LAS VEGAS — Air Innovations Inc., a leading provider of custom environmental control systems, announced it was retained by Leitner Poma for Caesars Entertainment’s The Linq project High Roller observation wheel. The company designed and built the complex HVAC systems used to maintain the temperature of the cabins in the observation wheel.

The High Roller will be the world’s largest observation wheel when it opens in 2014. The High Roller is 550 feet tall and features 28 cabins, which hold 40 guests apiece. It is expected to operate 18 hours per day, 365 days a year.

Air Innovations was tasked to maintain a temperature between 67° and 73°F (19° and 23°C) in the glass-encased cabins, even though external daytime temperatures average highs of 104°F (40°C) in July and lows of 39°F (4°C) in December. In addition to achieving consistent temperatures, Air Innovations was challenged to ensure the shape of the air conditioning units conformed to the convex sides of the mechanical compartment beneath the floor of the globe-shaped cabins.

Air Innovations’ final solution included two custom environmental control units (ECUs) in each cabin. Each ECU is composed of dual, redundant refrigeration circuits which operate independently, creating fail-safe measures should any one of the circuits experience a failure. The net result is four independent circuits, which allows for load-shedding on moderate temperature days. In addition, the solution includes a fifth cooling fail-safe, in the highly unlikely scenario that all electrical systems in the cabin shut down: a battery-operated ventilation fan provides a level of ambient cooling until that cabin reaches the ground. Each unit can also provide heat, as necessary.

Each of the environmental control systems communicates directly with and can be controlled by the base operation (at the bottom of the wheel).

Michael Wetzel, CEO of Air Innovations, said, “We are excited to be part of a team challenged to build the world’s largest observation wheel. The technology and packaging challenges involved in this project were an ideal match with Air Innovations’ core capabilities.”

Air Innovations designs and builds environmental control systems for applications that can’t be addressed with standard HVAC equipment. The company customizes packaged solutions for temperature (with control tolerances as precise as ±0.01°C); humidity (with control tolerances to ±0.5 percent); filtration (HEPA, ultra low particulate air [ULPA], and molecular); pressure; and direct-expansion, chilled-water, or thermoelectric capabilities.

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Publication date: 1/20/2014

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