25
Jul

Air Balance / Air Flow Project

The Canadian division of a global manufacturer of industrial/commercial packaged boiler systems was struggling with poor air quality and elevated levels of welding emissions throughout its production areas. Given seasonal changes in the plant, environment being closed in the winter months or open during the summer, each condition had similar and dissimilar issues.

EKG Inc. reported its findings and recommended improvements to the existing air handling systems…

EKG Inc. reviewed the facilities supply and exhaust system inventories to determine the balance of air in the facility. Next, an IAQ assessment (mapping) was undertaken throughout the plant both an open and closed condition to simulate summer and winter environments. Under each state, mapping was conducted three times in the day to determine the changes in each of the IAQ parameters throughout the day. Finally, an air movement assessment where coloured smoke introduced at points welding fumes generation. The flow of the smoke and its patterns of disbursement were observed and mapped.

The data indicated that the production floor in the closed or winter condition was significantly under a negative pressure, which resulted in emissions not being removed from the facility resulting in elevated contaminant levels. Under the summer conditions with doors open, the pressure in the plant was balanced. The capture efficiency of the exhaust systems was significantly improved, but at the same time impacted by air movement throughout the facility created by wind conditions. The IAQ results and air movement observations identified areas in the plant were under either condition air was stagnant.

EKG Inc. reported its findings and recommended improvements to the existing air handling systems, and requirements to negate the extreme negative pressure present in the closed conditions, by adding low-cost gravity louvers which open in times of negative pressure.

EKG Inc. reported its findings and recommended improvements to the existing air handling systems, and requirements to negate the extreme negative pressure present in the closed conditions, by adding low-cost gravity louvers which open in times of negative pressure. In areas where the observed air movement was insignificant, recommendations provided included the addition of exhaust and or supplied air systems (ducts) to create an air circulation and exchange in these areas, while keeping the overall build air balance neutral.

The facility implemented all recommendations and EKG returned to reassess the plant in a closed environment condition. The results of IAQ and air movement mapping identified the efficient capture of contaminants at the sources, a lack of contaminant build up over the day in the facility and most of the dead zones had eliminated.

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