Choosing the Right Heating System for your Facility

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Each System Can Help You Avoid Poor IAQ and Unnecessary Cost

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Is the heating bill for your plant or warehouse too high? What about cold dock door areas and unbalanced temperatures? Is negative building pressure a problem? Do your employees complain about it being too cold making it harder for them to do their job? Do you have high maintenance costs from existing heating equipment?

These are just a few common problems that result from selecting the wrong heating system, misplacing your heaters so they can’t reach their full potential or using obsolete technology. What factors determine the best space heating system? Everyone wants a heating & ventilating system that meets their unique requirements at the lowest total cost. Before selecting a heater, define the heating/ventilating requirements and understand all the cost factors that determine the true lowest total cost solution for a specific facility.

BOILER SYSTEMS

One of the oldest forms of heating, boilers have been in existence since about the 1800’s and are still a preferred Boiler Heating Systemsystem of heating in large industrial facilities where remote plants deliver steam and hot water to satellite locations to circulate through heat exchangers. These exchangers can be part of unit heaters, make up air systems, or anywhere a heat exchanger can be installed. While huge advances in boiler technologies have evolved over the past few years, boiler systems are typically the most inefficient heating technology – with the highest overall installed cost, the highest cost to maintain and repair, and a huge level of stratification of the surrounding air. When discussing boiler replacements or supplemental heating with contractors, it’s very important to consider the overall operating and maintenance costs of these systems. Boilers require maintenance to ensure they operate at their peak efficiency.  Parts such as valves, traps and fittings wear out over time. While the boiler system generates the heat, they also require a distribution system – such as unit heaters or make up air systems.  A lot of mechanical components to consider.

Unit Heater Heating SystemUNIT HEATERS

The most basic of all heating technologies, unit heaters are inexpensive to purchase and have good familiarity by most contractors and engineers. The redundant design makes servicing by contractors very simple. They are fairly effective in zone heating. Unit heaters promote poor indoor air quality and huge levels of stratification in the space upwards of 20-30 degrees without adding additional HVLS fans.  They offer a low temperature rise versus direct fired technologies, a higher operating cost, and cannot combat dock door infiltration.

INFRARED OR RADIANT TUBE HEATERS

While infrared or tube heaters are good for zone and spot heating applications, they should never be used as the sole source of heating large spaces.  Radiant heaters offer a relatively low operating cost and a way to heat tools, work stations, and people without consuming floor space.  Radiant heaters do not offer indoor air quality benefits nor any ventilation in the summer. They do not promote air mixing and have a high installation cost due to line of sight restrictions and coverage limitations.

RECIRCULATION 80/20 SYSTEMS

Recirculation systems or 80/20 systems are typically thought to be more efficient than other technologies due to the fact that a large amount, up to 80% of the air moved is recirculated, thus not requiring a large amount of gas to heat it up. Recirculation units are widely used to combat facilities with mechanical exhaust systems, especially when variable CFM is needed. They typically regulate the amount of outside air they introduce, based off the CFM needs of the building itself. Typically, fewer units are necessary and they do a decent job of providing summer ventilation. Recirculation systems are draw thru systems with a minimal effective temperature rise of about 40-50F. When dock doors are open in a facility, the recirculation units will be driven to 100% outside air and with discharge temperatures ranging between 80-100F, they must run continuously to cycle enough CFM to make up the temperature and pressure drop. The recirculation units are very large and heavy, requiring larger cranes, structural modifications, and much larger first cost and operating costs. They are not certified for use in Canada and with recirculation of air and contaminants, products of combustion can build up in the space.

Air Turnover Heating SystemAIR TURNOVER (AIR ROTATION)

Air turnover has been marketed as a package system to industrial customers since its inception in the 1920’s.  While marketed as a single piece of equipment (a large tower set in the corner of a warehouse space), the greatest advantage of air turnover is the ability to provide BOTH tempered heating and cooling to a space.  Air turnover systems offer decent heating with limited stratification due to the massive volume of air they recirculate in the space.  This air mass is moved due to a continuous operation and very large horse power motors driving the fans.   Air turnover units provide a very low temperature rise of between 20-30 degrees and a discharge temperature of about 80-90 degrees.

DIRECT-FIRED MAKEUP AIR SYSTEMS


Direct-Fired Makeup Air units provide required ventilation to meet indoor air quality needs with efficiencies between 90-92% AFUE.   Widely beneficial in buildings with fixed CFM needs due to mechanical exhaust, makeup air units provide a fixed volume of air independent of the heat they provide.   With a lower discharge velocity at the plenum, air typically does not hit the floor to sweep and de-stratify the space and can lead to lower employee comfort levels.  The fixed CFM blowers require larger HP motors with over-pressurization of spaces a reality.  Larger motors, lower temperature rise, and less efficient design require more energy to run.

While Cambridge uses our Blow-thru design of the S-Series and SA-Series heaters to heat, a lot of manufacturers use makeup air units attempting to do the same.  In places where there are warmer climates and less winter cold, makeup air systems offer a way to temper the outside winter air thru a lower temperature rise of between 100° and 120°F and a draw thru design.  This places the mechanical components in the hot air stream.  For heating applications, we recommend our S-Series and SA-Series heaters.  With a Blow-thru design, our mechanicals are in the cold air stream.  The position of the blower relative to the burner and the burner’s ability to discharge 160°F, provides advantages over ANY makeup air unit – more air mass and higher temperature rise.  This provides the most BTUs per CFM from any manufacturer.

Cambridge’s M-series make up air units are designed to temper the air in situations where there is a lot of fixed or variable exhaust.  They can be interlocked with existing exhaust fans or outfitted with variable frequency drives.  Our units can come with fully modulating burners and automatic profile adjustment dampers.

Hopefully, the topic we’ve outlined today will help prepare you to address any technology claim from other manufacturers. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions. We can easily accommodate lunch and learns, audio and video conferencing, phone, or face to face sales calls.

Makeup Air with Cooling is Here!

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Cambridge is excited to offer our M-Series Makeup Air Unit with Cooling technologies! Our M-series products are used to provide both non-conditioned and cooled demand controlled ventilation and exhaust replenishment in both commercial and industrial buildings and facilities.

Cambridge M-Series Make-Up-Air units can provide up to 75,000 CFM of air, 140 tons of DX cooling / 250 tons of Hydronic cooling and evaporative cooling as well. We also have a wide range of performance features that include:

  • Motorized Inlet or Discharge Damper
  • Dual Rain Hoods
  • V-Bank Filter Sections
  • High Efficiency Filters
  • Mounting Curbs and Stands
  • Variable Frequency Drives

Some of the applications where our M-Series products are used are:

Automotive Service and Repair facilities, Greenhouses, Restaurants, Sporting facilities, Foundries, Paint Booths, Waste Water Treatment plants, Manufacturing facilities

Cambridge Engineering products are designed for simple installation, easy maintenance and reliable operation and they are available with certified and pre-engineered factory options and field-installed accessories.
For more information on our Make-up-Air solutions click here to visit our website!

What Type of Cambridge Unit Do I Need?

It's not always as clear as you might think

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When it comes to determining they types of Cambridge Engineering units that you would need to heat and ventilate your facility the answer is not always easy. You might have a small building with just basic heating needs. Or you might have a large facility that has mechanical exhaust and you need equipment that provides both exhaust replenishment and heating. Either way, knowing which products you need to provide the best indoor air quality for your facility is not always cut and dry.

So take a minute and read over the infographic below.  It asks some very basics questions that can provide a general guide as to what Cambridge products are available to help you with your heating, ventilation and exhaust replenishment needs.

 

But don’t stop here. Take the next step and engage our exceptional sales team who will work with you to determine the size and type of Cambridge units that you will need to meet your facilities requirements. Just visit us a www.cambridge-eng.com or click heres to schedule a meeting with our sales team.

Why Dedicated HVAC Systems Are Better for Your Facility

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For the facility’s unique processes and requirements, your team has designed and optimized every aspect of your operation. This optimization has become a minimum requirement for continued operation. But utilities and your HVAC systems are often thought of as ancillary systems. They become outdated and even neglected, despite this optimization of processes.

For facility leaders, minimizing or eliminating any process interruption is always top of mind. And you must ensure that regulatory and safety requirements are met at all times. As a result of these and other operational pressures, you probably undertake frequent routine maintenance if you have an aging facility system. For you, these aging systems with like-for-like replacement lead to increased labor investment, higher operational costs, and shorter total system lifecycle.

Production processes and technologies have changed

Many facilities’ current boiler-driven process systems barely resemble their original design. Increasing the size of these systems to handle the heating requirements as well as the process loads added massive complexity and simply doesn’t make sense today.

Instead of investing incrementally in an antiquated system, it is far more efficient financially and energy wise to take advantage of the dedicated system technology available today. Rather than continual reactive fixes, a proactive plan pays big dividends for the entire operation, from production efficiency, to air quality, comfort level, and more.

By retrofitting your existing heating, ventilating, and process steam systems with right-sized and right-located dedicated systems, you can:

  • Reduce energy costs
  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Reduce asset replacement costs
  • Reduce system complexity

 Dedicated space heating is better

 Dedicated direct-fired High Temperature Heating & Ventilating technologies like the Cambridge S-Series can provide the most cost-effective way to meet comfort requirements year round. With 20% to 70% energy savings, flexible installation configuration, and minimum operations interruption, these dedicated systems can be used to solve a myriad of problems.

Dedicated makeup air is better

 Dedicated direct-fired natural gas Outside Air Units (makeup air units) like the Cambridge M-Series provide extreme efficiency and effectiveness to solve complex building pressurization problems. Left unresolved, these pressure challenges could cause comfort, process, or indoor air quality problems. With full gas modulation and optional Variable Frequency Drives, the M-Series ranges from 1000 CFM to 100,000 CFM and 100MBH to 9000MBH, meeting the toughest of ventilation requirements.

Once you have dedicated systems handling the space heating and ventilating loads, your team can concentrate on meeting the unique process needs with the most energy-efficient and code-compliant boiler. Additionally, since the process load has been isolated, you can run the boiler at a more consistent operating window, raising the efficiency even more. Minimizing the size of this unit significantly decreases maintenance cost and complexity with fewer steam traps, steam leaks, and miles of pipes to manage.

By embracing cutting-edge dedicated systems technology, facility leaders can spend less initially to purchase and install right-sized boiler systems. Additionally, you will realize ROI quickly with lower energy consumption and operating costs, as well as longer system lifecycle.

 

For more information on our industrial retorfit solutions visit www.cambridge-eng.com/irg

Recognizing the Complexity of Industrial HVAC, Process Manufacturing, and Process Requirements

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Industrial facilities today don’t have to be new in order to be efficient

Leading facility owners and operators are retrofitting existing facilities into models of efficiency and sustainability. Industrial facility retrofits are investments in efficient technologies that span all facility systems, including lighting, facility envelope, and HVAC. While most facility owners still pursue single technology improvements, market leaders bundle together energy saving technologies in a more comprehensive approach to get deeper savings and greater lifecycle value.

 

 

Challenges for facility leaders are complex

Facility leaders recognize that industrial retrofits are largely about managing risk.

Each facility project is unique and distinctive. Implementing a retrofit while protecting the production capabilities within the operation creates high visibility and requires a very clearly defined plan. Minimizing and eliminating all business interruption is always a top priority. It is also essential to protect the organization and meet or exceed all regulatory mandates to ensure safety for people. Facilities leaders seek trusted advisors and working arrangements that are in sync with all regulatory guidelines for facility compliance.

This complexity can result in a built-in resistance to efficiency retrofits and change. For this reason, facility retrofits are often conducted in a reactive versus a proactive mode. “Like-for-like” system replacements are the most expedient directive when reacting to a facility system failure or needed upgrade. However, with superior options available, these short-term decisions can result in not only higher upfront costs but also dramatically higher operational costs and shorter total lifecycle of systems selected.

Aging mechanical systems and equipment require asset-replacement planning

Various aging facilities systems drive more frequent routine maintenance and require more people resources to maintain, which increases operating cost. Aging facility assets are a reality. Planning for and developing a methodical aged asset replacement strategy requires leadership planning and trusted partner relationships in order to benefit from system expertise applicable to your unique facility requirements.

 Systems interdependence impacts scalability

Industrial facilities evolve over time to reflect the changing needs of growing industries, modern equipment and processes, and other economic trends. In many instances, current production systems and technologies barely resemble their original form. Their supporting systems are often overlooked. As production systems change, there is a direct interdependence to process loads and exhaust systems. When HVAC systems are overlooked, this can cause inadequate makeup air, negative pressure problems, cold spots, and overall poor comfort levels.

Furthermore the infrastructures of these aged industrial facilities typically resemble single systems that serve multiple functions, thus hindering their ability to scale their production rapidly and efficiently. Facility leaders are left with difficult decisions when incremental changes in production capacity become less cost-effective because of inadequate, interdependent systems.

Facility leaders have many reasons to seek functional expertise and consultation to build proactive plans:

  • The need to meet or exceed corporate energy reduction mandates
  • To exceed production capacity metrics
  • In order to provide labor with ideal environment conditions: people comfort, productivity, and facility thermal condition requirements
  • To meet all facility safety regulations

Facility HVAC systems support improved process and production capacity

Facility leaders considering industrial retrofits of HVAC systems recognize the value of:

  • Rapid ROI – multi-level corporate approvals
  • System reliability and durability
  • Lifecycle cost
  • Standardization for proactive management and metrics
  • Integration with building automation systems
  • Complementing production and process applications of HVAC systems

I hope you find this blog topic interesting and would love to hear your feedback and comments on the subject.

Be sure and visit our website at www.cambridge-eng.com to learn more about Cambridge Engineering.

Variable Ventilation Controls on Cambrige MAUs

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Here is a short 2 minute and 30 second video about 3 available options on Cambridge Engineering’s Make Up Air Units. Watch the video to learn about our Modulating Gas Controls, Variable Frequency Drives and Automated Profile Damper controls.

Thanks for watching.