Gilberts invests in air-movement test centre

Gilberts Blackpool, grilles, louvres, test chamber, natural ventilation

Gilberts of Blackpool has opened a 400 m3 test centre to enable the company to carry out accurate testing of air-distribution grilles, diffusers and natural-ventilation terminals to establish their full aerodynamic performance — including throw, temperature, pressure and acoustic date. Alongside the 2-storey test room is an R&D suite with data logging to monitor and record test. A viewing gallery enables clients to see tests live.

The centre was opened by Russell Beattie, chief executive of FETA (Federation of Environment Trade Associations). He said, ‘Gilberts of Blackpool has a reputation for its ability to deliver bespoke air-movement solutions that enable the building services within our new commercial and public buildings to be as sustainable as possible. Their investment in the new test centre demonstrated their on-going ability to quality and helping the industry develop.’

Roy Jones, senior technical manager, explained, ‘The new test centre enables us to rigorously check the validity of our component design. For our standard products, it reinforces our existing product date, but it also allows us to easily develop special designs to meet project requirements.

‘With more and more customers asking for special designs, we can demonstrate that their scheme will deliver, safe in the knowledge it has been thoroughly performance tested.’

The centre will also be available for independent research into future air-movement strategies.

The main test room complies with or exceeds ISO 5219. It has a floor area of 12 x 6 m and is 2.8 m high. There are two insulated walls, one simulated outside wall and one wall that can be designated internal or external. The modular floor is mounted on jacks allowing adjustment down to 100 mm high.

Air delivery is infinitely variable up to 2 m3/s. Chiller/heater batteries can deliver extreme design conditions, and heat lamps simulate sunlight over a gazed facade. Air can be delivered and/or exhausted through all types of air-terminal devices mounted on the floor, wall or ceiling.

A smoke generator can be controlled from the observation gallery. There are facilities to provide video or still images of the smoke dispersion.

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