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Portable Spot Air Conditioners in Industrial Applications - Boston, Atlanta

14 March 2014 Bookmark and Share

In today's highly competitive manufacturing sector, companies are constantly looking for new ways to increase productivity when it comes to cooling people, processes and equipment.

Even when a manufacturing plant or other industrial facility has an efficient, large-capacity central air conditioning system, some areas may still be subject to high ambient temperatures.

Employee productivity in these hot spots can drop substantially, and in some cases, OSHA violations may occur.

Similarly, when products exiting a hot manufacturing process take too long to cool off, product quality and cycle times can suffer, resulting in lower output.

High ambient temperatures can also affect the performance of heat-sensitive equipment, another potential source of reduced productivity.

The traditional solution: Electric fans or evaporative coolers

Often these types of localized heat-management problems are addressed by electric fans or portable evaporative coolers, also called swamp coolers. Both of these methods, however, have serious drawbacks.

Fans are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, but in many cases they do not provide adequate cooling. Doors or windows are sometimes opened to bring in outside air, although this is not always a reliable solution. Cross-ventilating doors or windows are not available in every situation, and even when they are available, leaving them open can create a security problem. Also, the outside air may not be consistently cool enough for the intended application.

Another disadvantage of fans is that they can pick up and blow dust, grit or other foreign matter through the air, contributing to possible eye injuries.

Evaporative coolers, on the other hand, usually have sufficient cooling capacity, but they do not perform well in humid climates. More importantly, they add significant amounts of moisture to the air, which can be detrimental to a wide variety of applications, as well as a cause of shorter equipment life due to corrosion. The excess moisture can also condense on the floor in front of the cooler, creating a slip-fall hazard.

In addition, evaporative coolers require special care to prevent mold buildup, and lack filter systems to protect them from becoming clogged with the dust or other airborne particles found in many industrial environments.

The new solution: Commercial portable spot air conditioners

Fortunately, the introduction of a relatively new class of commercial portable spot air conditioners, also called spot coolers, offers an efficient and cost-effective alternative to both electric fans and evaporative coolers. This type of air conditioner was specifically developed to meet the needs of industrial applications.

Air-cooled vs. water-cooled

Spot air conditioners are available in air-cooled and water-cooled models. Water-cooled air conditioners are more efficient than air-cooled ones, but they require a continuous water supply that makes them less flexible than air-cooled units. Also, few models are available in large enough capacities for most industrial applications.

Spot air conditioners are also available in portable or ceiling-mount configurations. Most portable units can be mounted above a facility work area if needed.

For more information on portable air conditioners and spot coolers, contact American Spot Cooling.

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