Evaporative cooling can provide significant temperature relief at a fraction of the cost of mechanical cooling.

Industrial settings - with much exhaust airflow for contaminants and a substantial footprint - can struggle to achieve clean and temperate indoor air conditions without expensive mechanical cooling systems. However, the sheer size of many of these facilities prices that technology out of the possible solution set. On the other end of the cooling option spectrum, HVLS fans tend to move the hot air around, dependent on contact cooling for temperature relief. The moving air from HVLS fans can help employees feel more comfortable but cannot address internal heat gains within a facility nor provide temperature relief. Somewhere between those two options stands evaporative cooling technology, which provides tempered make-up air while also improving indoor air quality with the usage of 100% outdoor air. 
 

Two-Stage Evaporative Cooling Technology Shines in Industrial Facilities

The Cambridge 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 (two-stage) evaporative cooling to meet specific usage and dimensional requirements. In two-stage cooling, the first (indirect) stage uses a patented polymer heat exchanger that separates the ventilation air stream from the vaporizer air stream resulting in full sensible cooling without any added moisture. The second stage of cooling provides additional temperature depression through an adiabatic direct evaporative process. With semi-custom options such as stainless steel construction, energy recovery, fan arrays, special filtration, and additional cooling and heating modules, the Cambridge ESC-Series can be designed to meet the specific requirements of your facility to create a healthy work enviornment that increases productivity and improves employee retention.

Learn More

To learn more about how evaporative cooling works in our manufacturing facility in St. Louis, Missouri, engage with one of our representatives who can bring an applications engineer into the conversation. 

 

 

Introduction

Indoor air quality affects us daily, but we don't always consider it. We spend more than two-thirds of our time indoors, which means we're always breathing in air quality. This can have a significant impact on our health. Cambridge Air Solutions has over 60 years of experience in the industrial cooling industry, and we understand the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ). 

What is Indoor Air Quality? 

Indoor air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality in buildings and structures (EPA). Buildings with good IAQ have:

  • Ventilation
  • Control of Internal and External Pollutants
  • Comfortable Temperature
  • Comfortable Humidity Levels

Why is Good Indoor Air Quality So Important?

People spend more than two-thirds of their lives indoors, source. Poor indoor air quality can lead to long-term health issues, source. Good IAQ can also prevent the buildup of hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide. 

Increased Production

Employees need more than just a leather office chair to be comfortable. Air quality is often overlooked when thinking about employee comfort. If your employees aren't comfortable, chances are they are stressed out in the workplace. Employees that are comfortable in their workplace are much more productive employees. 

Slows the Spread of Viruses

Buildings with good IAQ are well-ventilated, which helps slow the spread of viruses such as COVID-19 and the Flu. This means less sickness in the workplace and a safer environment for your employees. A healthier workplace is also a wealthier workplace, according to a Harvard study. Better health leads to less sick leave and more productivity, which leads to greater profits. Good IAQ in your building can also reduce allergy or asthma triggers. There are more pollutants in the air when IAQ is low due to poor ventilation. This can cause some diseases, such as asthma, to flare up. 

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Invest in your employees with a system from Cambridge Air Solutions. We are a leading manufacturer of commercial and industrial heating, ventilation, and evaporative cooling products. Both our S-Series and SA-Series utilize 100% fresh air to dilute contaminants. This eliminates many of the air quality problems associated with traditional heating systems that recirculate indoor air. Similarly our M-Series offers superior IAQ as it uses only fresh air from outside and noes not recirculate contaminated indoor air. Our ESC-Series also uses 100% outside air to provide tempered make-up air and building cooling. 

 

Learn More

With the right air quality management system, you can breathe easy. You and your employees will be able to spend more time indoors without worrying about potential health problems caused by poor indoor air quality. To learn more about Cambridge Air Solutions products for improving your indoor air quality, contact a rep today. 

 

The car wash industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., valued at a record $14.21 billion in 2020 and expected to expand 4.8% annually from 2021 to 2028. Based on conversations with industry leaders, a significant portion of their profit comes in the winter months; however, outside winter weather conditions paired with open bay doors present a challenge to keeping the tunnel warm enough for the car wash equipment to stay optimally functional. Closing the bay doors to retain heat is not an option because people may assume it is not open for business if the tunnel doors are closed. 

When addressing the conditions specific to that type of facility, heating and ventilating a car wash tunnel can be challenging. Corrosive chemicals, high humidity and open tunnel doors all present obstacles to effectively heat the tunnels.

In this application, the Cambridge S-Series HTHV heater minimizes freeze-up conditions, thus reducing downtime and lost profits.   

 

In warehouse and distribution center spaces where our standard S-Series HTHV (high-temperature heaving & ventilation) heaters are commonly installed, the units see 20-30+ year lifespans under routine maintenance and within the range of normal environmental conditions.

However, not all applications are “standard” and need specific conditions to be considered in the system design. A prime example of a situation where a facility needs the heat throw and efficiency that our S-Series provides, but with an overly humid environment, is that of heating a carwash tunnel. 

First, the facts: the car wash industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., valued at a record $14.21 billion in 2020 and expected to expand 4.8% annually from 2021 to 2028. Based on conversations with industry leaders, a significant portion of their profit comes in the winter months; however, outside winter weather conditions paired with open bay doors present a challenge to keeping the tunnel warm enough for the car wash equipment to stay optimally functional. Closing the bay doors to retain heat is not an option because people may assume it is not open for business if the tunnel doors are closed. 

Chains Mike’s Carwash and Crew Carwash partnered with the Cambridge applications engineering team to develop solutions to the heating and equipment longevity challenges they faced in their tunnels.

A simple, yet effective solution: a Cambridge S-Series HTHV unit that keeps the bay from freezing and can often double as a method of drying a vehicle once the cleansing process has been completed. The S-Series meets the heating and airflow needs well and can be adapted to provide optimal performance and unit longevity amidst high humidity levels and corrosive environments that exist in car wash tunnels. 

The standard unit for Mike’s and Crew’s car washes was an S1200 unit with a stainless base, downturn housing, burner, discharge duct, and 12” roof curb and rail. However, these units historically lasted only two years before needing extensive maintenance due to the high humidity levels put out by the continual wash process.

In addition to the impact humidity had on the units, the tunnels also experienced high acidity levels from the strong mineral acids - hydrochloric, nitric, and sulfuric acids - used in their car wash process. The corrosion rate of galvanized steel is increased at low and high pH levels, explaining the discrepancy in unit life expectancies between S-Series in these environments versus those in standard conditions.

Our applications engineering team developed stainless steel selections to increase unit longevity – a stainless fan, fan shaft, unit housing, supply duct, damper and downturn.

These improvements were implemented two years ago. The stainless steel changes to the S-Series units in Mike’s and Crew’s car washes required far less maintenance. They were able to keep their tunnel doors open with less downtime replacing, adjusting, or fixing worn out components. Units remain structurally sound with the stainless improvements. 

While it is not yet known exactly how much the stainless additions have increased life expectancy, it is undoubtedly true that they have added time and reduced maintenance and part cost along the way. 

By virtue of a continuous improvement culture – we are continually making improvements to our products and process. If you want to discuss how our product lines and technology could help you bring healthy working environments to your people, our manufacturing rep network is local to you and can tour your buildings and discuss solutions specific to your space and climate. You can find your local rep here.
 

When deciding on a system to heat your facility, cost plays an important role. While some project bids might gravitate to the cheapest available option to meet the specs, it is pertinent to consider the other cost factors involved (energy savings and maintenance costs) as they will play a major role in the overall unit life cycle cost.

On our S-Series HTHV heating unit, the unique blow-thru design, with 160-degree maximum temperature rise and discharge temperature, delivers more usable heat and thermal comfort with minimal temperature variation throughout the heated space. In addition, this commercial/industrial space heater is 20-70% more energy-efficient than all other types of indirect and direct gas-fired systems used to heat large commercial and industrial buildings. 

 

Dave Binz, Director of Engineering at Cambridge Air Solutions, presents a webinar to ASHRAE Journal on "The Path to Net Zero Energy." 

 

Evaporative cooling has become the system of choice for many business owners in dry climates, utilized to cool their facility while keeping energy consumption and operational costs in check, especially compared to traditional compressor-based cooling. The sheer size of the commercial and industrial facilities that are effectively tempered by evaporative cooling offers insight to the significant savings that can be realized first by the system’s installation and then its continued optimization.

How Do Evaporative Coolers Work?

To optimize performance, we first have to understand how an evaporative cooling system works. The design is simple, yet complex: provide cool, tempered air by converting warmer, dry air through a series of evaporative processes to draw out the air’s natural heat and inject cooler air into your work space. 

Often compared to “swamp coolers” in the southwestern United States, evaporative cooling units utilize more advanced technology that enable them to serve as viable alternatives to conventional cooling beyond just the Southwest and for larger spaces.

There are direct and indirect technologies available in evaporative cooling, essentially designated by the moisture level in your climate and whether or not additional moisture is desired. These systems may be effectively combined in a two-stage unit, such as the ESC-Series, to add additional cooling as the result of the two processes working together. 

Providing comfortable and healthy working environments

The benefits of evaporative cooling extend well-beyond temperature, especially in terms of improved indoor air quality and its effect on your employee’s health and morale. For example, rather than recycling existing and contaminated air in the building,  the 100% outside air brought in by the evaporative cooling system achieves fresher, cleaner air for the workers inside the facility.

The investment of thermal comfort does more than meet a code standard, it signals to your employees that their leadership team cares for them. It increases employee morale and allows them to continue to work at their full capacities, increasing productivity and lowering turnover rate. You probably wouldn’t want to come to work in a 90-degree building on a hot summer day, so why expect your employees to?

4 Tips for Increasing Unit Efficiency 

Have an evaporative system installed? Let’s make sure you are running optimally.

  1. Perform maintenance on your evaporative cooler routinely. Clean the cooling pads, filters, reservoir, and pump at least once a month during the summer months. Maintaining your system will ensure it is operating at peak performance. 
  2. Evaporative coolers rely on temperature differences between the outside air and the wetted evaporative media. Run it during the warmest time of day to get the most out of your system.
  3. Evaporative media should be damp but not wet or dry.  Periodically ensure water levels are within manufacturer recommendations. 
  4. Building ventilation process loads and temperature conditions can vary. For maximum efficiency, ensure your unit is set to meet minimum ventilation requirements while monitoring building humidity levels so as to provide maximum temperature depression without over saturating the space with moisture. 

Come see for yourself

Cambridge Air Solutions Tours are available to answer any questions you may have about cooling your facility. Schedule a tour today to see our own evaporative cooling unit in action at our manufacturing facility and see how it provides cooler air to our facility in the St. Louis summers.

We all know that heating and indoor air quality play a significant factor in providing a happy and healthy work environment, and that yearly maintenance is necessary to keep those systems running efficiently.  

Jeff Hodge, a member of the Cambridge service team, has provided some simple tips for mid-year maintenance to your commercial or industrial HVAC unit.

End-of-Year Maintenance Tips

1. Filters - Service the filters as needed based on the “loading” experienced. Turn off the heater before servicing filters. Remove the filters from the filter section by opening the filter access door. Handle the filters carefully to prevent debris from being dislodged from the filter into the heater.

2. Check the belt - periodic belt adjustments help ensure the sustainability of the belt. If a belt is too tight, it can prematurely wear out the bearings and the belt. If the belt is too loose, it can slip or squeal. 

3. Check the discharge temperature - Use a wired thermistor at the mixing box to calibrate the system if necessary. 

4. Inspect the control panels - Look for loose or frayed wire connections and make sure all connections are tight. 

5. Perform a gas valve leak test - This will ensure the integrity of the valves. 

6. Grease the bearings – Dependent upon usage, your bearings may need to be regreased. The grease should be evenly distributed around the race. However, do not use the standard bearing grease in the Baldor motor. Instead, this motor takes special grease that can be referred to in the technical manual. 

7. Check and clean the evaporator and condenser coils - Dirty coils will drastically reduce cooling equipment efficiency and strain the compressor. 

8. Perform a gas valve leak test - This verifies the integrity of the valves.

9. Verify that the manifold differential gas pressure matches the nameplate.  It is extremely important that this is set up properly.  If the manifold pressure is incorrect, the heater temp rises and its efficiency will be affected.   

10. Inspect the direct evaporative media (CELdek) - Ensure that there is proper water flow across the media. 

11. Check the calibration of digital thermostats - Press the up arrow and hold it; the display should show 0F.  If not, the calibration may have been adjusted to show a warmer or cooler temperature than desired.

Additional Resources

It is important to achieve maximum efficiency from your commercial or industrial HVAC system. For more tips and instructions see our “How-To” videos, and with any further questions, please reach out to the Cambridge service team.

Reducing our own carbon footprint with solar panels and evaporative cooling

As part of our corporate social responsibility, we know we have to be stewards of our environment, and for nearly six decades, have invented and brought to market some of the most energy efficient HVAC technologies available in the manufacturing and distribution market segments. Our heatingevaporative cooling and ventilation technologies alone operate at 40%-65% savings versus traditional technologies.

Our systems make a big difference for each individual facility through operational cost savings, but the true environmental impact is when 55,000 of our facility installations compound for massive electrical and natural gas savings.

Complementing our own HVAC system performance, Cambridge sought out the opportunity to install solar panels in support of the energy reduction mission. Our CEO John Kramer says, “When the solar opportunity came about, I jumped on it because energy savings will have an impact on our business, on our community and on the world.” He went on to say, “Cambridge exists to enrich the lives of others and this move has an impact on future generations. Enriching lives is not just about the here and now. It has a longer-lasting impact.”

This also drove the decision to invest in an ESC-Series Evaporative Cooling unit to cool our building while using a fraction of the energy that traditional cooling methods use.

Our solar story

The Cambridge solar installation on our plant roof in Chesterfield, Missouri - consisting of 424 individual solar panels - is one of the largest solar installations in our city. On an average week, our panels yield 600 KWH, giving us the ability to cut down on our emissions drastically. Since the installation, the solar panels have saved 262 t of carbon from being emitted from our facility - equal to the yearly output of over 34 homes or 103 passenger vehicles. Moreover, the savings have amounted to around $2,200 a month in electrical savings and are enough to cover 10% of our total electric consumption.

Never Done Improving

Cambridge believes in continuous improvement, and we aim to find new and innovative ways to better our environment consistently. Whether through large projects such as solar panels or finding small ways each day. No matter the size of the project we are dedicated to enriching the lives of those around us and of generations to come.

As we look out over the next ten years, we will continue to share stories about energy transformation within manufacturing and distribution businesses. New technologies enable us to share building performance characteristics in real-time so that more leaders are inspired to change their working environments for their people while simultaneously serving their communities and the planet with energy footprint reductions. “This is my passion, and our leadership team is committed to it,” says Kramer.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour please contact sign up on our website or contact tlittle@cambridgeair.com.

A safe and healthy work environment benefits everyone committed to success. 

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. The evaporative cooling unit uses 100% outside air to provide tempered make-up air and building cooling. The ESC-Series unit is designed for industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings needing better indoor air quality without the equipment or operating costs associated with mechanical cooling.