This project replaces the Biolabs’ aged HVAC infrastructure with new energy-efficient systems capable of meeting the needs of a modern biological lab for years to come. The major mechanical spaces of the building were consolidated into a centralized mechanical room on the 5th floor, and new air intake, exhaust fans, and horizontal duct distribution were installed at the roof level. The replacement of existing systems were phased over a two year period to minimize disruption to research activities throughout the building. A high performance pumped glycol system was deployed that included a snow melt coil in the OA plenum.
Hydronic Module with 2 pumps on VFDs and 2 plate and frame heat exchangers
Snow melt coils
MK Plastics Laboratory dilution fans
The pumped glycol system as the Basis of Design was provided by Konvekta. The air handlers include a reheat coil by Konvekta supplied with a 3-way control valve to reheat the air and provide humidity control. Liquid temperature probes and liquid control valves were included in the Konvekta system.
While the system design is over 90% effective in Winter Recovery, the hydronic module also included a pair of tube and shell HW heat exchangers which allowed the Konvekta glycol ER loop to meet all the heating needs of the building.
MIT researchers develop inexpensive way to perform full lifecycle analysis of design choices as buildings are being planned
Typically, when architects or engineers design a new building, it’s only at the end of the process — if ever — that a lifecycle analysis of the building’s environmental impact is carried out. And by then, it may be too late to make significant changes. Now, a faster and easier system for doing such analyses could change all that, making the analysis an integral part of the design process from the beginning.
The new process is simple enough that it could be integrated into the software already used by building designers so that it becomes a seamless addition to their design process. Read complete MIT article here.
Please contact us to discuss your energy efficient applications.
Thermo-Composite Casing – Annexair’s Superior Corrosion Resistent Construction
Featuring Annexair’s Thermo-casing, the Hygienius construction represents the best option for healthcare centers, educational institutions, greenhouses, pools and any other buildings requiring corrosion resistance, high quality and hygienic HVAC requirements.
This revolutionary concept offers the best of both worlds: unsurpassed quality and economical pricing similar to conventional steel units.
Thermo Composite Panel
Double-wall polymer core with foam insulation, aluminum skin on both sides, and PVC trim
2-inch thick with R-14 insulation factor
Certified foam made of special polystyrene with 30% recycled content
Exterior and interior finished with a PVDF 3000 hrs salt-spray resistant coating
Monocoque construction to avoid internal mold or mildew grow
A Look Inside the Making of a Modular Mechanical Room
Modular Mechanical Solutions is transforming the way businesses think about prefabrication by solving the challenges of time, space and quality with customized modular solutions. See how it is done here:
Please contact us to discuss your Modular Mechanical applications.
Ingenia Technologies is an industry leader in custom air handling unit production. A state-of-the-art manufacturing plant and leading edge engineering technology are utilized to provide creative custom air handling unit solutions and high quality product.
Take a look at what it takes to make a consistently high quality product: (video 4 min)
From modular air handlers to ultra-quiet acoustical performance systems to energy recovery solutions to complex customized designs, Ingenia delivers.
Please contact us to discuss your Ingenia applications.
Are you thinking about designing a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS)?
Make sure you have comprehensive guidance from industry experts to simplify and optimize DOAS design, installation, operation, and management. The ASHRAE Design Guide for Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems consolidates existing material to focus on the major issues while referring to supplemental sources for more specialized or in-depth information.
A DOAS uses separate equipment to condition all of the outdoor air brought into a building for ventilation and delivers it to each occupied space, either directly or in conjunction with local or central air conditioning units serving those same spaces. Before you consider getting any other systems, make sure you get a Central Air Unit Installation first.
A DOAS system:
improves humidity control
reduces energy use
simplifies ventilation design and control
uses heating and cooling equipment that doesn’t provide ventilation and/or dehumidification (e.g., radiant panels or passive chilled beams)
Comprehensive guidance from industry experts can simplify DOAS design, installation, operation, and management
DOAS is growing in popularity but is still a relatively new technology. The lack of DOAS exposure and experience means many systems designed and installed today don’t take full advantage of all the benefits DOAS can offer. The ASHRAE Design Guide for Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems consolidates existing material to focus on the major issues while referring to supplemental sources for more specialized or in-depth information.
Guided by the information in this book, HVAC system designers will be able to optimally incorporate DOAS into their projects. Architectural designers, building developers and owners, maintenance professionals, students, teachers, and researchers may also find the contents useful.
Oil as a lubricant in a chiller makes for a significantly more complicated machine. There is a complete system that is designed and maintained to allow oil to lubricate a chiller.
Check out this video which explains how the oil needs to supplied and maintained in a typical chiller.
Wow, that’s a pretty complicated system that creates significantly more maintenance requirements and possibilities of chiller failure.
Get Rid of Oil, Get Rid of Problems
Magnetic bearing, oil-free centrifugal compressors avoid significant maintenance and fail points.
Oil-free centrifugal compressor technology boosts energy efficiency, cuts operating costs and is now well-proven worldwide.
Smardt oil-free centrifugal compressors use magnetic bearings and variable-speed drive to deliver a quantum leap in IPLV efficiencies compared with conventional oil-lubricated centrifugal, reciprocating, scroll and screw compressors.
The totally oil-free Turbocor technology achieves the highest part-load efficiencies for chillers and chilled water systems (including water-, air- and evaporatively-cooled applications).
Proprietary magnetic bearings replace conventional oil-lubricated bearings, eliminating high friction losses, mechanical wear and high-maintenance oil management systems to deliver chiller energy savings of 35 percent and more over conventional chillers while ensuring long-term reliability.
System performance and energy recovery rates of 70-90% are achieved with the new generation “Eiger” System Controller!
The special design of Konvekta’s high-performance coils with headers on both sides of the coil ensures cross-counter flow and achieves almost pure counter current. This is a prerequisite for high energy efficiency in energy recovery systems. At the same time, this minimizes coil depth and saves space in the air handler.
Recent developments in computing technology have made simulations of complex operating systems both possible and affordable. The latest generation system controller “Eiger” uses the most advanced technology making it the perfect solution for high performance run-around energy recovery systems (RAERS). The “Eiger” controller is specifically ideal for the complexity of multi-functional network systems. The “Eiger” provides continuous automatic operation
of the system as well as continuous efficiency monitoring. Based on actual operating conditions, the “Eiger” will continuously calculate optimal system settings to maximize efficiency. The “NOMINAL” values are compared to actual measured values and all deviations are reported. Only the comparison of the “NOMINAL” value with the actual measured value will determine if the system is running optimally.
System Controller “Eiger” uses Performance Maps of Heat Recovery Coils
The highest efficiency will only be achieved if the System Controller adjusts the liquid flow rate of the system not only for actual air volumes but also for the amount of heating energy required. For this, an intelligent System Controller (the “Eiger”) that uses the performance maps of the installed heat recovery coils is required.
Operations Monitoring The purpose of every heat recovery system is to optimize net energy recovery to maximize annual operating savings for the life cycle of the system. The prerequisite for this is optimal, failure-free operation of the system. For this reason, installation flaws, software mistakes and incorrect set-point values in the control system have to be detected. With every heat recovery system, malfunctions will occur over time. There is a risk that irregularities are not detected correctly, too late, or not at all. The KONVEKTA System Controller “Eiger” detects deviations from the set-point value early and reports them automatically to the building automation system. Simultaneously, the cause of the malfunction is analyzed.
Comprehensive Information at a Glance With the increased use of electronics and software, mechanical systems are more complex. Therefore, it is important that the building owner continuously receives reliable and easy to interpret information about system operating conditions as well as possible system malfunctions. With the new visual monitoring tools and with auto-reporting plus, all important data is graphically displayed on the internet dashboard (password protected) or on the controller display cabinet. Thanks to the clear illustration of all key parameters and characteristics, it only takes a glance to determine if the high-performance heat recovery system is functioning optimally and the guaranteed performance is being met.
Good Question. Here in New England, we have lots of buildings with old and deteriorating air handling units. In many cases, the clear choice may be to replace the old AHU’s; however, there are many reasons, not just financial, as to why repair or refurbishment alternatives should also be explored.
Why Buy New?
This is America, we like new stuff. With a new AHU, you get a brand new product with all the latest bells and whistles, including most energy efficient designs. New units are available for a wide range of applications. New units can also come with the latest casing materials, like composite and aluminum, which can provide lifetime warranties.
New AHU Pros
Suitable for a wide range of applications
Can increase unit capacity
High efficiency heat recovery options available
Lifetime casing options available
Low energy / high efficiency fans
Custom designed units to fit existing spaces
New AHU Cons
To retrofit a new AHU to an existing system is an option; however, the ability to do that may be extremely difficult. Existing space and duct runs may make change out nearly impossible. There will also be associated costs with modifying all services and steel work to suit the new unit, and possibly a crane to remove the old unit and site the new one.
Why Refurbish an Existing Unit?
Refurbishing of existing air handling equipment can be a practical alternative to replacing with new. Keeping the old equipment has several advantages.
AHU Refurbishment Pros
Cost Effective – As an example, the refurbishment cost of existing equipment can be around 35-50% of the cost of new equipment (excluding removal and re-installation costs). New components can often be designed to further save crane and rigging costs. If budgets are tight, replacement can be limited to essential items only.
Less Disruption – Work can be scheduled so as not to disrupt the owner’s operation. Work can also be conducted overnight or on weekends. Building occupants want as little disruption and downtime as possible when dealing with air handling units. Downtime is inconvenient and potentially disruptive and costs money, so a solution that will minimize any inconvenience and save money in both the short and long term is essential.
Less Time – Refurbishment is often faster than replacement. The customer can choose to separate the necessary work and complete it at different times for greater flexibility. For example, a gas burner can be replaced one weekend, a cooling coil and other components on another.
Upgrading Equipment – This could include adding a cooling coil, heat recovery, higher grade filtration or upgrading with the latest energy saving fans. Increased efficiency means running costs can be improved by a considerable margin.
AHU Refurbishment Cons
Increased Capacity – Realistically, the only limitation with a refurbishment will come down to the limitations of the old AHU; it cannot be configured to deliver more capacity than what it was originally designed for.
Qualified Contractors – AHU refurbishment is a way of life in the UK and Europe. There are complete companies that specialize in this type of work. Here in the US, this is not an option. Typically we need to refer mechanical contractors that will do this work as a portion of their business.
What can be Refurbished on the AHU?
With equipment in poor condition, there can be substantial improvements. Once the refurbishment has been completed, and assuming that it’s been properly maintained, a good refurbishment can add around 15-20 years working life to existing equipment.
Heating and Cooling Coils – For units with limited access, new replacement coils can be provided in sections which are then joined together on site, also replacing valves and actuators as required.
Gas Heaters – Gas heaters can be repaired or replaced, if you choose to go with a gas heater repair, just make sure to find a professional who can do the job right.
Dampers – Jammed dampers are one of the most common causes of AHU’s not working properly and are easily repaired or replaced.
Filters and/or Filter Racks – Often older units have air filters that fit poorly thereby allowing the bypass of unfiltered air. Filter frames can be replaced and fit with higher grade energy-efficient filters as required.
Fans – All centrifugal or axial fan types can be repaired or replaced by most air conditioning services. We recommend that fans should be replaced with the latest energy efficient direct drive ECM fans (Q-PAC). Replacing old forward curved fans with new plug fans can use 15-20% less energy.
The physical condition and changes to building use (i.e. number of occupants) will determine what can or cannot be done with the existing equipment and of course, financial implications will have to be taken into account too.
Refurbishment can often be quicker solution and programmed to be completed sympathetically with little down time and effects on the buildings ventilation system.
Be it a new AHU or existing, remember that regular service of the units will prolong the unit’s life and deliver the required capacities for the duration of its life. For help determining whether you should replace or refurbish, contact us today.
The students in the northern part of the South End peninsula are now walking through the doors of the brand new 74,000 square foot John Hannigan Elementary School which, unlike the one built in 1919, has a state-of-the-art cafeteria, gymnasium, and an art and music classroom. Children at Hannigan had been attending the Sea Lab on Portland Street since 2006 when the roof collapsed at the old Hannigan. The original Hannigan school was demolished and rebuilt with modern features that now serves 400 elementary students and houses the Family Learning Center, classroom sizes of 20 students for lower grades and 26 per class for higher grades and two pre-K classes.
Hot Water Coils
Thermo-composite panel system
The units at the John Hannigan Elementary School were supplied by Annexair and incorporated their Thermo-composite panel system. The design looked for replacement units that would weigh the same as original and provide 30% more capacity. Weight was a key design factor. The Annexair units are 30% lighter than traditional steel units. So we were able to satisfy the design criteria with a lighter unit. Additionally the units come with a lifetime warranty against corrosion. Best of all they are the same cost as traditional steel units.
Take a look at the specification for key features:
UNIT HOUSING SPECIFICATION (Thermo-composite) The unit housing shall be no-through metal with 2’’ Thermo-Composite and foam panel construction – interior and exterior. No-through metal construction will be inherent to all the component construction in the assembly. All panels and access doors shall be double wall construction with R14 foam insulation for every 2” of construction. All foam insulation must be Greenguard certified®. Unit casing will have no exterior condensation at interior AHU temperatures down to 43F while unit exterior conditions are maintained at 95 F dry bulb / 85 F wet bulb. The panels shall be tested in accordance with SMACNA and ASHRAE 111 to have a deflection of no more than L/1150 at 10’’ and withstand air pressures up to 8” w.c with less than 1% leakage. Fire resistance of the panel will be in compliance with UL 94.
Thermo-Composite panels with aluminum interior and exterior liners shall be provided for the entire unit construction, including but not limited to, walls, doors, floors, roof, interior partitions, and electrical compartment. The frame shall consist of anodized extruded aluminum profiles which incorporates a thermally broken construction; welded together for reinforcement and insulated for superior thermal performance. Base structure shall be fully welded and have integral lifting lugs which can be removed once the unit is installed. All roof and side wall seams shall be positively sealed to prevent water and air leakage. Panels will be non-load bearing type. Access doors shall be provided to all major components to facilitate quick and easy access. They shall be made from the same material as the unit casing and incorporate thermal break construction. Access doors shall be provided with open door guard locks shall have Allegis type latches. If access doors do not open against unit operating pressure, provide safety latches that allow access doors to partially open after first handle movement and fully open after second handle movement. Removable panels provided for equipment pull out for coil(s) sections shall have key tooled threaded insert fasteners and a minimum of one handle. Hinges shall be Nylon hinge type designed to open 180 degrees.
Outdoor units shall have a rain gutter above each access door and a watertight roof shall be provided with a white TPO UV-reflective membrane. Unit shall have the entire exterior finished with a PVDF coating designed for UV resistance. Panels shall be painted Annexair standard color. Panels shall pass ASTM B117 3000-hour salt fog resistance test and ASTM D4585 3000-hour moisture condensation resistance test. In addition, paint must meet AAMA 620-02 standard for color, chalking, gloss retention, and abrasion resistance. The air handler unit casing shall be provided with a lifetime warranty against corrosion resistance under normal use.