As the original UK industrial portable cooling range Mighty Cool has a proud 30 year history of constant evolution to meet the ever changing requirements of climate control. Designed and built with the growing emphasis on energy efficiency in mind, our latest range is designed to meet 21st century requirements with the largest available cooling outputs from a 13A supply, A* efficiency ratings, ErP compliance and the pioneering use of EC fans in portable air conditioning. Made in England to the highest possible standards Mighty Cool’s extensive range includes traditional monoblocs, water cooled splits and now an industrial evaporative cooler capable of producing the equivalent of 20kW of cooling from just 2A.
During the summer months rising temperatures can create stuffy unpleasant working environments which can stifle efficiency and cause problems with vital equipment and infrastructure. The Mighty Cool range of commercial AC units offer the perfect temporary solution in either monobloc or split configuration.
What is air conditioning?
An industrial air conditioner is a unit that uses the principles of refrigeration to remove heat from the air. The process is very similar to that used by fridges and freezers but rather than cool the air within a sealed, confined space they draw air in, cool it and redeliver it to the room. Both systems also use the same group of major components; an evaporator, compressor, condenser and an expansion valve/capillary which are all piped together using copper (most commonly) refrigeration pipe. A refrigerant is then pumped around the circuit as follows:
Fixed installation air conditioning usually comes in two parts, an indoor unit and outdoor unit. The indoor section is normally installed in the area to be cooled and houses the cold element (the evaporator) which is the part of the process where the refrigerant evaporates. This evaporation is caused because the refrigerant has a very low boiling point at standard atmospheric pressure, typically around -40ºC. In order for this evaporation to happen a rise in temperature is needed and this is supplied by the air of the area which needs cooling and where the indoor unit is installed. As air is drawn across the evaporator coil heat is removed and the ambient area temperature can be reduced.
The compressor draws the refrigerant vapour through the system, reduces the pressure in the evaporator coil and as a result the refrigerant evaporates. The vapour then enters the compressor where it is compressed to increase the temperature and pressure. This hotter, more pressured gas then enters the condenser coil (usually installed outside the area to be cooled) where it cools to its condensation point again and returns to liquid form. Just as the evaporation process requires warm air the condensation process needs cooling to prevent the pressure and temperature climbing too high. This cooling can be provided by either air or water (hence water cooled systems).
The next stage in the process, the expansion valve or capillary, narrows the pipework which decreases the pressure and allows the liquid refrigerant to evaporate. Because warm air is needed for this evaporation the circuit is closed.
Types of portable air conditioning
Broughton EAP Ltd makes two forms of industrial portable air conditioner:
‘Monobloc’ or Exhaust units
This is a single unit form of portable air conditioning where both the evaporator and condenser are housed within the same machine. Most of the air processed by the unit is drawn across the evaporator coil, cooled and returned. A smaller quantity of air is used to cool the condenser coil but because it has been heated cannot be re-circulated within the room so is pumped away via ducting, usually out of a window.
Water cooled split units
Like fixed installation air conditioning these units come in two parts; a room unit and a heat exchanger. The two parts are connected by flexile pipes which can be extended up to 35m. With this type of system the room unit houses the evaporator coil, compressor and a special type of condenser.
The main (room) unit is placed in the area that needs cooling where the air is drawn across the evaporator, cooled and returned. The difference now is that water is used to cool the condenser rather than air. Water is circulated across the condenser but because it is a completely sealed system the, now warm, water has to be pumped to the external heat exchanger unit which removes the heat using a similar process to the condenser coil in a conventional AC system.
Calculating the amount of cooling required
As with all portable air conditioning, industrial air conditioning is specified by the amount of cooling duty they deliver in either kilowatts (kw) or British thermal units (Btu’s). 1kw = 3412Btu.
Due to the huge number of variables (such as building direction, roof type, insulation type number of people and computers, windows facing the sun etc) in accurately calculating the required cooling capacity it is very difficult to give an exact answer without a site visit. You can however get close enough for 99.9% of applications by using the following rules of thumb:
· Normal, Modern Offices ± 46 W per m³
· Portable Buildings ± 57 W per m³
· Tents/Marquees ± 95 W per m³
Any equipment within the area that generates heat must also be taken into consideration. Following are approximate heat generation values to be allowed for:
PC ± 150w
Laser Printer ± 500w
Photocopier (standby) ± 200w
Photocopier (in use) ± 1000w
Fax Machine ± 500w
Coffee Machine ± 800w
TV/ Video Screen ± 50w
Applications for portable air conditioning equipment
It would be impossible to list all the possible uses for our industrial air conditioning here but most tend to go into the Hire Industry, Facilities Management and Event Hire. Below is a list of some of the most popular applications:
· Data Centres
· Server Rooms
· Portable Buildings
· Shops & Restaurants
· Oil Rigs
Considerations for selection and installation
Once the appropriate industrial air conditioner has been selected there are several other things to be considered. These include:
- Where will the hot air be exhausted to? Is there a window or ceiling void that can be used?
- Is there a 13a 230v socket within 2m (of indoor unit on split types)? The unit must also be situated without obstruction to any airflow, both in and out. PAC equipment uses large amounts of electricity and is therefore unsuitable for use with extension leads and on ring mains with other similarly power draining equipment.
- When using a split type the room must be within 35m of an appropriate position for the heat exchanger section (It is however recommended that the line length be kept to the minimum possible). Ideally it should be positioned outside as it will expel large quantities of warm air and the condensate. If it is positioned inside then there must be a means of draining this.
- The heat exchanger should always be placed out of direct sunlight and where it will cause the minimum amount of disruption.
Finally, don’t forget that while most AC manufacturing companies are based in the far east these days we are the UK’s premier AC manufacturers. The advantage to that is full technical support, totally serviceable equipment with complete spare parts availability and most importantly; portable air conditioning that’s built to last.