Fresh air cooling

05 February 2021

COULD A ventilation-based cooling system be the key to keeping your factory fully operational all year round? According to Ecocooling, installation of ventilation based evaporative cooling can mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 whilst keeping staff and machinery cool.

Over recent months, the role of adequate ventilation in reducing the spread of Covid-19 has been stressed by numerous professional bodies and government advisors. REHVA describe ventilation as the best engineering control we have for managing the infection. What’s more, UK government advisors have said that “ventilation should be integral to the COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy for all multi-occupational buildings.” With the introduction of vaccines, the Government is looking at a pathway to getting business back to normal. So, what steps can you take to mitigate the risk of transmission between your staff and keep your production running at maximum capacity?

Evaporative cooling presents a cost effective and smart solution for the ventilation of buildings while simultaneously providing an eco-friendly cooling system for staff and Machinery.

Why is ventilation so important?

The most common cause of transmission is through short-range droplets, most of which fall out of the airstream within a short distance, hence social distancing rules. However, long-range airborne transmission is possible and is becoming a growing concern as we start spending more time indoors.

Thankfully, the risk of infection through airborne transmission is something that can be managed with adequate ventilation and air distribution, which dilutes the buildup of the virus in the air.

Ways to improve ventilation and mitigate risk

There are practical steps that you can take to mitigate the risk of airborne transmission, which are recommended by trusted organisations such as CIBSE and REHVA.

Increase fresh air – Increase the amount of fresh outside air in your building and the rate of air changes per hour to dilute the airborne viral load.

Minimise recirculation – where possible, recirculated air should not be used. However, in circumstances where this is not possible, the ratio of outdoor air must be increased, with additional measures for return air filtering recommended.

Extend operating times – running your mechanical ventilation systems for longer to increase air supply and exhaust ventilation is recommended. The advice is to ventilate premises 24/7, with a lower setting used during un-occupied periods, with it ramped up a couple of hours before and whilst the building is in use.

Open windows – where possible it is also recommended that openable windows are actively used to boost air exchange, with 15 minutes the suggested duration when entering a room. Opening windows is particularly useful for buildings that have no other type of ventilation.

What makes an EcoCooling system a safe solution?

Ventilation and cooling, all in one box: EcoCoolers are installed as part of a mechanical ventilation system, Cooling boxes with inbuilt fans bring fresh air into your facility; these are paired with extraction systems to remove inside air, creating a ventilated building, which reduces the risk of virus spread. The cooling process works by cooling incoming air, therefore no recirculation of air is required during the summer months, unlike refrigeration based alternatives.

Modular and simple: Each EcoCooling system is specifically designed for the size and use of the building so that there is an adequate number of air exchanges per hour, so additional ventilation should not be required.

Specially developed controls: The EcoCooling controls can also help you manage the fresh air levels via its automatic and manual modes. For example, you can run the system in manual mode with 0% recirculation for 15-minute bursts to purge the room, or in automatic mode, you can reduce the supply temperature set point to boost the quantity of fresh air. Timers can also be adjusted to allow a burst of ventilation before and after the building is occupied.

Show your commitment to staff safety: There is no doubt the vital role ventilation will play in the battle against COVID-19, and we here at EcoCooling are proud to have a fresh air system that helps business manage that risk.  We are a UK based company with an established installation network across the country, all our stock is held in Bury St Edmunds so we are prepared for fast turnaround projects in 2021.

For the most up to date guidelines, visit the CIBSE COVID-19 guidance webpage.