Cleanrooms are energy hungry – but there are things that can be done when new facilities are designed or upgraded.
We supply air to cleanrooms at a minimum temperature of +12oC at a suitable volume to offset the heat emissions from the equipment within the room.
Cleanroom equipment often utilises closed loop systems, like horizontal unidirectional flow units for example.
The heat from the fan stays within the room and the cold air we supply via the HVAC system offsets this heat generated and keeps you at the ideal temperature to work.
However, large cleanroom facilities often have many supporting rooms that don’t have large heat loads.
To save installation costs, maximise profits and win the contract a design and build contractor will often use one common air handling unit with a large common ductwork distribution system – let’s leave it to them – surely they know what they are doing – they sure do.
That air handling unit switches on its cooling system to cool the room with the highest cooling demand which is often the cleanroom which may only account for 40% of the total system air volume.
That remaining 60% of the total supply air from that one AHU is supplying many supporting rooms with no heat loads – but it has also been cooled down unnecessarily.
+12oC air being pumped into a room with no heat load from equipment means it’s going to get very cold in there.
So what’s often the solution?
Low cost electric duct heaters are installed to raise that air to +20oC which uses huge amounts of energy and unless you are in the know – you will never know.
Therefore 60% of the total system air volume is being cooled and heated constantly every day for the life of your cleanroom – the wasted energy will be eye watering.
What’s more – a cleanroom often runs 365 days a year, the cleanroom heat loads remain the same so the cooling systems for cleanrooms often run most of that year.
And those duct heaters silently heating the air above your head to keep you cosy don’t only cost a fortune to run but also create huge amounts of C02.
But why rock the boat?
To do the right thing for your business profits and the planet you need to manage these important unseen design considerations because if you leave it up to a competitively tendering contractor their hands are tied to win the project and you will basically get what you paid for.
Technickon – consultants feeding food for thought.
If we design it, your contractors can competitively tender for it, which makes it fair to them, reduces your running costs and helps the world reach net zero (whatever that means?)
There are many solutions to do it better – but competitive design and build contractors can’t take those risks otherwise they would soon be out of business because their prices would be too high.