Vapac demonstrates the art of humidity control

New humidification equipment from Vapac plays a key role in preserving exhibits at Compton Verney Art Gallery near Warwick.
Vapac humidifiers have replaced existing equipment at Compton Verney Art Gallery new Warwick to provide precise environmental control to preserve exhibits. SGS Maintenance Services oversees the heating and air-conditioning plant and closely monitors humidity. It realised that the existing humidifiers were overworked and that larger units were required. Compton Verney is a Grade 1 listed Robert Adam Mansion and houses 800 works of art. They include Chinese, Neapolitan and Germanic art. There are also British portraits and a British folk collection. They gallery also hosts visiting exhibitions such as the Van Gogh & Britain: Pioneer Collectors, hosted last year. To control temperature and relative humidity, SGMS and Vapac devised a solution that involved creating a positive pressure in the galleries and oversizing humidifiers and upgrading some electrode boiler models. The installation is controlled by Vapac’s VOS system. This approach has the significant benefit of increasing relative humidity. Costs are reduced because the cylinders in the over-sized units do not operate at full capacity and require less-frequent replacement. Close-control air handlers supply conditioned air to the galleries. They all have chilled-water and heating coils and seven Vapac electrode boiler humidifiers. Three of the exhibition galleries have a total of five close-control units to trim temperature and RH to even finer limits. An average setpoint of 21°C and 50% RH ±%5 is attained. Maintaining constant temperature and humidity is a fundamental requirement for membership of the Museums Association, the industry professional body. The need to demonstrate compliance with the association’s standards is crucial to attracting exhibitions and loans from other galleries.
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