Fans proving valuable complement to efficient building ventilation
Photo courtesy of Hunter Industrial
Sometimes, an HVAC system isn’t enough to adequately condition and insulate an industrial environment.
A new age of fans is complementing those systems to make facilities more comfortable and higher performing.
“This isn’t just about how I can make it more comfortable,” said Jeff Chastain, senior vice president and general manager of Hunter Industrial’s commercial division. “While we do that, it’s also about how we can make their operations more efficient.”
The benefits of the company’s commercial high-volume, low-speed fans, he said, are two-fold:
- Improve energy efficiency
- Stimulate air quality that contributes to occupant performance.
In fact, energy efficient buildings can deliver billions of dollars' worth of public health benefits, including fewer hospitalizations and reduced climate impacts. A new study by Harvard University, called HEALTHfx, found nearly $6 billion in combined health and climate benefits due in large part to reductions in air pollutants.
Hunter Industrial is part of the famous Hunter Fan brand, a leader in the residential ventilation market for 130 years. The company formed its industrial section roughly five years ago, looking to capitalize on its long-successful technology to make its mark on the commercial sector.
But Hunter didn’t want to simply produce a commercial-grade fan, especially pitted against several other companies in the market. To separate itself, Hunter focused on incorporating energy efficiency.
“Our goal is to create a fan using high-volume, low speed that helps reduce the energy requirements of your building by de-stratifying the air,” Chastain said. “How we create value in this space is really around energy conservation.”
The commercial fans are designed in such a way specially designed airfoils that only require a small motor to run them. Those smaller motors consume less horsepower but still adequately ventilate an area.
Hunter’s fans tend to have the greatest return on investment in industrial plants, warehouses and food and beverage facilities, Chastain said.
Hunter Industrial designed its latest line of fans to not only put control of them at the user’s fingertips, but also to sense when an area needs controlled air.
“All of our stuff has to be able to work with the building management system,” Chastain said. “As well, how can we automate and bring some new technologies to the forefront to that allow us to have better control of when the fan’s needed? For example, only coming on or off with temperature controls. … You can group them together, and you don’t have to run them all on or off at the same time.”
As the market continues to evolve, energy efficiency will continue to guide Hunter going forward.
“It’s at the foundation of where we are,” Chastain said. “And we look at it two ways: How much energy does it require to run and operate our systems, and how much energy need can we reduce in our customers’ facilities because they have an air-control product that’s going to work in conjunction with their heating and cooling needs.”
Topics: Architectural Firms, Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Energy Saving Products, Fans, Great Commercial Buildings, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, HVAC - Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Industrial and Manufacturing Buildings, Interiors, Office Buildings, Technology, Ventilation