiling fans can improve their coverage area. Big Ass Fans (www.bigassfans.com) introduced its Powerfoil X2.0 ceiling fans that have patent-pending AirFences, which are fixed aerodynamic devices applied along the airfoil to break up the air and redirect the fan’s air velocity profile.

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“The AirFence works the same way the winglet works. As you’re pushing air down with the foil, air is also slipping along the foil, so you’re losing some of that initial velocity that’s being pushed in the downward direction. This air is being lost,” says Jason Hollan, engineering manager for Big Ass Fans. “The original Powerfoil airfoil still produces ample airflow, but the particular combination of the AirFence, winglet, and redesigned airfoil offered the best results,” says Product Manager Stephen Bird.

Vendors of temperature control equipment are breaking new ground with innovative fan technologies, specialty heating and cooling solutions, and thermal fluid calculations.

Managing multiple fans from a single location saves time and effort. MacroAir (www.macroairfans.com) is introducing a new controller product that offers the ability to manage up to 30 MacroAir fans through one operator panel. The product, unnamed as of this writing, is a 10-in. wall-mounted, touchscreen panel with a dedicated system running on Modbus. In addition to operating up to 30 individual fans, users can monitor the entire system's performance, including power consumption of each fan connected and amp draw.

"Other controllers on the market are using existing computer operating systems, like Dell, for example, that come with many unneeded and non-transferable features not intended for HVAC system operations," says Ryan Ebersole, technical applications and support manager for MacroAir. "Not only will our control panel make the general operation of our fans even easier, but the interface we've developed will give our clients specific information in an easy-to-understand visual format that will help tailor HVAC operations to fit their needs."

Another example is Fan-Commander, a touchscreen control station from Rite-Hite Fans (www.ritehite.com), which controls the operation of up to 18 Revolution HVLS Fans. It can be programmed to respond to winter and summer conditions and networked with building control systems.

Special applications

Sheila Kennedy is a professional freelance writer specializing in industrial and technical topics.Sheila Kennedy is a professional freelance writer specializing in industrial and technical topics. She established Additive Communications in 2003 to serve software, technology, and service providers in industries such as manufacturing and utilities, and became a contributing editor and Technology Toolbox columnist for Plant Services in 2004. Prior to Additive Communications, she had 11 years of experience implementing industrial information systems. Kennedy earned her B.S. at Purdue University and her MBA at the University of Phoenix. She can be reached at sheila@addcomm.com.

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Applications with dense heat loads and space constraints, like server rooms, require specially designed air conditioners. MovinCool’s (www.movincool.com) new CMW30 water-cooled, ceiling-mount air conditioner is suitable in areas where an air-cooled model cannot be used. At just 20 in. high, its compact profile allows it to fit above drop ceilings.

"MovinCool's CMW30 is a 2-1/2 ton, water-cooled, self-contained ceiling-mount air conditioner. It accepts a wide temperature range of entering water and is equipped with an inverter compressor and EC fan motors for high energy efficiency,” says Fran Labun, vice president of sales for DENSO Sales California.

Oil and gas exploration, power generation, and chemical plants typically have small tanks or storage units that need to remain filled for continuous operation and storage. The new Small Tank Flange Heater (STFX) from Chromalox (www.chromalox.com) allows heating elements to be changed by a single person without draining the unit and without special tooling. The heater can be used for viscous fluids, free-flowing oils, water, water/glycol or acidic mixtures, fire water storage, and freeze protection.

“The STFX’s unique replaceable element design allows users to change or even upgrade heating elements without having to drain the tank,” says Mark Wheeler, director and global product manager of systems & service for Chromalox. “The STFX also has a distinctive close tolerance heating element design that allows users to apply a large amount of heating in a minimal amount of space.”

Thermal fluid calculator

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Thermal fluid system users can instantly calculate thermal properties versus temperature using free online software from Paratherm (www.paratherm.com). The newest release, Paracalc Online 6.2, provides data for seven Paratherm fluids and serves temperatures from -88 °C to more than 650 °F. "The current version allows users to select temperature ranges and intervals for product properties for a custom data sheet," says Jim Oetinger, director of technology for Paratherm.

Once a user selects a Paratherm fluid and chooses between Fahrenheit or Centigrade and a degree increment, the software instantly generates a spreadsheet that reports density, viscosity, specific heat, thermal conductivity, and vapor pressure for the fluid’s operating temperature range. The calculator is located at http://paracalc.paratherm.com.