Custom Air Handlers: See Through Air Curtain Project
Envirotec is passionate about continually pushing the boundaries of design and technology – innovating through fresh thinking.
In 2011, a dream client asked us to develop a unique vertical air curtain….a real one off. Envirotec loves a challenge and relishes the opportunity to take design to a new level.
The design brief was to include both water and electric heating, energy saving controls, and incorporate spectacular finishes. Ensuring the internal components were visible was a key requirement and we were encouraged to let our imaginations run wild, designing without compromise, questioning every component.
To ensure we could deliver on this unusual request we ran company-wide idea generation workshops, through which the concept of a see through air curtain was born. The concept challenged conventional thinking with design principles re-examined to cater for new materials.
Using special materials and finishes, internal components gained greater prominence; they became visually interesting and exciting to our design engineers. Now on show, functional parts were given fresh identities. For example, transparent fan scrolls were developed revealing the impeller rotation. Colour matched accents were introduced throughout the design.
A series of prototypes were completed and during the process mirror finish stainless steel cladding was added to protect the vulnerable air intake surfaces.
Experimenting with different textures, colours and lighting brought the concept to life. The operation of the unit was revealed by introducing coloured lighting – red for heating mode, blue for ambient, green for the energy efficient mode and purple to reflect the finance director’s mood.
Our client was ecstatic on reviewing the completed air curtain and that we had exceeded his unique design brief.
And how does the unit perform? Brilliantly.
Extensive testing confirmed that the unit was providing the necessary outlet velocity, with a uniform spread of air across the span of the discharge grille. Constant operation since commissioning has been trouble free and by adhering to the maintenance regime, we anticipate a long life.
This was a great project and galvanised the entire company around the concept of fresh thinking.