Plant utilities: air-conditioning

Air-conditioning today may be looked upon as the gift of the present century to mankind. But the essence of air-conditioning was understood and the need for the system in certain manufacturing processes was felt much earlier.

Air-conditioning in its present form was first introduced in 1904 in the United States .Most of the industrial establishments are completely air-conditioned in that country .In India, the introduction of air-conditioning for the first time goes to the Gramophone Company Ltd. Air-conditioning has been introduced in Indian factories, mainly to meet the requirements of manufacturing process and equipment. Air-conditioning for the purpose of providing comfort to the workmen is yet to be introduced in this country. The management and the labor in our country has yet to understand the importance of the system in improving productivity which results in better climatic conditions and safeguards the worker’s health.

In popular belief, air-conditioning means refrigeration. Air-conditioning means controlling of temperature and humidity, distribution and purification of air by artificial means. The air will meet the requirement of a particular situation in a room or building.

Types of Air-Conditioning

Depending on the season, air-conditioning may be classified into:

1.Winter Air-conditioning
2.Summer Air-conditioning

In summer air-conditioning, efforts are made to reduce the temperature and humidity to comfortable limits. In winter air-conditioning, the problem is to raise the temperature and humidity of air to comfortable limits.

Depending on the purposes, winter or summer air-conditioning may be classified into:

1.Comfort or domestic air-conditioning ; and
2.Industrial air-conditioning

Comfort air-conditioning means provide comfort for the inhabitants of the house .The method of installation is called either the unit or room air-conditioning. The units are placed in the window and the air is circulated in the room.

Industrial air-conditioning aims at meeting the requirement of the manufacturing process and equipment. In industrial air-conditioning the Dust control and Heat dissipation are the two factors. The method of installing the air-conditioning equipment is also different. The unit is fixed in a particular room and the controlled air is spread through ducts.

Depending on the coverage, industrial air-conditioning may be sub divided into:

1.Partial and

Partial air-conditioning may be attained by one or more of the following installations. Cooling system, ventilating system, humidifying and dehumidifying system, and purifying system. The installation of a complete air-conditioning system will provide for either heating or cooling, ventilating, purifying, humidifying and dehumidifying.

Building Design and Air-conditioning

While designing a building, care should be taken to provide for an air-conditioning system to avoid subsequent alterations in the building .It is immeasurably easier to construct a building with air-conditioning in mind than to try to air-condition an old building.

The following requirements may be considered while designing new buildings:

1.Avoid or reduce the number of windows as far as possible. The larger the number of windows, the greater the leakage of air,
2.Provide for air ducts in the walls and columns
3.Provide a separate room for the installation of the air-conditioning units.
4.Provide facilities for admitting fresh air into the building.