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PreCooling 101

Updated: Dec 3, 2019

What are Evaporative PreCoolers and Why Would Anyone Want One?

These are great questions and are worth examining in more depth.

Evaporative precooling for air cooled condensers is an energy efficiency measure that has been gaining popularity and implementation over the last decade.

Any HVAC system that employs an air-cooled condenser can achieve greater efficiency and dramatically lower energy consumption by adding a retro-fitted evaporative precooler.

With large corporations like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Fruit of the Loom, and Gildan adding precoolers to their existing HVAC systems, now is a great time to find out why.

PreCooling 101

With global temperatures on the rise, the demand for evaporative precooling has never been higher. Several studies have proven that all air-cooled HVAC systems are negatively impacted by rising ambient temperatures. As the ambient temperature rises, the ability of AC systems to cool their respective buildings begins to diminish, in some cases losing as much as 30-40% of their nominal EER or cooling capacity. If this was the only negative effect of higher ambient temperatures, that would be bad enough. Unfortunately there are two other negative effects of higher ambient conditions that cost building owners and operators $1,000’s of dollars every summer. The first is a need for more electricity to overcome the loss in cooling capacity, and the second is that during the hottest part of the day the actual cost of electricity is at its highest or “peak demand” rate. This results in consuming more electricity when it costs the most to consume.

By attaching evaporative precoolers to air-cooled condensers the high temperature ambient air is drawn through a wetted media which, through adiabatic cooling, is cooled by up to 30 degrees before it hits the condenser coil. In effect, creating an artificial “micro-climate” between the media and the condenser coil. By “pre-cooling” ambient air temperatures prior to the coil the AC system performs as though it were much cooler outside than it actually is. This restores the nominal cooling capacity, EER, and electricity consumption of the your HVAC system, which will literally save thousands of dollars annually, and extend the life of your AC system and its internal components.

Power Company Rebates

In addition to aforementioned benefits that individual facilities can reap, several electricity providers across the U.S. have recognized the potential for large scale “Demand Side Management“ opportunities that evaporative precoolers present. Many power companies are in the process of transitioning away from non-renewable sources in favor of wind and solar generation, and they recognize that reducing electricity demand is a crucial component of reaching their sustainable goals. Because evaporative precoolers reduce the demand for electricity during the hottest part of the summer, if they were more widely implemented across an entire service area, it would require less overall power generation to supply the electrical grid. As a result many power companies offer extremely generous rebates and incentives to entice businesses and facility managers to implement evaporative precoolers. In some cases these rebates amount to tens of thousands of dollars and can cover up to 60 to 70% of the total cost of the project.

More Money In Your Budget, More Efficient Cooling & A Greener Future

With so many benefits, you can see why large corporations are taking advantage of evaporative precoolers and the rebates that accompany them. Whether you are interested in lowering your carbon footprint, increasing the cooling capacity of your HVAC system, or just want to save $1,000’s of dollars each summer, give ATEC/Indirex a call. We represent four evaporative precooler manufacturers from across the U.S. With so many varying approaches and systems we will design an evaporative precooling project that is customized to fit your individual building, HVAC system, and specific situation. We work closely with several power companies so we can become the primary recipient of the rebates, which allows us to discount your price up front, so you don’t even have to wait for the rebate check in the mail! We are happy to provide free consultations and no-obligation quotes for any project anywhere in North America.

Thanks for reading and as always we hope you...

Have a Cool Day!

Written by Bryan at ATEC/Indirex

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