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Tech Minute: Chilled Beam Cooling


Chilled beam heating and cooling has been popular in Europe for over a decade. Now the technology is gaining attention in the United States.

Chilled beam units actually look like a fluorescent lighting fixture. They are part of a ceiling-mounted HVAC system that provides benefits in energy savings, increased comfort and quiet operation.

The major difference between chilled beams and conventional systems is that chilled beams provide cooling using water instead of air. Chilled water is pumped to heat exchangers, or beams, suspended from the ceiling. Warm air rises into the beam, where it is cooled and circulated back down into the room.

Because water transfers more energy than air, they use less energy than conventional air systems. And because chilled beams deliver heating and cooling directly to the conditioned space, facilities can also save money by reducing the energy used by ventilation fans.


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