Air conditioning sometimes referred to as A/C or air con is the process of removing heat and moisture from the room, and replacing it with chilled dry air helping to improve the comfort of the occupants.
Air conditioning can be installed in both domestic and commercial environments to provide more comfortable interior living or working environment. Also air conditioning is also used to help cool, dehumidify rooms filled with heat-producing electronic devices, such as computer servers or for the need of a fully controlled environment.
Most air conditioners use a fan to distribute the conditioned air to an occupied space such as a room or building to improve thermal comfort and indoor air quality.
Packaged (Simple) Cooling Systems
Simple cooling systems are usually indoor units that comprise of refrigerant-to-air heat exchangers and an integral air circulation fan. They generally fall into one of the following categories:
Cooling – Air conditioners offer precise temperature control. You can always create a comfortable climate, with the right temperature. Not only does it create comfort, it makes you feel fresh and active whatever the conditions outdoors.
Heating – Air conditioners can also provide heating. You can enjoy a constant temperature all year round, no matter what the outside temperature. It is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional heating because it takes energy from the outside air and brings it inside.
Cleaning – Air conditioners produce clean, healthy air. Indoor units are equipped with filters that take dust, pollen, smoke and other allergens from the air. The level of filtration can be increased if required.
Dehumidifying – In cooling mode an air conditioner dehumidifies the air. Correct humidity levels limit the growth of dust mites and moulds, which has a positive effect on allergy sufferers. 40% to 60% humidity is a comfortable level for humans, which also ensures a longer life of your house and appliances.
Ventilating – Ventilation can be integrated in to the air conditioning system. It extracts the inside air and pushes in fresh, conditioned air from outside. When the air conditioning is turned off, the ventilation can work independently. Ventilation systems can also be installed without the air conditioning installation
Centralised (Complex) Cooling Systems
Centralised air conditioning systems are more extensive (complex) and generally utilise water or air distribution systems to deliver cooling to conditioned spaces by way of various terminal units. The air conditoned spaces maybe seperated into zones by distibuted control systems which allow differing parameters to be applied to each zone.
The controls could be integrated into a building management system. Centralised systems fall into the following categories:
The aim of the ECA Scheme for Energy Saving Technologies is to encourage businesses to invest in energy-saving plant or machinery. Included equipment is specified on the Energy Technology List (ETL) which is managed by the Carbon Trust on behalf of Government.
Centralised Air Systems: An air handling unit (AHU) containing a cooling heat exchanger produces cooled air which is distributed via ductwork to conditioned spaces and is expelled through grilles or diffusers or other terminal devices in the conditioned area. These systems could comprise of centralised ductwork where the air is cooled at the conditioned space by a terminal unit.
Centralised Cooled Water Systems: Water is cooled by a centralised system and distributed to terminal units in the conditioned spaces. Terminal units may cool recirculated air from the room, fresh air drawn from outdoors or air supplied by centralised ducted systems.
Water Loop / Reversible Heat Pump Systems: comprising of individual reversible water to air heat pumps situated in each conditioned space, heat is drawn from or returned to a common temperature controlled water loop. A cooling tower is used to dissipate excess heat.heat in the loop is provided by a central heat generator such as a fossil fuel burner or electric flow boiler.
Additional Systems: Complex systems may also incorporate simple cooling systems (unitary packaged units, split ot multi-split systems) to serve certain conditioned spaces.
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