Cool-Phase solves a problem

Monodraught’s ceiling-mounted Cool-Phase low energy cooling and ventilation system has been specified by Sheffield Hallam University to create a fresh and healthy indoor environment in a problem room on the tenth floor of the 12-storey Owen Building.

The system has dramatically reduced CO2 levels and is controlling previously excessive room temperatures well within normal comfort zones. All this while reducing energy consumption by up to 90% compared to conventional mechanical cooling systems.

The Monodraught Cool-Phase installation is in the Owen Building of the University’s City Campus. The 12-storey building which was constructed in the early 1960s had one particular problem space on the tenth floor that consistently produced poor air quality and high temperatures. The room had no mechanical ventilation and was fitted with opening windows to one side, but due to the height of the building these were restricted to a 100mm maximum opening, limiting the amount of natural ventilation available.

Investigate options

In November 2009 the University’s Estates Department initiated environmental checks using CO2 monitors calibrated to 2000ppm but the CO2 levels they recorded peaked off the chart almost every time the room was in use!

Commenting for the University, Building Services Engineer Lee Allen says: “Obviously, we knew we had a problem so we began investigating ventilation options for the room.”

Following its extensive review, the Estates Department installed the Cool-Phase system in the tenth floor teaching room as a trial, hoping to have an operational system for the spring and summer terms.

Impressed with performance

Lee says: “We monitored throughout the late March warm spell and recorded a room temperature peak of 23°C when outside temperatures were hovering around 21°C. We were very impressed with this performance compared to the 25°C internal room temperatures we were experiencing in November.”

Reporting on CO2 levels, he says initially they appeared to peak at 1300ppm, a little above the SHU target – but when the data was examined more closely the peak only lasted for about 30 minutes and coincided with times when students were coming into the room in the mornings and returning after lunch breaks.

“We realised that the Cool-Phase system was working harder to bring the CO2 levels down during these peaks and, once the levels had been controlled Cool-Phase maintained CO2 levels at around 600ppm for the rest of the time.

“The Cool-phase units are performing excellently at this early stage, and I believe we’re reaping the rewards of being early adopters of this new technology.”

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