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Enhancing Performance of Operating Room Cooling Systems

Today’s post comes from a Heat Pipe Technology case study regarding enhancing performance of operating room cooling systems with controllable wrap-around heat pipes.

The Problem:

When a major hospital in Tampa, FL began planning new OR & IR additions to their main facility, they sought to implement the latest technologies to allow the accurate control and lower than usual dew points these applications require, while at the same time finding ways to reduce operating costs. What they found was a single product that could accomplish it all.


The Solution:

Heat Pipe Technology’s dehumidification heat pipes (DHP’s) utilize the phase change of the working fluid to both pre-cool the outside air before entering the cooling coil and reheat the air after the cooling coil uses the recovered upstream heat that’s “wrapped around” the cooling coil. This reduces the load, allowing more latent cooling to be done to achieve a more depressed dew point, while nearly eliminating the need for additional reheat. Adding control valves not only allows reheat temperature to be accurately controlled, but the DHP can be more appropriately sized to handle the more frequent off-peak days, then trimming unwanted reheat by shutting off circuits on peak days to achieve optimum year-round performance.

operating room

The Results:

Two air handlers were designed to deliver nearly 36,000 CFM of 49 F dew point air, utilizing 2-row wrap-around heat pipes to reduce the cooling load by nearly 20%. This allowed the chilled water cooling coils to reach the desired dew point using less energy while the recovered heat provided the desired 7⁰ F of reheat the system required for free. By adding control valves, the heat pipe could be sized to provide that desired reheat accurately and more often by shutting off circuits at peak sensible loads. Bill Holcomb, the hospital’s Facility Systems Manager, adds that ” achieving the necessary dew point while delivering accurate temperature to the space is critical. Reducing energy on both sides of the coil to achieve that was the ultimate goal. The fact that it adds minimal maintenance is a bonus.” It’s no surprise they included another 150,000 CFM of controllable DHP’s for their new Heart Center and ED addition as well.

About Heat Pipe Technology:

Heat Pipe Technology (HPT) is the innovation leader in energy recovery and dehumidification systems for commercial applications around the globe.  Employing the very latest in passive heat transfer technology, HPT designs and supplies the core systems to the world’s leading commercial air handling equipment manufacturers. Engineers can use HPT SelectPlusTM to design with this product. You can logon to: www.heatpipeselect.com

We are proud to represent HPT and we’re their local rep for Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. For more information on how we can provide you with energy recovery and dehumidification solutions contact us today, or visit our website. Information can also be found across our social media platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

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