Air conditioning units remove or cool heat from houses and commercial spaces and provide cool air, increasing comfort. Standard air conditioning units are widely used, but they can use a lot of energy. The use of standard air conditioning units, however, is different when it is installed in commercial spaces such as office buildings where air conditioning is handled differently.
An air conditioner is placed behind or the roof of the building in chilled water systems. A chilled water tank holds the water and cools it to 40-45°F. It removes heat from the water and acts as a refrigerant to remove heat from a building. After being chilled, the water is connected to air handlers and piped across the building. This is actually a versatile way of cooling large spaces as water pipes act like evaporator coils. Additionally, there is little limitation on the distance of the chilled water pipes when they are well-insulated.
In cooling tower technology, buildings use towers to create streams of cold water that pass through a heat exchanger that cools hot condenser coils. The tower then blows air through the stream of water that evaporates. The evaporation then cools the water stream. The barometric pressure and relative humidity of the air determine the actual amount cooling that the air conditioning unit system will get from the cooling tower. A disadvantage of this system, however, is that due to evaporation, water has to be added to make up for the water that’s lost.
Due to environmental concerns and increasing electrical costs, there has been plenty of research on other methods of air cooling. One of which is ice-cooling or off-peak technology. This system uses frozen ice in the evening to be able to chill interiors on the hottest parts of the day. Energy is actually less expensive on off-peak hours, thus saving on costs.
Providing cool air for commercial buildings is different from how standard domestic air conditioners work. Whether it is chilled water tanks, cooling tower or off-peak technology, finding the right type of air conditioning system gives you the most economic method of cooling without excess cooling costs.