Photo: The unit on the left, without an evaporative cooling mechanism added. Note the damage to the coil fins. On the right, with addition.
What did the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Persians use that Leonardo DaVinci improved and Americans revolutionized?
Evaporative cooling. It’s the most basic form of air conditioning and arguably the most natural way of cooling. In fact, every time you sweat you experience the effects of evaporative cooling as water droplets on your skin evaporate, carrying with them heat away from your body.
In a typical air conditioning system, hot refrigerant gas passes through the condenser coil and cools, becoming a liquid. A fan located near the condenser coil blows air over it to improve this process. The cooled refrigerant then travels back inside the home or building to pick up and remove excess heat, and the process is repeated. While this works well, technology exists today whereby it has been improved.
How? Here’s one way: a mechanism, which looks something like a picture frame, is placed over the condenser coil that ejects small amounts of water inside the frame. This water cools the air before it enters the condenser, creating an environment where the air conditioner operates as though it were cooler outside than the actual outside temperature, so it ends up working less. And no water actually reaches the coil.
How does the mechanism know how much water to inject into the air flow? The process is regulated by a small control system. It monitors the outside temperature and the air conditioning equipment to determine the right amount of water to evaporate into the air stream.
Why is this a good thing? For starters, it reduces energy use, demand charges and overall maintenance. The air conditioner can do more work than for what it was designed, oftentimes 8-12 percent more. Reliability is enhanced, the equipment’s life span is increased and there is minimal maintenance. Additionally, the frame protects the condenser coil from debris and damage and since it’s magnetic can be removed easily for cleaning.
Need more proof? In one example, an air-cooled chiller that had needed repair three to four times a summer has not needed a service call since the evaporative cooling mechanism was installed on the unit in 2008. In another example, the same technology was applied to equipment at a data center. The result was a drop of nearly 10 degrees inside the building and a nearly 16-percent increase in cooling capacity, all without adding additional air conditioning units.
For more information on how this technology works or to inquire about adding it to your air conditioning equipment, please email Jonathon Goering by clicking here or call 316-265-9655.
Knipp Services works with commercial and industrial building owners to identify building solutions that can reduce downtime and increase the efficiency of their building. We provide services that enable building owners to have a high performance building.
For more information about Knipp Services, please visit our website: knippenergyservices.com.