Chilled Beams Can Help You Save on Energy and Maintenance Costs
Building owners can rely on the chilled beam technology to save energy, improve indoor air quality, and reduce mechanical noise. This kind of HVAC technology was first used in Europe, but this is also a great option for building owners in the United States especially if they are eyeing on renovation construction projects.
Chilled beams are hydronic HVAC element that circulate heated or chilled water and are made to induce room air flow to heat or cool a certain area. They are called chilled beams due to their long and slender shape.
There are two types of chilled beams – Active and Passive. A passive chilled beam uses a casing with a cooling coil inside. Chilled water at 59 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit circulates through the coil, and the warm air in the area rises and flows through the cooling coil. As a result, cooler air flows down into the space.
Active chilled beams need direct air supply into the beam. The air from the building’s air handling system is sent into the beam via high velocity nozzles that stimulate warm air to go up into the beam and get it back into the room via slot diffusers. This kind of chilled beam provides effective humidity control through the air in the beams.
Both active and passive chilled beams do not have moving parts so they can be used longer and have low maintenance costs. Chilled beams can be included in a constant volume primary air system or variable volume air system, and can be managed by controlling or isolating water flow in the beams. It is essential to properly control humidity and temperature in the area and chilled-water temperature flowing into the chilled beam.
Chilled beam technology also lets building owners reduce metal sheet costs by getting rid of a significant amount of ductwork. This technology also uses warmer water than older systems and can save money on energy use. Chilled beams can fit into various ceiling designs or can be installed above a ceiling.
Chilled beams need accurate humidity control to prevent condensation. They must be correctly installed when they are used together with conventional diffusers so that the air distribution pattern from the beams will not affect the diffusers.
There are manufacturers that offer multi-purpose chilled beam units that include light fixtures, cooling coils, chilled beams, and sprinklers. By integrating all of these components into one unit gives streamlined installation and makes you save on labor costs.