Dadanco - Active Chilled Beams - Breathing Life Into Your Building
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Why are active chilled beams "Green"?

Fan Energy Savings

In general the design intent is for the central system to circulate only the amount of air needed for ventilation and latent load purposes, with the active chilled beams providing the additional air movement and sensible cooling and/or heating required through the induced room air and secondary water coil. In this manner the amount of primary air circulated by the central system is dramatically reduced (often 75-85% less than conventional "all air" systems).

Essentially active chilled beams transfer a large portion of the cooling and heating loads from the less efficient air distribution system (fans and ductwork) to the more efficient water distribution system (pumps and piping).

The net result of this shift in loads with active chilled beam systems is lower energy consumption and operating costs. Studies have shown that fans are the largest consumer of energy in most commercail buildings in North America. With active chilled beam systems the fan energy is dramatically reduced due to the relatively small amount and low pressure of the primary air being circulated by the central system.

Chiller Energy Savings

While the size of the chiller in an active chilled beam system would normally be the same as that needed in a conventional "all air" system, its effective hours of operation (or loading) could be significantly less if the system employs a water-side economizer to serve the Active Chilled Beams. This is due to the relatively warmer secondary water temperatures (typically 56 58 °F) used by the Active Chilled Beams which allows the cooling load to be satisfied for more hours using the water-side economizer.

Also, if separate chillers are serving the central air handlers and the active chilled beams, the COP of the chiller serving the Active Chilled Beams would also be much higher due to the relatively warmer water temperatures used by the Active Chilled Beams.

Heating Energy Savings

As the Active Chilled Beams normally provide sufficient heating capacities at relatively moderate hot water temperatures (110 130 °F) there is also an opportunity to maximize the efficiency of condensing boilers through the relatively low water temperatures being returned to the boilers. With the relatively low water temperatures required, using geothermal heat pumps to satisfy the heating loads is also practical.