Chilled Beam: A Warm Reception
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From the August 2010 issue of PME.
by Greg Cunniff, P.E.
Buildings in Chicago and Toronto benefit from this
Tracing radiant technology’s
genealogy, a new member of the
family recently entered our consciousness:
chilled beam radiant cooling.
With chilled beam systems, chilled water
circulates through tubing embedded in a
metal ceiling fixture to wick away heat.
What makes this technology so interesting
is its broad applicability for commercial
structures and extreme energy
and thermal efficiency. A key advantage
is that a chilled beam system requires
very little ceiling space and height, or, in
the parlance of commercial architects and
designers, it conserves interior real estate.
Another key advantage, functionally and
financially, is that water the main transporter
of thermal energy and much denser
than air permits a very high energycarrying
capacity and a smaller transport
system: pipes. A forced-air system is, by its
very nature, greatly less efficient because
of the inherently low density of air and
requires large ducts to transport Btu...MORE
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