There has been a lot of talk in the industry in recent years about increasing the use of partial cooling systems. There are many benefits that come with the installation of such a system, which better coordinates outdoor- and indoor conditions to reduce energy usage in the space. The partial cooling systems can greatly reduce the amount of energy used during shoulder months, while maintaining the expected level of comfort – temperature and humidity – in the space. They can also lead to improved indoor air quality by reducing the mixing of return air in the system.
Of course, this is something that is considered a relatively new concept to the mass market, and therefore will take some convincing on the part of HVAC professionals and technicians. In some areas of the country, though, the benefits of such systems can be so immense that the payoff periods are extremely short and the inclusion of partial cooling systems is easily justified. However, even in those areas where the shoulder months are short-lived, the improvement in energy-efficiency is nothing to be scoffed at. It is essential that the HVAC professional have a clear grasp of the local climate, the current energy usage of the building, and the potential savings that could be garnered with such a system.
What is partial cooling? It’s simply designing a system to operate at partial-load during peak conditions. So,on a really hot day, allowing a system to only cool to 75-78 degrees, rather than pushing the system to cool down to the low 70’s or high 60’s, would be an example of partial heating. This method can be very efficient, but it is important to realize that there is a need for constraints on this method. For instance, one should ask the question, “what is the environment like in the area where this installation is being considered? If the application is taking place in Arizona, then it will likely be a disappointment to those owning, operating, or residing in the space. There are simply too many “extreme heat days”. However, in Upstate New York or New England, this kind of installation can work really well. Also, it is important that there are reliable temperature sensors installed to properly sense and communicate with the HVAC systems. SRP controls provides reliable duct mounted temperature sensors, outdoor air temperature sensors, and room temperature sensors designed for such purposes.