Beams & Energy Efficiency

Water is many times more efficient than air at transporting thermal energy. Since Price Active and Passive Beams use water to provide heating and cooling, significant energy reductions are possible by using this technology. The air supply volume needed to condition a space is dramatically reduced by beams because of their ability to induce and condition secondary air. This reduces the fan power requirements of the system and can lead to improved energy efficiency. As the fan power requirement in an all air system is approximately one third of the total energy used by the air conditioning system, a reduction in overall energy of 25% or greater is obtainable by simply changing the main transport medium from air to water.

While fan power reduction provides the largest single opportunity for energy savings when adopting a Price beam system, there are other opportunities to save energy. Often, in VAV type all-air systems, the minimum air supplied to the space provides more cooling than desired at part load conditions and must employ reheat to keep from over-cooling the space. A beam system uses less air and minimizes or eliminates this reheat requirement and the associated energy. In buildings with a year round requirement for cooling (often building interior zones) the warmer chilled water temperature, 57° F to 65°F, can be used to pre-heat outside air. In some cases, the reduced air system is 100% outside air and the heat from the lights that is rejected to the plenum is exhausted from the building, avoiding the cooling load requirement.

Different buildings and system constraints may allow for more or less opportunity to take advantage of the energy savings features of chilled beam systems. It is possible to achieve energy savings of up to 40% throughout the HVAC system when chilled beams are utilized on a project.

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