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Your introduction to the application and advantages of evaporative cooling

8 min read
Insights Content building

Developed on naturally occurring principles, evaporative cooling represents an efficient, effective and environmentally responsible way to keep temperature and humidity under control. Learn more about this technology and the advantages it offers over standard air-conditioning systems.

Have you ever considered how well the temperature in your building is controlled? If your current solution is as effective and efficient as it could be?

There are 3 standout factors that influence how comfortable an environment is to live and work in:

3 climate features evaporative cooling can help control

Evaporative cooling helps companies across all industries to address all of these areas, in a way that is more cost-effective, flexible and ecological than conventional air-conditioning (AC) systems.

At Biocool, our wide range of products for lowering temperatures and cooling air are at the heart of our brand. Our decades of experience and innovation means we understand this technology better than anyone – and by reading this article, you’ll have a firmer grasp on their benefits too.

Here we will give you an overview of how evaporative cooling works, the problems it resolves, the advantages it offers over traditional AC, and how the Biocool range ensures you find the right solution regardless of the needs of your installation.

The natural history of evaporative cooling

The predecessors of today’s evaporative cooling systems were in use millennia ago. There are records of the Ancient Egyptians creating large earthen vessels filled with water, and fanning these with ostrich feathers to cool the air on hot days.

Ancient evaporative cooling

They also, like many other classical civilizations, would hang wet reeds and sheets from doors and windows to produce a natural cooling breeze into their homes – evaporative cooling in its most primitive form.

Arabians also used this technique, building numerous fountains and ponds in palaces like the Alhambra of Granada, helping to keep the surrounding areas cool and comfortable.

As you can see, the premise of evaporative cooling is nothing new. The principles are historically proven and completely natural. We see this daily in the sea breeze – when warm air comes into contact with a mass of water, the water evaporates, reducing its temperature and increasing the humidity in the air.

However, with successive developments, modern units are able to better control the parameters, maximising the cooling potential of this age-old process.

How today’s evaporative coolers work

In the simplest terms, warm outdoor air is attracted into an evaporative cooler by a powerful yet silent fan. It is then passed through a number of water-soaked pads, which absorb heat through this process of natural evaporation.

The basic process behind evaporative cooling

As a result, the air that is projected from the unit inside a building oscillates at between 6ºC and 20ºC lower than the temperature outdoors. This creates a constant flow of natural, fresh, cool air into an environment, keeping the climate at a comfortable, controlled level for all occupants.

At the same time, stale, dirty air within the premises is evacuated out, removing any odours, germs and dust to the outdoors. Unlike a conventional AC system, which requires a sealed environment to operate, evaporative cooling functions perfectly well with doors and windows open, which can send the stale air into the atmosphere.

What is an adiabatic cooling system?

Adiabatic cooling is the process of reducing heat through a change in air pressure caused by volume expansion. This occurs in evaporative coolers – as the water in the pads evaporates, chilled air is pushed out to the room, while the temperature can be controlled by adjusting the airflow of the cooler.

There are three types of adiabatic cooling systems:

  • Wet systems: cooling towers and evaporative condensers

  • Dry systems: air refrigerators

  • Hybrid systems: adiabatic coolers

Evaporative cooling resolves numerous problems that can form when temperatures are not kept under control:

The negative impact of poor climate control

Heat stress

When people work in a very hot environment, the temperature combined with their own physical activity and clothing can put a lot of heat stress on their bodies, raising the risk of dehydration, cramps, dizziness, fainting and dangerous conditions like heat stroke.

Low productivity

In excessive warm conditions, workers will naturally be more lethargic and prone to tiredness, which will naturally impact on how productive they can perform their duties.

Workplace accidents

In addition, hot temperatures also affect concentration, increasing the likelihood that accidents will occur, putting the health of affected workers and their colleagues at risk.

Sick building syndrome

Factors such as ​​poor ventilation, the concentration of particles in the air, polluting gases and more can cause workers to suffer from sick building syndrome, resulting in migraines, skin irritation and the aggravation of allergies.

Misuse of air-conditioning

Sudden changes in temperature caused by ineffective or poorly applied air-conditioning systems can lead to workers being affected by colds, throat inflammations, and even respiratory infections or muscle cramps.

Why choose evaporative cooling over traditional AC?

We have established the importance of having a solution in place to manage the temperature, humidity and air quality within a space, and how evaporative coolers can fulfil this role. But, why should these be preferred over conventional AC units?

If you have persisted with these traditional systems for now because you are unaware of the benefits offered by evaporative cooling, this section will be a real eye-opener:

Differences between air cooling and air-conditioning

100% fresh air

Rather than recirculate the stale air within a space as many AC systems do, evaporative cooling maintains a constant supply of fresh air indoors. This improves air quality, with air entering clean and filtered, removing unpleasant odours, smoke, gases and microorganisms.

Open windows and doors

In the same vein, evaporative cooling is just as effective with open windows and doors, something that would hurt the capabilities of a traditional AC setup. Again, this provides a channel for stale, potentially contaminated air to escape, creating a healthier environment for occupants.

Maintains humidity levels

Conventional AC can lead to the air within a space becoming considerably drier, which can be irritating for workers and potentially harmful to their health. Evaporative coolers keep humidity at adequate levels, preventing these unwanted effects.

Better performance in hotter temperatures

On the hottest days of the year, the process of adiabatic cooling means that the performance of an evaporative cooler will actually increase. This is not the case with AC units, which perform at the same level regardless of the outdoor temperature.

Reduced costs

Since evaporative coolers only require energy for a fan and a small pump, they are far more energy-efficient and cost-effective to run than traditional AC systems. For example, it costs the same amount of energy for a split-type AC unit to cool a 12m2 office as it would for an evaporative cooler to solve heat problems in a 150m2 warehouse.

Overall, evaporative coolers can reduce energy consumption by 80-90% compared with a conventional AC system.

Environmentally friendly

As evaporative coolers rely on the naturally occurring power of evaporation, they are kinder to the environment than AC systems, which require refrigerant gases to operate. Rather than adding to a building’s carbon footprint, any output returns to the atmosphere as steam.

Simple installation and maintenance

The minimal components within an evaporative cooler in comparison to a standard AC system also makes it much simpler to install these units, and restricts the amount of maintenance they require to run optimally.

The far-reaching applications of evaporative cooling

Evaporative cooling is especially recommended for cooling buildings with large surface areas, such as retail parks and shopping complexes. Their minimal energy use and reduced environmental impact make these units much more practical and sustainable compared with traditional systems.

Nevertheless, the benefits of these units can be felt across all industries – here are a few examples:

Pharmaceutical warehouses

The stability of the medicines stored in these warehouses often depends on the thermal-conservation conditions. This makes it especially important to have a system in place that achieves an appropriate temperature and does not allow extremes. Evaporative cooling provides soft, fresh temperatures, avoiding abrupt thermal jumps.

Ceramic factories

Numerous areas in ceramics factories are particularly vulnerable to heat, such as areas surrounding the glazing machines. Evaporative cooling helps to ensure the heat does not become unbearable for those working in these environments.

Textiles

By maintaining appropriate humidity levels in these settings, evaporative cooling helps to protect the elasticity of textile fibres, resulting in better quality products. Plus, it reduces the risk of static electricity forming, benefiting the speed and productivity of machines.

Sports halls and leisure centres

As areas with substantial amounts of physical activity, it is crucial the heat in these spaces is controlled to minimise heat stress. Evaporative cooling provides this while allowing open doors and windows, sending odours outside to create a more pleasant atmosphere.

Schools

Conditions within a school must always be managed so students have the ideal environment to learn, grow and develop with minimal risk to their health and wellbeing caused by excessive heat or poor air quality. Evaporative coolers offer this control – read more here.

Biocool: At the forefront of evaporative cooling technology

At Biocool, we are proud to offer our customers portable air coolers, portable evaporative coolers and adiabatic coolers designed with the latest technology. We stand out through the quality of our products and our years of expertise in evaporative cooling, enabling you to experience the full benefits of this technology in your organisation.

  • Our open water distribution system ensures even distribution of water, allowing for maximum cooling efficiency

  • Our units allow for the cooling of selected zones within a building

  • Automatic opening of ducts avoids cold air entering during winter and prevents hot air escaping from inside

  • Smart City Cooler control lets you remotely control up to 10 units at a time, allowing you to change temperature and humidity, adjust drainage times and immediately identify potential faults

Discover the complete range of Biocool evaporative coolers today. For more information, get in touch with our team by completing the form below.

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