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Explosion Proof HVAC: Mining and Drilling

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The Challenge:

Air Innovations was asked to design a Class I Division I environmental control system (ECU) to cool an electrical cabinet that houses several variable frequency drives for a large centrifuge machine. These drives generate a significant amount of heat that needs to be removed from the cabinet. Centrifuges are typically used to remove slurry during drilling for oil and gas operations.

The Solution:

An explosion-proof system was designed to integrate inside the client’s custom purged electrical cabinet and was able to withstand the harsh environment in which these centrifuges typically operate. The unit was configured to provide once-thru air steady state air to a single LDCS-PRO coater. The ECU was designed for a Class I Division I explosion proof environment.Custom environmental control for mining & drilling

Key performance specifications for this custom explosion proof HVAC system were:

  • Ambient (condenser inlet) range -40°F to +130°F
  • Cabinet control point 85°F +/-5°F, non-condensing environment
  • Airflow range 420-520 CFM
  • Designed for near continuous (not ON/OFF control) operation to ensure a non-condensing environment and to provide thermal stability
  • 2-ton nominal cooling capacity
  • CE approved

Key design considerations for this custom explosion proof HVAC system were:

  • Fit inside the customer’s custom cabinet without interfering with the frequency drives and while allowing appropriate access to service components
  • Integrate and communicate with customer’s control system
  • High reliability as these units are in very challenging environments to provide field service (offshore platforms for example)
  • Class I, Division I ambient
  • Integral phase monitoring and auto switchover
  • Harsh environment; high salt and dust content

The Result:

  1. All design specifications were met.
  2. An explosion-proof system was manufactured to integrate inside a custom purged electrical cabinet, withstanding very harsh environments of high salt and dust, normally encountered in the field.
  3. The system was designed as a Class 1 Division 1 explosion-proof air conditioner that communicates with customer’s control system and has integral phase monitoring and auto switchover.

If you would like to see case studies for other industries, view our general case studies page. We also have whitepapers available covering the aerospace industry, the semiconductor industry, and our Micro Environments product line. These whitepapers can be found here.

Engineering: Custom Temperature Control in Complex Structures

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The Linq High Roller Case Study

The Challenge: Control the temperature in each cabin of the world’s largest observation wheel: Caesars Entertainment’s High Roller observation wheel at the Linq. The High Roller is 550 ft. tall and features 28 cabins, which hold 40 guests apiece. It is expected to operate 18 hours per day, 365 days a year. However, designing the complex HVAC/R systems used for temperature control was daunting considering daytime temperatures average highs of 104°F in July and lows of 39°F in December in Las Vegas. User safety and comfort were top priorities. The solution also had to fit beneath the floor of each glass-encased cabin and conform to the walls of the observation wheel with no square corners.


Custom HVAC in Linq High Roller Cabin

The Solution:  Air Innovations’ temperature control solution includes 2 custom environmental control units (ECUs) in each cabin, with each ECU composed of dual, redundant refrigeration circuits.  Since each circuit operates independently, each environmental control unit has a failsafe should one of the circuits experience a failure. The net result is 4 independent circuits per cabin.

Each temperature control system communicates directly with and can be controlled by the base operation (at the bottom of the wheel). The independence of each circuit coupled with the remote control allows for load-shedding on moderate temperature days. In the highly unlikely scenario that all electrical systems in the cabin shut down, Air Innovations included a fifth cooling failsafe: a battery-operated ventilation fan that provides a level of ambient cooling until that cabin reaches the ground. Each custom environmental control system can also provide heat.

Key Specifications:

  • Design ambient range is 25°F to 108°F (-3°C to 42°C), full sun exposure.
  • Airflow is 1,200 CFM per ECU (2 ECUs per cabin)
  • Internal control range 67°F and 73°F (19°C and 23°C)
  • 4kW electric re-heaters to provide heat on cold days
  • UL listed
Observation wheel cabin

Cabin of High Roller Observation Wheel

Custom ECU for High Roller

Custom Environmental Control Unit for High Roller Wheel

The Result:

  1. All design specifications were met.
  2. Each custom environmental control unit conforms to the convex sides of the mechanical compartment beneath the floor.
  3. The design supports rapid change-out without any access to ductwork or piping connections to the ECU. All access is from above the ECU (not beneath or beside it, which would require more down time). All utilities are connected via a tub and designed on a nesting principal.
  4. The environmental control units for this complex engineering structure incorporate multiple redundancies, supporting both safety and system efficiency.

Why Air Innovations?

Linq High Roller Cabin Interior

Artist’s rendition of the cabin interior in the High Roller

You need a design more specific to your application than just a modified commercial off-the-shelf product.

You’re frustrated with your current vendor’s quality

If you’re ready for a custom solution from Air Innovations, contact us by submitting a quick Project Inquiry or by calling 1-800-835-3268 today.

Custom: Redesign of Personal Environmental Control Console

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Custom replacement for Personal Environments® Fan and Electronics Unit from Johnson Controls


The Challenge:

Develop a replacement circulated fan and electronics unit or “Personal Climate Control Console” integrated into a personal console (advanced office desk) after the original provider discontinued the product. The end product needed to provide cooling or heating, as necessary: Directional cooling was to be provided at varying levels over a broad CFM range via two desk-mounted nozzles so users could personalize both the quantity and direction of cooling. Heating needed to flow through an adjustable nozzle below the work surface via an inline electric heater.

In addition, the original design did not fit the customer’s smallest desks, and they looked to us to find one solution that would fit all their desk sizes and create personal environments for users. That meant designing a system that achieved the customer’s desired results while moving less air than the original design (due to the smaller space).

Read our desktop console management system whitepaper: The Human Factor

The Solution: 

Here are the main specs of the integrated environmental control system we created and prototyped.Custom ecu for desk consoles-compressed

Key Specifications:

  • 0 – 35 CFM above desk surface
  • 0 – 150 W of heating directed below the desk surface combined at 25 CFM airflow
  • Desk-mounted touch screen unit including the following:

o Airflow control for above and below the desk

o Brightness control

o Motion sensor for auto start/stop of the system

  • Filtration similar to original design; advanced filtration is optional
  • Beneath-the-desk mounting and electrical controls
  • Meet UL/CSA standards

The Result:

A happy customer. Here’s why:

1. On-time delivery (3-Phase project; we exceeded deliverables in each phase)

2. Weighs 17% less than the original design (10 lbs vs. 12lbs.)

3. Includes an integral heater (Air Innovations’ design) vs. separate plate heater (original design)

4. Consumer friendly design:

a. Integrated unit with no ductwork (Air Innovations’ solution) vs. the original unit size 14 x 11.5 x 8.5 in. (356 x 292 x 216 mm) with added ductwork that interfered with customers’ legroom (original design)

b. Integrated color touch pad controller (Air Innovations’ solution) vs. slide controls (original design)

c. Easy installation (no ductwork or external heater to attach)

5. Quieter than the original design

** Micro Environments is Patent Pending

If you’re ready for a custom solution from Air Innovations, contact us by submitting a quick Project Inquiry or by calling 1-800-835-3268 today.