Designing in performance
Engineered heating solutions can answer the challenges of installations that aren’t suitable for off-the-shelf products. They offer the flexibility required to meet the heating needs of ‘problem’ buildings, explains Danny Packham.
Consultants and contractors are faced with constantly changing requirements for heating in the commercial and industrial H&V market – including ever more stringent Building Regulations and new ErP legislation due in 2018. End-users rightly demand perfection for their investment and will be quick to complain if comfort levels fall short of expectation.
Compromising on heating systems is never an option. So, when a building presents exceptional challenges – because of unusual layout, conservation requirements or other out-of-the-ordinary feature – an off-the-shelf heating product is rarely the most appropriate solution. A correctly designed, well-engineered solution, tailored precisely to the application, will always answer the heating needs of the building and its occupants.
What’s more, the pressure to achieve energy efficiency ratings is also seeing bespoke heating systems specified more often than ever before. Modern heating installations must optimise fuel efficiency, produce lower greenhouse gas emissions, operate very effectively and quietly, and in some cases provide both heating and ventilation or summer cooling. Investing in high efficiency heating equipment costs less in both capital and ongoing running costs, as well as being eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances up to one year from installation.
Engineered heating systems can include heaters complete with a range of optional extras such as filters, modulating burners, dampers, discharge heads, cooling coils, re-circulation fans and so on, to meet the precise comfort levels required.
A bespoke engineered solution can also include the provision of other critical information, subject to the requirements of the building, such as heat loss calculations, schematic drawings, flue design, the suitability of types of control equipment and the optimum positioning for the equipment.
A Tailored Solution
Most heating specifications are fairly straightforward, however some engineered solutions require heaters to be tailored for specific purposes, which was the case for Museum of Flight in Edinburgh, home to the prestigious Concorde aircraft. The project required an internal temperature of 23˚C and an airflow of 8.7m³/s to provide a uniform coverage of the aircraft hangar.
The existing Nordair IDF unit provided an airflow of 8.7m3/s and needed to be modified with an inverter drive to ensure a soft start and gradual inflation of the three new Reznor Airmix ducts, keeping the original design layout of a ‘Y’ section to mirror the shape of Concorde.
The air distribution plenum was modified to include turning vanes and balancing dampers as this was critical to ensure each Reznor Airmix duct received an airflow of 2.9m3/s.
The Airmix high induction air distribution system is an innovative concept that is quick and easy to install, reliable and inexpensive in operation. It provides an evenly diffused distribution of warm or conditioned air and is ideal for large open spaces, warehouses, aircraft hangars or retail areas.
The system utilises a lightweight duct that has a large number of small outlet nozzles, either evenly spaced along the length of the duct or located in specific areas.
Air is introduced into the duct and forced out of the nozzles at high speed – thereby inducing surrounding air and recirculating “free heat” from lighting and heat that has risen to the roof space which would normally be wasted.
The result is a very evenly distributed heat at low air velocities and low noise levels, virtually eliminating excess heat stratification and the need for air re-circulation fans.
For good design of a tailored heating system, one of the most critical elements is cooperation between all parties, For example, the manufacturer should be able to support the consulting engineers, ensuring the heating and ventilation requirements of the project are handled smoothly. By working together, it’s possible to deliver a well-designed solution, no matter how challenging the project.
Danny Packham is Reznor’s European product manager – warm air and radiant.