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MONODRAUGHT Extends PCM Technology To Enter A New Ceiling Mounted Cool-Phase

Natural ventilation specialist Monodraught has extended the application of PCM technology with the introduction of an innovative, ceiling-mounted version of its COOL-PHASE® system. The new product is a low energy cooling, ventilation and heat recovery system that reduces the running costs of buildings and creates a fresh and healthy indoor environment without compressors or hazardous coolants. The system features a thermal energy store using phase change material (PCM) in combination with intelligently controlled ventilation to actively ventilate and cool buildings. The system can maintain temperatures within the comfort zone, while radically reducing energy consumption by up to 90% compared to conventional cooling systems.

Cool-phase uses the latent heat property of PCM to store large amounts of thermal energy, which is then charged and discharged by passing air over a heat exchanger. During summer nights cool outside air is passed through the heat exchanger, releasing heat built up during the previous day and recharging the thermal energy store. As temperatures rise, warm air is passed through the heat exchanger to provide cooling. The total cooling provided is a combination of the thermal energy stored within the unit, the effects of free cooling and night time ventilation.

In winter, Cool-phase works in reverse, trapping waste heat and using it to warm cool fresh air entering the building. The system works all year round to ensure a fresh and healthy environment, monitoring temperatures and CO2 levels to automatically determine how much ventilation or cooling is required.

The first Cool-phase system was installed in 2009 for Workspace PLC, in a commercial office space that suffered from overheating caused by high solar gains through the windows and roof. The temperatures in the offices, and an identical ‘control’ space, have been monitored since then, with impressive results.

Over the warmest 6 months of 2009 the average daily peak temperature was reduced from 27.2°C to 22.7°C, and an estimated saving in electricity of 86% was achieved during the same period when compared to a conventional air conditioning system.

Commenting on the significant achievement, a spokesman for Workspace says: “We anticipate that Cool-phase will offer a step change in our energy and annual maintenance costs, which we will be able to pass on to our cost conscious tenants.“

More recently Cool-phase has been installed in a central London school and is already delivering substantial improvements in both temperatures and air quality.

Quoting examples, Monodraught managing director Tony Cull says the system reduced the number of occupied hours where the temperature was above 25°C, from 56% during the previous spring term to 0% in the last summer term. During the same period the number of hours where CO2 levels were above 1500ppm was reduced from 42% to 0%.

He adds that school staff also found that the system had a significant impact on the children’s learning, improving both concentration and behaviour.

Uniquely, this combination of energy savings, cost savings and environmental benefits, enables Cool-phase to meet the requirements of building regulation for thermal comfort, ventilation and energy efficiency in a single easy to retrofit system. And since no compressors or hazardous coolants are used, the system does not require the servicing and statutory checks required of air conditioning systems, further reducing running costs.

Cool-phase also has additional significant advantages over conventional cooling systems.

As external units are not required, the system is ideal where planning permission is an issue or outside space is at a premium; it is also modular and scalable, enabling it to be easily installed in small spaces or expanded for larger areas or densely populated environments.  And it can be installed as a stand-alone system or alongside existing HVAC solutions, to improve their performance and reduce a building’s energy usage.

Cool-phase is a registered trademark owned by Monodraught Limited.

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