Portable cooling and heating units are ideal for emergency HVAC needs and special events, but there are thousands of units installed every year that provide long-term solutions to companies and organizations. The following case studies demonstrate the effective use of portables in a manufacturing plant; a historic building in Washington, D.C.; and a TV studio.

Steel Company Beats the Heat

Wheatland Tube, a division of JMC Steel Corp., was able to moderate temperatures and improve worker comfort and productivity at its Council Avenue plant, located in Wheatland, Pa., with the help of spot cooling.

At the Council Avenue plant, in the open galvanizing area, pipe goes through at extremely high temperatures. Even with a 56,000-cfm exhaust system to vent out the heated air, ambient temperatures ranged from about 80° F in winter up to 120° F or higher in summer. This meant workers could only stay in that area for 30 minutes before being relieved.

Greg Safran, JMC safety manager at the plant, worked with Jerry Dyer, owner and consulting safety engineer of NorthCoast Services Group LLC (Lake Orion, Mich.), to explore solutions. Dyer recommended the use of industrial-grade portable air conditioners that could be moved around to different locations and easily installed to deliver spot cooling.

Dyer contacted Atlas Sales & Rentals, and Safran agreed to rent a Classic Series 60 air-cooled unit from Atlas’ Columbus, Ohio office. The Classic 60 is a 460-volt, 5-ton capacity (60,000-Btuh) cooler designed to operate at high ambient temperatures. The unit, which is manufactured by MovinCool/DENSO Sales California, was used to cool two processes: the galvanizing pots, and a hot rack area where tubing is formed and cut into precision lengths.

“The Atlas portable cooling has reduced ambient temperatures by about 30 degrees in these areas, which has made a big difference to our workers,” Safran stated. The Wheatland crews can now work for two hours in the galvanizing area before needing relief for ergonomic (not heat) fatigue.

Safran also noted there were no heat-related illness problems in the plant last summer since installing the coolers — compared to four to five incidents per year over the previous two seasons.

Safran has since purchased one Classic 60 portable cooler for the Council Avenue plant and has rented several supplemental units. This summer, he plans to bring in more coolers to handle additional processes in the galvanizing shop.

For more information, visit www.atlassales.com.

HVAC Protects Historic Building

Long-term use of portable equipment often occurs during renovations of buildings. Disruptions in cooling and heating can cause problems, especially if the building is a historic facility and its contents must be protected.

Temp-Air provided temporary air conditioners, heaters, and dehumidifiers for almost two years for Tyler Mechanical Contracting of Ijamsville, Md., during an extensive renovation and restoration of the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C.

While Tyler Mechanical Contracting was replacing the old HVAC system, it was important that the historic auditorium and museum keep strict temperature and humidity controls to maintain the original plaster, paintings, and casework.

The solution was two Temp-Air PAC-25T2H units, each offering 25 tons of cooling and 54 kW of electric heat, which maintained temperature and humidity levels year-round. Portable dehumidifiers, evaporative coolers, and electric heaters were also used throughout other parts of the building. During the winter months, two STHP-2000 temporary air-handler units were installed utilizing the building’s existing boiler system to provide clean, dry heat for the four-level gallery renovation, drywall, and casework.

The interim system provided for the heating and cooling needs beginning in 2010 and was finally taken out of service in May of this year upon completion of the renovation.

For more information, visit www.temp-air.com.

TV Studio Cools Down

A home shopping TV channel was looking for supplemental cooling for its headquarters and studio in Pennsylvania. The existing air conditioning system was limited to the office space and some of the studio, and the lack of cooling throughout the building severely limited the channel’s on-air studio space.

While searching for an economic solution, the company’s facilities department called on Topp Portable Air to provide temporary cooling throughout the building and warehouse. Topp provided four portable air conditioners for a six-month duration, which allowed the channel to expand its studio space and tape multiple shows at the same time, even during the hottest summer months.

The solution was a 100-ton, 40,000-cfm temporary air conditioning system. Before the portable air conditioners were installed, there were a few logistical challenges to overcome. First, space and access to the building was limited. The equipment was not allowed to sit inside the space due to noise concerns. Topp engineered and provided four 25-ton air conditioners running in parallel to provide sufficient cooling and ensure redundancy. The equipment was positioned outside the building, and 200 feet of sheet metal ductwork was installed. Once the job was installed, tested, and ready to go, it performed seamlessly. It allowed the network to utilize more available studio space and continues to operate today.

After 12 months of operation, the network was so pleased with how the temporary air conditioning solution ran, it decided to use the company’s climate control services on an ongoing basis.

For more information, visit www.etopp.com.

Publication date: 6/25/2012