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MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES


tempered air from outside for ventilation – will need to incorporate continuous monitoring by humidity sensors and be able to respond quickly to changes in RH.


In all cases there will be a number of criteria to consider when selecting the best humidity control solution. These include capital budgets, running costs and the nature of the building itself. For instance, we were required to devise very diff erent solutions for the Tate Modern (housed in a former power station), Tate Liverpool (a converted warehouse) and Tate Britain, which was designed as a gallery from the start.


System solutions


The components of the system will depend on the nature of the solution being applied. In most cases where RH needs to be raised, steam humidifi cation will be the preferred choice and will comprise a humidifi er to generate steam and a way of introducing the steam to the air. Where a ductwork ventilation system is in place, the steam may be introduced to the air in the duct just after it leaves the air handling unit. However, in other situations, it may be more practical to feed the steam directly into the space being humidifi ed.


All steam humidifi cation systems will benefi t from appropriate water treatment, typically reverse osmosis, to prevent limescale formation, extend the life of the plant and optimise effi ciency.


An alternative is to add water vapour directly into the space, which can be the most cost-eff ective and energy-effi cient approach. However, given the nature of the spaces in question, humidifi ers in the space are unlikely to meet the client’s aesthetic requirements. Wetted media above the ceiling avoid visual intrusion but capital costs are increased by the need for ductwork and diff users.


A more discreet option is to install small, multi-directional fan-assisted nozzles, around the size of a CCTV camera, at high level in the space. Such pressurised water systems ensure the water leaving the nozzles is quickly atomised (within 1.5m of the nozzle) and absorbed into the air, so there is no danger of wetting exhibits.


As cold water is used, these systems are very energy-effi cient and the evaporation of the water also provides some free cooling of the air. This can help reduce the use of mechanical cooling in the summer, though may result in a


slight increase in heating requirements in the winter. As the water is not heated, there is a need for anti-bacterial treatment, such as ultra- violet treatment.


For short-lived exhibitions and displays there are also temporary solutions available, such as evaporative coolers that blow air over cellulose evaporative panels to release water vapour into the recirculating air.


In spaces where dehumidifi cation is required, the preferred system is generally a desiccant dehumidifi er, optionally with heat recovery to reduce energy costs.


All such systems will also require strategically located humidity sensors in the space to achieve the required level of RH control.


Museums and galleries are some of the most demanding applications for humidity control, due to the need for very close control and the varying nature of the buildings and their contents.


There are, therefore, clear benefi ts to working with specialists in this fi eld that have experience of this type of application and are not tied to a particular manufacturer, and therefore able to recommend tailored solutions that use the most appropriate products in the best way.


LIKE TO STAY AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION? SO DO WE.


     


Vertiv


     


 VertivCo.com/PDXEconoPhase


YOUR VISION, OUR PASSION www.acr-news.com


 


November 2017 47


TECH SPECS


The Liebert PDX with EconoPhase is an air-cooled DX system with an incorporated refrigerant pumping module that allows a simple shift from compressor to economiser mode when conditions suit.


   


   


   


    


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