A safe and healthy work environment benefits everyone committed to success. Please take a look at our Benefits of Evaporative Cooling video for more information. 

Cambridge had the pleasure of hosting a virtual tour for the MAM's "Gearing Up" 2021 virtual conference. This video, led by Becca Jenkins, shows the improvements that we have made to one of our workstations and provides some insight into how a lean culture of continuous improvement looks.

This blog was guest written by Matt Lanham, Regional Sales Manager at Cambridge Air Solutions.
 

What it Means to "Do Nothing" as a Leader
I’m supposing a few of you are picturing your toes in the sand, a good book, the feel of a gentle breeze and the rush of the tide crashing on the sand.  Maybe a comfy couch, a Saturday afternoon nap with absolutely nothing on your agenda. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

In the facilities management world, doing nothing can take on a different meaning. “Doing nothing” means meeting status quo - nothing more - and it can have a dramatic effect on everything from comfortable workspaces to employee health to retaining the best talent available for the job. When faced with the decision to invest in your facility, it can be tempting to put it off or assume that your current system is performing “OK” and there is no immediate need for action. But now that facility leaders are challenged with creating better cultures and healthier working environments inside their production spaces, the cost of doing nothing is now greater than ever in regards to your employee’s health, productivity and job satisfaction.

Focus on the Ventilation
One of our governing bodies, the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), set forth standards to provide necessary minimum ventilation for occupied working spaces. This limit is always being pushed as healthier buildings demand less recirculated and more outside air for worker safety.  With proper filtration and the right amount of exhausted air, workers can experience better cross-flow ventilation, removing a ton of contaminants that can cause health and safety problems.

But indoor air quality (IAQ) is only a small part of a much larger picture. Leading an efficient workforce while maintaining a high level of quality in the end product is paramount to a company’s future. Greater than 85% of all manufacturing in the US comes from small businesses and what the larger big-box warehouse and manufacturers can attest to, worker comfort is a priority for their long-term growth, recruiting and retaining top-notch talent and for the overall safety of people.
 

Summer Temperatures
As warmer temperatures take hold of a majority of the United States, processes inside of manufacturing spaces cause internal temperatures to rise even faster,  largely due to the processes going on the production floor. While many facilities utilize a combination of intake and exhaust fans, this is just a first step in battling heat stress.  Several recent studies indicate that there is a direct correlation between rising temperatures and productivity levels – so much that there is a 1:1 correlation between temperatures above 77˚F and worker output.  Not to mention at higher temps employees are more likely to have accidents and produce products of a lesser quality. By doing nothing at all, facility leaders are already spending several thousands of dollars daily, weekly or annually in lost productivity and down time. 
 

Can You Air Condition a Warehouse or a Factory?
Inside our homes, there is great success in using vapor compression/direct expansion (DX) cooling with recirculated air, but with huge heat gains from processes inside manufacturing spaces, DX cooling isn’t adequate enough nor does it provide enough outside air to satisfy minimum occupancy requirements. Moreover, the cost to run DX cooling is some of the highest in the HVAC industry. Some plants consider using chilled water systems, but typically require a large capital investment up front to install chiller plants, pumps and other equipment.
 

Nature’s way of cooling
For centuries, manufacturing spaces have utilized evaporative cooling to provide temperature depression inside their spaces. They know that because of a very simple design, there are less moving parts and MUCH less energy required to run them. While typically thought as a viable alternative in drier climates, the use of 2-stage evaporative cooling (including an indirect heat exchanger coupled with direct evaporative module), is gaining a lot of traction in climates of the Midwest, Mid-South and Southeast United States. These facility owners know that their customers demand a high quality product, their workers rely on healthier working environments to be productive and they can provide temperature relief without spending a fortune operating their systems.
 

Come and See for Yourself
At Cambridge Air Solutions, we not only manufacture equipment to help create healthier working environments, but we’ve experienced some of these same challenges – internal heat stress, worker comfort and unhealthy indoor temperatures.  Come connect with us either virtually or in person to see how we have tackled some of these issues, installing a large Two-Stage evaporative unit on our building to help offset internal heat stress while lowering our indoor temperatures to help maintain a healthy work force.

This blog is guest written by Matt Lanham, Regional Sales Manager at Cambridge Air Solutions.

The horsepower paradigm

Watching from the pits of a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) event, while a team of mechanics ushered a top fuel dragster into their tent, broke the engine down, retooled and quickly rebuilt 6000 horsepower in front of me. These guys know how to harness an extreme amount of power necessary to propel a driver ¼ mile in less than 4 seconds. While I observed the bevy of activity taking place like a well-choreographed production, a team of technicians huddled around a computer display, making minute adjustments to the engine; trying to tweak out every last drop of power necessary to win the next race.

What are these technicians most concerned about? Atmospheric conditions and its direct effect on the generation of the most power they can achieve – all for one 3.6 second race.

A basis of design
I am often asked to substantiate our talking points regarding the true power of our S-Series space heater. Utilized in warehouse and manufacturing environments, these units pack a ton of horsepower to offset heat losses caused by infiltration, open dock doors and skin losses inside buildings. Small in stature, we offer units ranging from 250,000 BTU all the way up to 3,200,000 BTU. Being the only unit available that can achieve 160F discharge and temperature rise does raise some eyebrows. Other manufacturers have claimed to be “like Cambridge”, but the simple fact of the design of the unit offering a blow-thru arrangement, it has inherent advantages over every other heating unit in the market.

More efficient design due to atmospheric gains
Bringing in 100% outside air and introducing it to our blower FIRST before raising the temperature is the basis of the S-series unit. Due to this, we often show our engineering community the effect of our fans processing an air mass that is higher in density – thus containing more oxygen; a vital component in clean combustion.  Without diving into the laws of thermodynamics, fans that process cooler, denser air help produce higher BTU outputs than units that pull air thru a burner – where they are processing warmer, less dense air. Cambridge is the only manufacturer to build its own burner - a fully stainless steel unit - while keeping the mechanical components out of the hot air stream leading to a longer life-cycle of the components.

Healthier buildings using 100% outside air
Indoor air quality is a hot topic lately, largely due to end-users wanting healthier working environments for their most precious asset - their people. Business continuation is dependent on having a consistent and healthy work force and recirculated air inside of spaces isn’t healthy. To offset unhealthy indoor contaminants that build up in spaces that use recirculated air, proper use of HVAC units bringing in 100% outside air is paramount. Recirculation units also offer a lower temperature rise, and need to run for much longer periods of time to offset heat and pressure losses inside of spaces. This is wasted energy.

High performance support
There’s no questioning the 400+ building and case studies we’ve performed in a variety of markets with solid data to support worker comfort, more even temperatures and gas and electrical savings over other technologies out there.  Our contractors have come to love the fact that we make our S-series units the most complete heating and ventilation package there is in the market – taking a lot of the guesswork out of their day searching for missing pieces or parts they thought they were getting. Our support team of engineers, technical trainers and technical advisers are there to help our contractor and engineer community with on-site or virtual training, developing the next solution or running a heat load with layout; giving our customers the confidence they need, knowing the factory is backing them up.

Come visit and ask us anything.
Come witness for yourself what a high performance team of individuals do every day at Cambridge Air Solutions. Come see us virtually for exposure to our Lean journey or a product tour. Come feel that same heart-pumping charge we get seeing our folks improve everything they do – every day.

Many building owners working through retrofit or new construction projects are familiar with International Mechanical Code (IMC) standards, which state that an HVAC smoke detector be installed on any air handling system with a capacity greater than 2,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM).

 Following installation of a new air handling system, most building owners will need to have their new heating or ventilation equipment inspected by municipal code authorities, who adhere to requirements put into place by the IMC. A common item flagged on installations of industrial HVAC equipment—including Cambridge Air Systems products—is that a smoke detector was not installed on the system. This is a common request made by engineers and building inspectors that we see at Cambridge Air Solutions – and is a misinterpretation of how our 100-percent outside air make-up air systems and industrial heating products work. Have you ever received a request to include an HVAC smoke detector with your Cambridge heater? You are not alone. Within this article, the experts at Cambridge seek to alleviate any confusion over whether a smoke detector should be installed on your new HVAC system, and why your inspector may have flagged this issue in the first place.

When Are Duct Smoke Detectors Required?

It is true that with most traditional recirculating air distribution systems, installation of an HVAC smoke detector is required. Within Section 606 of the International Mechanical Code (IMC),this requirement is clearly addressed, stating the following: 606.1 Controls required. Air distribution systems shall be equipped with smoke detectors listed and labeled for installation in air distribution systems 606.2 Where required. Smoke detectors shall be installed where indicated in Sections 606.2.1 through 606.2.3. However, the code statement does not end there. It continues: Exception: Smoke detectors shall not be required where air distribution systems are incapable of spreading smoke beyond the enclosing walls, floors and ceilings of the room or space in which the smoke is generated. Cambridge Air Solutions systems, including make-up air units, ventilation systems and industrial heaters use only 100-percent outdoor air to heat and ventilate. Because of this design, Cambridge’s air systems are incapable of spreading smoke beyond these parameters. The IMC Commentary provides further explanation on the intent of the code: It is not the intent of Section 606 to require duct smoke detectors in systems that function only as exhaust systems or only as makeup air systems. Remember, a make-up air supply system that discharges 100-percent outdoor air into a building does not withdraw air from the building and, therefore, cannot contribute to the movement of smoke. Because of this important reason, Cambridge units fall under the exception stated in IMC code section 606 and thus do not require an HVAC duct smoke detector system installation.

Why Are There Duct Smoke Detector Requirements?

It is more important to keep in mind that the intended application of Section 606 is to address the potential hazard caused by ducted air distribution systems that link together rooms and spaces within a building, thereby providing the means to distribute smoke to such rooms and spaces. For more traditional systems, which recycle indoor air, the smoke detector requirement is in place to quickly detect smoke coming from one area of a large commercial building and to alert other areas within the large facility. Safety is the key reason why smoke detectors for HVAC systems are often required. Note, that 100-percent outdoor air systems of any type, including Cambridge Air Solutions equipment cannot transport smoke beyond the area of fire origin and are thus exempt from the provisions of this section.

The ESC-Series evaporative cooling unit is a semi-custom fabricated air handler that can utilize direct (DEC), indirect (IEC) evaporative cooling, or a combination of both indirect/direct (2-Stage) evaporative cooling to meet specific usage and dimensional requirements. Heating options are also available. 

In this video produced for ASHRAE Journal, our Director of Engineering Dave Binz showcases the ESC-Series two-stage evaporative cooling unit installed in our facility in Chesterfield, MO. 

To learn more about this technology, visit the ESC-Series product page on our site or contact your local Cambridge Air Solutions representative.

To read our previous blog on why we decided it was time to invest in our facility, click here.

This technical blog was written by Randy Niederer, Director of Marketing at Cambridge Air Solutions.
 

As a manufacturer of industrial HVAC equipment, we know quite a bit about the problems that poor indoor air quality within your facility can have on your employees during hot summer months. Trying to achieve temperature relief within your facility when it is 100° F outside, and even hotter inside, requires more than opening your dock doors and pulling hot air through your facility while running HVLS fans. For most facilities, including ours, the equipment that is running inside the facility provides additional heat gain that can drive indoor temperatures well above the 100° F outside air temperature. When this happens within the facility your productivity, quality and even safety may be affected. Your ability to retain quality employees can suffer as well as your ability to hire new talent can be difficult as well.

Our “Enriching Lives” brand promise is something that we take seriously and strive to provide to all those that we interact with on a daily basis. You know the old saying “Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk?” Well, it dawned on us that we were telling our customers that they should be providing healthy working environments for their hard working people when in reality we weren’t doing it ourselves. How could we expect our customers to take us seriously about IAQ if we didn’t? That’s when we decided to take our own advice and install our ESC two-stage evaporative cooling solution in our own facilities in an effort to provide temperature relief for our manufacturing employees during the hot St. Louis summer months.

What we hope to achieve with our new ESC Two-Stage Evaporative Unit investment
By installing our largest ESC 2-stage evaporative unit in our existing facility in Chesterfield, MO and our new facility in Wentzville, MO we can now provide temperature relief for the team members in our manufacturing facilities. The goal will be to decrease the temperature within our manufacturing environments on the hottest days of summer from what use to be an internal temperature of >100° F to a more reasonable working environment of < 85° F. Keep in mind that those 100° F days only happen about 14 days throughout the summer in St. Louis so we should have excellent IAQ throughout the hottest 90 days of summer.

The process to get the ESC-Series unit installed
The process that we went through to install the unit at our facility is no different than what any other facility would go through. We had to conduct a facility review and analysis and then a system design to provide us with the needed temperature relief required for our buildings. We then had to fabricate the custom HVAC solution needed to meet our requirements and specifications, and finally, we worked with a local HVAC contractor to successfully complete the installs. Due to the size of the unit on our Chesterfield facility it required a crane to lift the unit into place. 

Here is a quick time lapse video of the install.

See it for yourself.
If you want to see how well the technology works check out our website this coming spring. We will have a live webcam/page showing how the technology is working. We will have the actual outdoor temperatures, the discharge temperature of the unit and the indoor facility temperature real-time on our website. All in an effort to show that the technology works even in a hot - high humidity climate as St. Louis, MO. You know what they say, "The proof is in the pudding."

At the end of the day we focus on helping leaders in warehouse and manufacturing create healthy working environments for hard working people. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you achieve this goal join us for a virtual or in-person tour where we will talk about our evaporative platform that is creating a better working environment right here at our own facility.

Cambridge Air Solutions manufacturers evaporating coolers. Munters CELdek media is utilized in many of these coolers. Proper care of the media is a key element for maintaining safe, effective and efficient operation of the evaporative cooler. 

Engineering Bulletin MB-SCP-205 Controlling Scale and Dirt in Evaporative Pads

Munters has published Engineering Bulletin MB-SCP-205 Controlling Scale and Dirt in Evaporative Pads.

This bulletin covers topics including:

  1. Proper water distribution 
  2. On-off cycling of the pads 
  3. Common scale forming minerals 
  4. A quick reference chart showing stable water with respect to alkalinity (as CaCO3) and calcium hardness (as CaCO3) 
  5. Cleaning the sump and distribution system 

In addition, important formulae are included for: 

  1. Evaporative cooling 
  2. Water evaporative rate and bleed-off 
  3. Air flow 
     

Air Solutions Bulletin MB-ACC-205 Common Algae Treatment Chemicals

After cleaning and flushing the evaporative cooling system, according to Air Solutions Bulletin MB-SCP-205 Controlling Scale and Dirt in Evaporative Pads, the media can be treated with certain algae control chemicals. Munters has published Air Solutions Bulletin MB-ACC-205 Common Algae Treatment Chemicals.

This bulletin covers topics including the three most common chemical groups: 

  1. Quaternary amines 
  2. Oxidizing biocides 
  3. Copper compounds 

Combinations of these chemicals are found in many swimming pool chemicals and commercial disinfectants. When used continuously, or in too high of concentrations, these products can destroy wood, cellulose and metals. The methodology for calculating disinfectant dosages is shown, along with a table with maximum recommended dosages. 

Approved Chemicals for Cooling Pads

Another bulletin published by Munters is Approved Chemicals for Cooling Pads

This bulletin includes: 

  1. Approved algae control chemicals
  2. Physan 20, as manufactured by Maril Products, Inc.
  3. Triathlon, as manufactured by OHP, Inc. 
  4. Green-Shield, as manufactured by Whitmire Research Laboratories 
     

Cleaners and sanitizers 

  1. Aqua Max XL, as manufactured by Neogen Corporation
  2. Cool -N- Klean, as manufactured by Ivesco, LLC 
  3. Virocid or CID-20, as manufactured by BVS/CIDLines USA 
MB-ACP-205 Air Solutions Bulletin: Preventing Algae in Evaporative Cooling Pads

Munters has also published Air Solutions Bulletin MB-ACP-205 Preventing Algae in Evaporative Cooling Pads

This bulletin covers topics including: 

  1. Shade the pad and sump 
  2. Allow the pads to dry completely once every 24 hours 
  3. Minimize nutrient contamination Cambridge recommends that these engineering bulletins be considered as a basis for the proper maintenance of evaporative cooling pads.

Want to learn more about putting evaporative cooling in your facility? Find a Cambridge Manufacturing Representative in your area!

As a manufacturer of products that use natural gas, we support the growth of RNG and its use to reduce GHG emissions.

Cambridge Air Solutions is a partner in the vision of improving air quality and the environment – inside and out. We recognize renewable energy is an increasingly important part of a clean energy future for all. When people think of renewable energy, they think of solar, wind, and hydropower. It should be noted that Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is also a clean source of energy. RNG is reliable and always available – unlike solar and wind which is dependent on the weather and time of day.

Click here to learn more about what renewable energy is and how Cambridge technology, especially our direct-fired HTHV heating units (S-Series) align with this planet-saving initiative.

Our Director of Engineering Dave Binz describes how the Cambridge team approaches an industrial retrofit process, and the best way to get started getting answers about your project.