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Roundtable: Radiant Ceiling Cooling

by Cathal McElroy on Jul 17, 2014


The gang seemed impressed with the results from the test-bed.
The gang seemed impressed with the results from the test-bed.

RELATED ARTICLES: HVAC market in GCC set to grow 7.4% until 2016 | Middle East HVAC industry to strengthen over 2012 | Energy-efficient HVAC market worth $33.2bn by 2020

RELATED ARTICLES: HVAC market in GCC set to grow 7.4% until 2016Middle East HVAC industry to strengthen over 2012Energy-efficient HVAC market worth $33.2bn by 2020

MEP Middle East brought together six industry experts to meet Volker Ruehle, Middle East consultant for SGL Group The Carbon Company, and discuss his firm’s Ecophit radiant ceiling system.

The system is based on graphite ceiling panels that are chilled (or heated depending on the demands) by embedded copper meander tubes. Ecophit has already been installed as a heating/cooling system in some European projects, such as the Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, and has also been applied as a cooling system on an IT centre in Bangalore, India.

However, SGL was keen to prove its value in the sweltering climate of the GCC and established a testing facility in Dubai. As Ruehle explained to the six industry experts, the results were just what the company had hoped for.

“We did a test-bed with Red Engineering and ALEMCO in Marina Plaza Tower. There were two rooms similar in size and equipment. The left room was equipped with traditional fan coil units (FCUs), at traditional design stage, and had traditional air supply.

"The right-hand side room had a combination of fan coil units and our active Ecophit ceiling cooling. The left side had air supply of 40 litres per second per square metre, that included latent and sensible load.

"On the other side we provided the whole cooling load, meaning sensible load, with cooling panels, and the fan coil unit supplied only 8 litres per second per square metres of fresh air for dehumidification and artificial fresh air supply. Our main aim was to reduce the total air flow by providing a certain amount of cooling capacity.

“We were able to supply 85 to 95 watts per square metre depending on the outside condition,” Ruehle continued.

“Red Engineering did a report on the research for all of the figures for 14 months and the conclusion is that we can save approximately 40% of the energy. We have to consider different inputs because of humidity; if you put people in the room the latent load will be much higher and the savings are much less.

"But this is not our aim; our target is to provide a better comfort because cooling and heating technology with radiation is much better than air. Noise and draft are things that have to be considered. This technology with a smart central air cooling system should be a perfect solution for this region.”

With this presentation of the system and its proven benefits made, Ruehle invited the assembled experts to discuss what they had heard and raise any concerns or queries that they had regarding its efficacy.

Professor Abu Hijleh: “The main reason I find this interesting is the decoupling of the cooling and the ventilation requirements because I think that is the biggest issue we have here.

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