Air Innovations (AI), which designs and builds specialty environmental control systems for end users and original equipment manufacturers as well as its own branded products, recently expanded the psychrometric facility at its worldwide headquarters in North Syracuse, NY. The two-chamber laboratory tests the safety, reliability and performance of Air Innovations’ products under both indoor and outdoor conditions, mimicking the simulated load conditions under which AI products will actually operate—many to very tight temperature and humidity tolerances. “We have invested in these full-service HVAC/R test chambers to expedite product development and bring leading edge environmental control systems to market faster,” said company President and CEO Michael Wetzel, P.E.

The facility will be used for the products that AI designs and builds for aerospace, pharmaceutical, semiconductor and medical device companies around the world. AI also will test the components used in the company’s air- and water-cooled packaged, through-the-wall and split systems and competitors’ performance parameters. In addition, the lab will be available for contract testing, said Wetzel.

The 2880 cubic foot (77 cubic meter)-facility tests temperatures between 0°F and 120°F (-17°C and 48°C). Humidity is created by ionic bed electric steam generator rated at 45 pounds/hour (20.4 kg/hr), controlling to +/- 2.5% relative humidity. Cooling capacity is up to 33,000 btuh (9.67 kw) per room, while heating capacity varies from 14,000 btuh (4.34 kw) in the indoor room and 130,000 btuh(38 kw) in the outdoor room. Each room operates 2100 CFM (3567 cubic meters/hr) of continuously re-circulating air. Airflow measurements (up to 800 CFM) and unit- under-test leaving air properties for dry bulb/wet bulb are collected via a code tester or standard airflow hood. Automated data acquisition and control reduces data collection time.

The facility can test 60 Hz products between 115 volts and 277 volts (1 phase) and 208 volts to 460 volts, 3 phase. Products at 50 Hz, 230 volts (3 phase) can be tested too. The facility meets all major national and international standards for safety and performance such as: Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers; American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers; Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute; CE Mark; and, Underwriters’ Laboratories.

Principal instrumentation includes:

Electric measurementVolt-amp-watt meters, Yokogawa panel type
Air samplersUnit under test entering air conditions
Resistance temperature detectors (air-side temps)Omega, 3-wire, 100 ohm, Class B accuracy, range -58°F to 482°F (-50°C to 250°C)
Transducers (pressure)Omega, 0-500 psi (34.47 bar) and 0-1000 psi (68.94 bar), -10Voutput, 0.25% accuracy
Transducers (airflow)Dwyer, -1.0″ (-25.4mm H 2 0), 4-20 mA output, +/- 1% accuracy
Thermocouples (refrigerant side)Tempco, Type J
Data acquisitionQ-Corp supplied/supported, using LabView software

Click here to read more details and see photos of our expanded Psychrometric facility.

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