Evaporative cooling is being rapidly adopted by modern food manufacturing companies as an alternative to conventional air conditioning systems due to its many benefits. Better energy efficiency, superior air quality, no carbon emissions, and lower initial purchase, installation and maintenance costs are just some of the many advantages of the process.
Based on our second-to-none expertise and years of experience within the food manufacturing sector, we’ve put together this blog in which we examine each one of evaporative cooling’s advantages over traditional air conditioning methods and provide guidance for the food and drink sector that will enable you to find out whether the method could be used for your facilities.
What is evaporative cooling?
Evaporative cooling recreates the naturally occurring process of cooling through evaporation and provides a constant flow of fresh air into your facilities. Evaporative coolers circulate water through saturated cooling media while drawing air across the surface of that media.
There are two different types of evaporative cooling - direct and indirect cooling. The difference between the two is that the latter does not introduce any moisture in the indoor environment. However, technology is now capable of combining the two techniques together, to significantly improve the performance of the method, achieving up to 95% efficiency.
What are the benefits of evaporative cooling?
While evaporative cooling has built a name for itself as one of the three main air conditioning mediums in the USA, UAE and Australia, the method is still relatively new to the UK. As pioneers in introducing the evaporative cooling technology on the UK market, we’ve seen steady growth in the adoption of the method on the UK market over the years, as we have modified and refined the systems for our temperate northern European climate.
The main advantage of evaporative coolers is that their operating costs tend to be far less than those of traditional air conditioning systems. With a well-designed evaporative cooling solution, personalised to your specific circumstances, you could be looking at saving anything up to 80% of the energy costs needed for traditional air conditioning cooling.
Evaporative cooling systems work best when a small amount of outside air circulates into the space where the evaporative cooler is employed. This introduces 100% fresh air into the environment and reduces the risk of poor indoor air quality and air pollution, which is an often overlooked issue within the food and drink manufacturing sector. The UV filtration systems in place ensure that any outside pollens or bacterial contamination, such as algae growth, is prevented.
Allows for open doors and windows
Unlike traditional cooling systems, evaporative cooling needs constant airflow to operate. This means that you will benefit from having higher quality, 100% fresh air at all times at your facilities, reducing the risks of contamination.
Lower initial and ongoing costs
Besides lower operational costs, up to 80% per year, one of the big advantages of evaporative cooling is its low initial capital investment cost. Not only do the units cost less than traditional cooling systems, but their installation can also be less expensive - and, due to their simplistic design, so can maintenance and repairs.
A typical evaporative cooler tends to cost up to 50% less to purchase. However, while these numbers certainly sound impressive, you need to make sure that when choosing an evaporative cooling solution your supplier has actually considered your specific environmental conditions and made you aware of the operational efficiency and risks that might arise. Evaporative cooling can be an incredible opportunity for improving working conditions and reducing energy costs, but it may not always be the right choice for you. This is why choosing a supplier carefully is crucial.
With phase-out plans in place to eliminate the use of certain greenhouse gases in the UK, such as R401a, and carbon emission regulations getting more strict, implementing traditional air conditioning units is becoming a very expensive risk to take. Evaporative cooling on the other hand provides an entirely green solution that requires minimum electricity and water consumption with no detrimental impact to the environment. An evaporative cooling unit can consume up to 10% energy when compared to traditional cooling systems. When it comes to water usage, a combination of a direct and an indirect evaporative cooling system would achieve 680W of energy for every kg of water evaporated.
Does all this sound too good to be true? Don’t take our word for it, find out for yourself how much you can actually save with evaporative cooling with our quick and easy-to-use Evaporative Cooling Calculator.