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The productivity gains of evaporative cooling

5 min read
Insights Content Evap Cooling Productivity

In this article, we’ll be covering the benefits of evaporative cooling in large-scale production facilities and how Master’s portable units can help keep productivity high in these heat-intensive environments.

Whether it’s due to hot climates or heat-reliant manufacturing processes, industrial-scale production facilities can become very warm environments exceptionally quickly. In addition to the obvious dangers and discomfort for employees, an inability to manage and maintain temperatures can also slow productivity to a snail’s pace.

A productive workplace is a vital factor in the success of these facilities, and several studies have been carried out that demonstrate just how much of an effect uncontrolled heat levels have.

For example, productivity research by NASA showed that mistakes and errors increase exponentially as temperatures build, causing slower output, more defects and significant losses in revenue.

Productivity influenced by heat

The following table is a summary of the relationships identified during NASA tests between temperature, work output and accuracy.

Effective temperature24ºC26ºC29ºC32ºC35ºC38ºC40ºC
Loss of work output3%8%18%29%45%62%79%
Error rate increase0%5%40%300%700%N/AN/A


The data above is clear evidence of how increasing levels of heat in working environments negatively affect productivity as a whole: As the temperature rises, concentration levels drop, fatigue sets in, mistakes are made and workers deliver less. Ultimately this results in your company losing substantial sums of revenue.

The comfort and health of staff directly impacts their efficiency

Heat stress is a major cause of fainting in the workplace and can lead to errors and accidents as a result of its physical and cognitive effects on the body.

Above a certain threshold of heat stress, the body’s internal regulation mechanisms are no longer capable of maintaining temperature at a level required for normal functioning. People naturally cool down through perspiration and evaporation. If someone loses 2% of body weight due to perspiring, they are considered to be in a heat exhausted state.

When this happens, visual motor tracking, short-term memory, attention, and arithmetic efficiency will become dramatically impaired and, in extreme cases, dehydration caused by heat stress can reduce reaction times by up to 23%.

The immediate effects of heat stress are fairly obvious. However, it will also cost production facilities in the long-term. Sick days, staff morale and safety concerns will all have lasting effects on a company's overall output, not to mention their ability to retain staff - hiring and training new employees on a recurring basis is both expensive and time-consuming.

Why industrial production facilities are so susceptible to heat

Every workplace is required to create safe working environments for their employees. However, industrial production facilities have some unique challenges to contend with:

Practicality

In a production facility with high ceilings and complex machinery to navigate around, installation of ducted systems, such as air-conditioning units, is expensive to run, can become an obstruction to the general operations of the facility, or in many cases is simply not possible due to the scale of the building.

Processes

In facilities with heat-intensive processes, such as steel production, car manufacture, glass production, and baking, ovens and furnaces will be in operation throughout the day. While it may be tempting to invest in industrial fans as a relatively inexpensive solution, in these extreme environments fans will simply move warm air around the space without actually reducing the temperature.

Climate change

Climate change is becoming an increasing concern as temperatures rise across the globe. As legal regulations tighten, this is making it more difficult to provide safe and comfortable working conditions for employees. This issue is exasperated in production and manufacturing facilities as they generally have high ceilings and wide open spaces that are more difficult to cool.

Why choose evaporative cooling?

The cost of installation and operation of a mobile evaporative cooler is significantly less than standard air-conditioning and practical in almost any kind of warm environment.

Evaporative cooling units harness the natural power of evaporation to cool the air in a space. As water evaporates, particles with the highest energy leave the water first, causing the temperature to drop.

This means that the warmer the air in a space, the more water can be evaporated, and the more effective the system becomes. In other words, you get more cooling when you need it most.

Units from Master, including the BC 341, bring you:

  • Powerful air volume (30,000m³/h) to cool large working areas

  • No need for installation or ducting

  • Low energy consumption – 1.3kW

  • Portability for cooling specific areas

How it works:

  1. A fan draws hot air across wet cooling pads which absorb water from a reservoir.

  2. When the hot air crosses the cooler pads, the water molecules on the surface evaporate and lower the air temperature inside the system.

  3. This cool air is circulated around a space with a powerful fan.

With the ability to keep your employees at safe and healthy temperatures, even in heat-intensive environments, portable evaporative coolers are instrumental in the efficiency of production facilities where high temperatures are inevitable.

What is spot cooling?

With Master’s portable units, industrial production facilities are able to apply spot cooling in order to bring cold air to the specific areas where staff are working, without wasting energy cooling empty spaces. This is especially useful in large facilities where the majority of a building is used for storage.

In terms of productivity, this gives staff the flexibility to move their supply of cool air when required, and to focus a supply of cold air on machinery in order to reduce downtime caused by overheating. On top of that, better efficiency can be achieved with the ability to move the cooling units if they are obstructing operations.

Another thing to note is the important role that production facilities have in reducing global warming, and therefore alleviating one of the most pressing causes of reduced productivity.

Unlike air-conditioning, for example, the process of evaporative cooling requires no refrigerant gasses, many of which are incredibly harmful to the environment. And, due to their ability to harness the natural power of evaporation and their low energy usage, evaporative cooling is one of the most eco-friendly solutions available.

So, as well as lowering the temperatures in your facility for better productivity, evaporative cooling helps you lower your carbon footprint and make the world a cooler place too.

Start boosting your productivity today

Contact our team of experts to find out the most effective solutions for increasing productivity and creating safe and comfortable work environments for your staff.

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