How Chilled Beam Technology is Growing in the U.S.

In 2015, chilled beam technology was projected to grow nearly double by 2020. Now, projections are showing the U.S. will contribute around 28% in chilled beam system demands by 2026. This is largely due to energy efficiency regulations in North America. Currently building energy consumption is about 40% of the total energy consumption in the U.S. And, as a push toward lower carbon emissions continues to grow, it stands to reason, so will technologies that reduce energy consumption. Chilled beams offer major benefits in energy efficiency.

This is now, even more, the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. As buildings look for solutions that improve contaminant removal without raising maintenance costs. So, how does chilled beam technology help? Let’s discuss.

Why Chilled Beam Technology?

First, it is important to understand the chilled beam system. A chilled beam itself is an air distribution device developed to heat and cool large buildings. There are two types: active and passive beams.

Active beams have ductwork supplied to them. Passive beams do not have ductwork. This is an oversimplification, as there are many other differences as well. This is just the main way to tell active from passive beams. We will go in more detail in another blog. However, the main focus of this article is to discuss why this technology is getting popular. Even with the various designs, the main benefits include:

  • Lower operating costs
  • Increased comfort
  • Quieter operation system
  • Energy efficiency
  • Space adaptability
  • Consistent indoor temperatures

They are also very versatile systems. They can be used to condition several small rooms or a large space. Chilled beams are great for schools, hotels, office buildings, hospitals, etc. Chilled beam technology also uses 70% less air than all-air systems. Additionally, as an air-water system, they require fewer air ducts, if any, and therefore less space.

The Future of Cooling Technology

As technology advances, more facilities are looking to adopt chilled beam systems. Many see further integration with radiant, bringing possibilities for refrigerant-free technology. Also, further development will allow for full building integration with controls. This will help to optimize performance overall. Combined with DOAS, dedicated outdoor air supply, these systems can help remove air contaminants. It would be particularly ideal moving forward for schools, given the current pandemic.

Moreover, it is important to note that chilled beams don’t work as well in restaurants, gyms, and bathrooms. High latent load zones aren’t a good mix for this technology.

Installing New HVAC Systems

If you are looking to build or replace an HVAC system, The Severn Group can help. We design and develop HVAC systems that are efficient and are right for your building. Our expertise is with commercial HVAC and making the systems meet the requirements and needs of the facility. Contact us today to learn more. Also, make sure to check out our education center for more information on HVAC technology.