High efficiency air curtains lead to 30% energy savings, study shows
According to Energy News, Spanish researchers at the School of Construction and the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), have found that the use of high efficiency air curtains results in significant improvements in efficiency and energy saving.
The aim of the study was to evaluate potential energy saving strategies in commercial buildings that experience a high level of foot traffic (pedestrians). It also hoped to propose ways to improve the hygrothermal conditions of such buildings.
A shop in Alicante was used as the premises for the research, as the city has a particularly warm and humid climate. A detailed experimental study of the thermal loads and hygrothermal conditions was conducted under three conditions: without climate separation, with a conventional air curtain and with a high efficiency air curtain.
Whilst conventional air curtains were found to be relatively beneficial, when high efficiency curtains were installed they resulted in energy savings well over 30%.
The retail sector was a particular focus for the study, as it often uses outdated technical facilities and consumes a lot of electricity to maintain ideal conditions for customers. Also, heavy foot traffic can lead to constant door opening, which greatly affects the climate of premises.
Air curtains create an invisible barrier between the separate indoor and outdoor environments, without limiting the access of people coming in and out of the space. Fans placed above the entrance project air downwards – preventing the flow of cold and warm air, whilst also keeping insects, dust, pollutants and odours away from the indoor environment.
High efficiency air curtains allow store owners to keep their doors open, which is more likely to encourage passers-by to enter. They also minimise heat loss and improve energy efficiency, which can lead to significant cost savings, as the study showed.