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Comparison study tackles chilled beam confusion

UK: A new document comparing the efficiencies of chilled beams and fan coils is designed to raise awareness of chilled beams and tackle confusion in the market, according to its publishers.

Speaking at the publication’s launch in London, yesterday (Monday), the Chilled Beam and Ceiling Association chairman Andrew Jackson said that feedback from the market indicated that people didn’t understand chilled beams.

Clearly aware of the criticism that the document had drawn from fan coil manufacturers, he explained that in publishing the report the CBCA was trying to set a standard. “It’s a phase 1 comparison,” he said. “We wanted to go to the market and have the debate.”

The Technical Fact Sheet 2 is one of a number of similar documents to be produced by the association in an effort to be more proactive in the market. A new study looking at life-cycle analyses is scheduled for publication in January.

Based on modeling by EDSL Tas software, the study looks at four differently-sized office buildings in London and Birmingham with all three hvac systems being supplied by a high efficiency chiller. An air source heat pump was modeled to supply heating and cooling to the dx coils in the ahu which included heat recovery.

The completed energy study shows greater energy savings for both the active and passive chilled beams compared to fan coils. Over all the building types the average annual savings over fan coils were found to be about 17% for passive beams and around 22% for active chilled beams.

Michael Ainley, md of Frenger Systems, pointed out that no two projects were the same, but factors like operating costs and maintenance costs needed to be considered. “It’s horses for courses,” he said. “Cheapest is not always best.”

Copies can be downloaded here

See also: Temperatures rise over chilled beam report

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