Chilled beams are the most widely installed HVAC systems across the globe. It provides pleasant heating and cooling through an integral coil that is installed within a space. Chilled beams make less noise and have low-cost of maintenance.
The primary advantage that chilled beams provide is a reduction in energy wastage. Since they need fewer air drafts for the flow operations, they lead to minimal energy consumption. Chilled beams provide a consistent indoor air temperature and maintain it throughout their life.
Types of chilled beam HVAC systems
There are two types of chilled beam systems – Active chilled beams and passive chilled beams.
Active chilled beams
Active beams have a primary air supply and consist of fin-and-tube heat exchanger contained in the ductwork. They are mostly used for sensible cooling, heating, and ventilation of large and small spaces. As a primary source for air conditioning, they work and provide air throughout the space.
The heat exchanger is suspended in the ceiling of the building or office space. The air flows through the nozzles that result in air induction through a cooling coil installed in the system. The process of induction through cooling coils allows active chilled beams to provide more cooling than the passive ones.
Active chilled beams are most commonly used and offer code-required outdoor ventilation air. Facilities like offices, classrooms, healthcare facilities and other places where heat ratio is moderate, active chilled beams are used to maintain the temperature. Even in locations with limited space for mechanical space, active beams are an excellent choice.
Passive Chilled Beams
Passive chilled beams do not have any kind of ductwork. However, they also have a fin-and-tube heat exchanger that is suspended from the ceiling. There are tubes through which the chilled water flows.
Passive chilled beams do not supply primary air, and they have no fan-powered equipment for the air that flows through the cooling coil. The warm air reaches the ceiling through natural buoyancy after which the air surrounding the beam is cooled. It then descends towards the open space again, and the whole process works in kind of a back and forth motion.
As the air returns down from the cooling coil, new air rises up and reaches the ceiling where the passive chilled beam is installed. They are actively installed in places with high heat loads and warm temperatures. Labs and other scientific spaces, where there is a need to maintain a warm temperature, passive chilled beams are a perfect choice.
While some spaces have active chilled beams, they can utilize passive beams as supplementary sources of cooling. If you want to keep the existing ventilation system and need to maintain the space in the room, passive chilled beams can be used.
Chilled beams are easy to install, operate, and maintain in any type of space. They do not require frequent maintenance, and there is no need to replace their parts. Whether you decided to install active or passive chilled beams, you’ll have cost and energy-efficient cooling in the space where they are installed.