If you want to keep your workers happy and healthy, give them comfort. It reduces the risks of injury and disease. It also improves productivity and efficiency. How do you provide comfort? For office buildings and some warehouses, one of the options is a chilled water system.
How Does a Chilled Water System Work?
In Australia, the heat can be intense. Couple that with humidity, and you’ll have unforgiving weather. That’s not an environment a worker would like to be in, especially if they spend many hours inside.
Businesses, therefore, invest in a cooling system. For small spaces, a central air-conditioning unit might do. It’s enough to deliver coolness across many rooms without compromising the temperature.
What about more complex spaces such as higher or bigger office buildings? One option is to distribute the air through a long duct. This, however, can be difficult to install, costly, hard to maintain, and inefficient.
A smart strategy is to use a chilled water system. In this setup, the primary air-conditioning unit is separate from the office building, such as the back. If there’s insufficient space, you can install it above or on the roof.
Unlike the conventional air-conditioning unit, this system uses water. It can cool it to as low 4.4 degrees Celsius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, the water goes through an intricate connection composed of air handlers and water pipes. The latter can further maintain the space’s coolness by absorbing the heat.
With proper insulation, chilled-water systems can work like any air conditioner. It might even be better. For one, it is less noisy and doesn’t produce vibrations. That further enhances the level of comfort of your employees.
From a design standpoint, it’s more energy efficient to deliver chilled water from top to bottom than bring cool air up. It also doesn’t demand bulky ducts.
Combat Its Problem
Despite its advantages, this setup isn’t perfect. You can need tools such as an air separator in a chilled water system to maintain it well.
Exchanges do happen inside the chilled water system. Chilled water passes through the fan coil units and the air handler units. It then cools the coil while the fan blows the cool air into the building.
The heat that is within the space, meanwhile, is absorbed by the heat-exchanging coil. It’s only then that water returns to the chiller where it goes through the same process.
The changes in temperature can lead to the buildup of microbubbles, and this can reduce the efficiency of your system. To counter that, you can install an air separator.
There are different types of air separators. Your choice depends on many factors, such as the configuration of your existing ducts, budget, and possible building expansion.
Either way, they can help extend the lives of your system. This also makes your air-conditioning unit easier to maintain.
No doubt, comfort means less workplace stress and higher productivity. It pays to be strategic, though. When it comes to air-conditioning systems, consider chilled water. It can be more cost-effective and convenient to maintain, especially if you add supplies like air separators.