Harnessing Heat


Thermal destratification’s energy reduction process is becoming increasingly  popular with businesses worldwide thanks to its impressive cost savings, Airius’ managing director Stephen Bridges discusses the technology.

With prices for energy at an all time high, businesses of all sizes across the UK are seeking innovative solutions to cut their heating bills. One easy solution which businesses of all types – ranging from SMEs to huge international firms – can implement and benefit from is to install a thermal destratification system.

The natural process of thermal stratification occurs in all buildings. Thermal stratification is caused by hot air rising up to the ceiling or roof space because it is lighter than the surrounding cooler air. Conversely, cool air falls to the floor as it is heavier than the surrounding warmer air. It results in dramatic differences in temperature from floor to ceiling and wall to wall.

According to utility giant DTE Energy, thermal stratification is the single biggest waste of energy in buildings today and stratification is an issue that has proven problematic to the HVAC industry for a number of years.

Current HVAC systems are typically over-delivering either heating or cooling to compensate for this stratification phenomenon in an attempt to achieve the required temperature at working level, which is normally only around 1.5 metres to 2 metres from the floor. This costs a considerable amount of money and produces significant carbon dioxide emissions. Large amounts of wasted heat can build up unseen in ceilings where the difference in temperature can easily rise 14°C or higher than the temperature at floor level, depending on the floor to ceiling height. The higher the building, the more extreme this temperature difference can be.

Destratification is the process of equalising the air temperatures within internal spaces. The smaller the temperature differential, the greater the saving on heating and cooling costs. A typical installation includes a series of fan units, evenly spaced throughout a facility, working in conjunction to improve comfort, reduce heating and cooling costs, as well as carbon emissions.

The importance of destratification systems to today’s HVAC industry is enhanced by the proposals being made by the government, as it looks to implement new legislation to tackle the production of harmful emissions. Plans are in place to clamp down on the carbon effect of UK businesses, meaning companies are constantly searching for solutions to reduce their energy bills.

Over recent years, numerous systems have been developed with the sole aim of decreasing the temperature gradient from floor to ceiling. As a result, there are a number of types of destratification fan on the market offering varying degrees of efficiency and energy savings. Over the past few years destratification fan technology has moved on dramatically from the traditional, ineffective paddle and box type fans to the new third generation axial turbine fan.

Destratification systems offer substantial annual energy savings on both heating and cooling costs, with the market leading solution proven to reduce consumption by up to 50%. The systems maximise the performance of existing heating and cooling systems and equipment, and are designed to be installed alongside all types of heating and cooling equipment to optimise the hot or cool air produced – creating uniform temperatures, whilst reducing energy costs and carbon emissions. The Carbon Trust recommends destratification as one of its top three carbon saving measures.

Airius systems are installed in a variety of business facilities including supermarkets, hospitals, warehouse and distribution centres, schools, sports halls, defence and government facilities, museums, gyms, manufacturing facilities, shopping centres and theatres.



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