We get the calls every year… “My building is too hot, please come out as soon as possible.” Thousands of dollars get wasted on temporary solutions, and then we’re called back for the next wave of hot weather. Does this sound familiar?
You’ll spend money on additional temporary cooling for your data center, or you’ll send your office staff home because the air conditioning is down. Wow, did you ever stop to analyze how much this is costing you every year in downtime and higher utility bills?
Well, we discovered a solution a couple of years ago that works 100 percent of the time the weather heats up. It’s called “Evaporcool”. This is an inexpensive, yet very sophisticated evaporative pre-cooling system that consists of a specially framed dual filter chamber 6”-12” deep that fits over the condenser section and is secured to the AC unit with magnets. Water spray heads are strategically placed internally to give the best coverage over the filter surface area. These filters receive their intermittent water supply via insulated flexible water tubing. The water is pre-cooled via a clever manner, by first being wrapped around the cool suction line of the compressor. (This does not harm the compressor operation at all). Everything is controlled by sensors that tell an onboard computer the head pressure, outside air temperature, and humidity. The computer responds by sending a signal to solenoid valves that open to release the pre-cooled water. The water sprays for just a few seconds into the filter section where the outside air passes through evaporating at a cooler temperature through the AC condenser. The cooler air helps the air conditioner reject heat much more efficiently.
And, although we have never seen evidence of water droplets evaporating on the condenser coils – (the water remains trapped inside the Evaporcool filter), the manufacturer supplies a water softener for the supply water line just in case.
The payoff… we have seen an average of 12 percent-22 percent energy savings for equipment operation, (more during peak hours in the afternoon). With the cooler air passing through the condenser section, the AC unit behaves as though outside air temperatures are 80° F, rather than the 100-115° F ambient conditions typical for a rooftop on a hot summer day.
One example is an 80-ton air-cooled chiller that has not seen a single service call since Evaporcool was installed in 2008. (This customer was making 3-4 service calls each summer). The condenser coils have not needed cleaning for two summers now. They are still clean from when the Evaporcool system was first installed.
Evaporcool was installed at a data center (Liebert condenser fans), nearby our office in Sacramento, CA. This resulted in an 8° F temperature drop inside the data center and approximately 16 percent more cooling capacity without adding any more temporary or permanent cooling equipment.
Maintenance is easy. You just clean the debris build-up on the filters with a garden hose every one to two months during the summer, and keep the water softener supplied with solar salt. Other than checking a few minor items during our quarterly maintenance, that’s about all the maintenance there is. All in all, we consider Evaporcool a very “cool” solution for hot weather.
Written by Bill Sherbert, Air Systems of Sacramento