Technology often found in industrial process cooling applications can solve needs in comfort cooling applications as well. Such was the case at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a facility that houses an exhibited collection of thousands of aviation and space artifacts as well as a theater, observation tower and restoration facilities.

The museum, located in Chantilly, Va., was supported by cooling towers that lacked adequate capacity. Site conditions did not allow a larger cooling tower footprint to meet the increased load. To deliver enough chilled water at peak efficiency and to fix the original hydronic design for the towers, the facility managers had to elevate the towers. This created a service dilemma: how to perform routine inspection and maintenance on cooling towers that were 25' above ground safely. 

Working together, the project team — consisting of personnel from the Smithsonian, AECOM (the HVAC project manager), Baltimore Aircoil Co. (the equipment supplier) Morin Co. (the local BAC representative) — decided to replace the traditional fan power transmission with direct-drive fan system.

Direct-drive fan systems can enable high reliability and low maintenance. “By eliminating moving parts, gearbox oil changes and other routine inspections, fan-drive maintenance costs are cut by 90 percent,” said Stephen Kline, applications manager at BAC.

Read the case study here.