TMI Climates Solutions air-handling unit Wesleyan University

Project Feature: Wesleyan Public Affairs Center – Custom AHUs Accommodate Rigging Restrictions

Our sales engineers work hard to develop and maintain relationships with mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineers to help support them in designing HVAC systems within buildings. Part of the relationship building is providing education on the various HVAC solutions available. The best case scenario is when we’re named basis of design on a project. Such was the case with Wesleyan University’s Public Affairs Center.

Our sales engineer collaborated with engineers at van Zelm Engineers early on regarding Flow Tech’s custom air handling solutions, including those specific to projects with space restrictions. In 2018 design began for Wesleyan University’s Public Affairs Center, a renovation and addition project. TMI Climate Solutions, one of Flow Tech’s air-handling unit (AHU) manufacturers, was named basis of design. The reasoning was simple, the project required custom AHUs with small section sizes to accommodate tight rigging restrictions, the AHUs needed to be efficient, and van Zelm enjoyed teaming up with us.

Having a product named as basis of design provides a leg up but doesn’t guarantee an order. The project originally went out to bid in 2020 (but we all know how that year went) and was rebid in 2021. Luckily, Flow Tech not only got the order for the TMI Climate Solutions air-handlers but we also were awarded for Thermowheel energy recovery wheels, ABB variable frequency drives and Air Monitor airflow monitoring stations.

TMI Climate Solutions air handling unit
One of the TMI AHUs during installation.

ABB Variable Frequency Drives

Flow Tech provided (12) ACH580 ABB Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to aid in energy savings and building comfort. Ranging from 1 to 15 horsepower, these VFDS help regulate the performance of the supply fans, exhaust fans, and supply and exhaust sides of the AHUs to ensure they operate in the most efficient and reliable manner. Each VFD was completed with the following accessories/options:

  • Harmonic testing
  • Bluetooth enabled keypad display with H-O-A selection
  • 6 Pulse drive with 5% equivalent line reactor
  • Standard network protocols – BACnet, N2, Modbus
  • Programable Digital and Analog I/O
  • Damper control and run permissive
  • Fireman’s override
  • 72-month onsite parts and labor warranty from date of shipment
  • Start-up

Air Monitor Airflow Monitoring Stations

Flow Tech provided (17) Air Monitor Corporation airflow measuring stations for the outdoor, supply and exhaust air to allow for the proper airflow control within the Public Affairs Center. Appropriate airflow is important for both the health and comfort of the building’s occupants, and the healthy and long-term performance of the building. Three different types of airflow measuring stations were included; ELECTRA-flo, ELECTRA-flo/FI and ELECTRA-flo/FI Fan Wall.

TMI Climate Solutions Custom Air Handling Units

Two TMI Climate Solutions air-handling units were provided by Flow Tech to improve the comfort (temperature), safety (indoor air quality) and energy savings of the building. Both units were located indoors. AHU-1 was the larger model with a complete size of 138″ x 116″ x 402″. The unit can be broken down into (12) modules (largest module dimension 71″H x 116″W x 72″L) and accommodate 8,000 CFM. AHU-2 has a complete size of 98″ x 90″ x 338″. The unit can be broken down into (6) modules (largest module dimension 98″H x 90″W x 57″L) and accommodated 7,000 CFM.

Thermowheel Energy Recovery

A Thermowheel enthalpy wheel was provided by Flow Tech in each air-handling unit to recover energy used by the unit. For example, the Thermowheel will help cool the outside air more quickly and efficiently during the summer by using some of the pre-conditioned return air, and vice versa in the winter. Wheel motors and VFDs were also provided with an 11-year parts and labor warranty. Temperature and humidity sensors were mounted on the wheel’s casing. Rotation detectors and control panels were also provided.

About Wesleyan Public Affairs Center

Wesleyan Public Affairs Center

The John E. Andrus Center for Public Affairs was organized in 1954-55 under the leadership of the late Professor E.E. Shattschneider.  The center houses offices and classrooms for the departments of Economics, Government, History, and Sociology, as well as, the interdisciplinary College of Social Studies.

The administrative structure of the Public Affairs Center consists of a Director, a Governing Board consisting of the chairs of the four PAC departments and the College of Social Studies, and an Administrative Assistant.  Besides administering annual prizes to an outstanding undergraduate and a junior faculty member, the Center sponsors lectures by visitors to the University and an interdisciplinary lunchtime seminar featuring Wesleyan faculty members.  In addition, the Center seeks and administers outside funding to support visiting speakers, collaborative research and pedagogical innovations in the social sciences.

A notable feature of the Public Affairs Center is that faculty offices are not segmented into departmental blocs, as at most other academic institutions.  A sociologist may thus find an economist as his or her neighbor to one side, a historian to the other, and a political scientist across the hall.  Brown-bag lunches in the Elmer Schattschneider lounge and informal conversations around the coffee-pots in the kitchen are traditions which carry forward the interdisciplinary design that inspired establishment of the Center.

For more information about this or any Flow Tech project give us a call, 860.291.8886. You can find out more about our engineered HVAC equipment and systems by visiting our website. To inquire about setting up and lunch & learn or presentation for your team contact, Nichole Petersen. Remember you can always stay up-to-date about Flow Tech news by following us on social media: TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and YouTube!

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