Plug and Play Tech Center is a community of more than 280 technology start-ups that work closely with one another to grow their companies. Cooling the event room proved to be a challenge.

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - The Plug and Play Tech Center hosts a wide range of special events, from networking meetings, to investment expos, to speaker forums.

“Sometimes we have 400 to 500 people in our meeting center, and maintaining a comfortable climate in the room can be a challenge,” said Michelle Chang, event coordinator with Plug and Play. “The use of portable cooling equipment from Atlas Sales & Rentals has solved a problem for us and provided an affordable solution.”

The event room was originally an outdoor area that was enclosed to create a large, atrium-style space that is partially open at the top. “To provide cooling for special events, we tried renting a nonportable air conditioning unit that would be large enough to cool the space,” said Chang. It was not a practical solution, she said, “Because we also needed a generator to power the equipment, and a forklift to move the unit in and out.

“After doing some research on the Internet, we decided to try portable cooling.” The company contacted a local sales office to start exploring options.


The company’s technicians advised them to apply multiple 1.4-ton portable air conditioning units that each deliver 16,800 Btuh of cooling and run on 115-volt power.

For a typical event at the center, Atlas supplies eight units for a total of 134,400 Btuh (11.2 tons) of cooling capacity. Mounted on casters, the portable units are rolled into the back of the room and connected to provide the HVAC equivalent of plug-and-play operation.

For a typical event at the Plug and Play Tech Center, Atlas Sales & Rentals supplies eight units for a total of 134,400 Btuh (11.2 tons) of cooling capacity.

The company also provides 25 feet of flexible duct for each unit to exhaust the hot air outside through a pair of sliding doors. Condensate from the cooling process collects in tanks built into the units. A drop curtain is used to separate the portables from the meeting space, and to function as a sound absorber.

The company delivers its coolers to the site for installation the day before each major event, and picks them up again on the day after. “It only takes an hour or so at each end, so there is minimal disruption,” said Chang. “The use of portable cooling only costs one-half to one-third of what we were paying before, and it is definitely much less of a hassle.”

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Publication date:06/27/11