By Megan Browning
Employees at Stratus Flight in Spartanburg, S.C., found themselves constantly seeking comfortable temperatures in the 18,200-sq. ft. maintenance hangar. During the summer, a lack of air movement created a sticky, stagnant environment, while in the winter the hangar lost heat through the ceiling.
Pedestal fans were brought in for air movement, but the noisy, ineffective fans only provided localized breezes, and the drop cords posed a safety hazard to employees. Stratus Flight needed to circulate air throughout the facility, under and around aircraft, to reach technicians throughout the hangar.
Out with the old, in with the new
Underpowered, outdated pedestal fans did not effectively provide adequate air movement for the large space of their hangar. Besides posing safety hazards with cords, these small fans are also very inefficient. High volume, low speed (HVLS) fan technology provides a one-stop solution for a hangar’s air movement and comfort needs. Unlike small fans that struggle to send air to the floor and only create insignificant pockets of air movement, HVLS fans gently mix air to stabilize air movement without creating a draft. These fans use patented airfoils and winglets to allow maximum air movement with minimal energy use.
Stratus Flight say they turned to Big Ass Fans to solve their air movement problem. After installing one 24-foot diameter Powerfoil Plus fan, employees noticed an immediate difference in the hangar. One Big Ass Fan replaced all the pedestal fans, reducing noise and eliminating cord dangers. “The main benefit is the consistency of breeze throughout the hangar without the noise and hassle of area fans,” explained Casey Childers, Stratus Flight’s director maintenance. “It is a much cleaner, quieter, more efficient way to create air movement in a large area.”
Salvaging the summer
Hot working conditions affect worker morale, absenteeism, turnover, quality of workmanship and the frequency of both absences and grievances. HVLS fans improve occupant comfort through increased air movement, which creates a cooling sensation as a breeze passes over occupants’ skin. Although ceiling fans do not lower the air temperature in a space, this perceived cooling effect can make a person feel up to 10 F cooler. Employees at Stratus Flight say they are now able to focus on the tasks at hand, instead of the hot summer heat. “Now, there is almost no place in the hangar where you don’t feel a breeze at some level in the summer,” said Childers.
Stratification occurs because air from a heater is approximately 5-7 percent lighter than cool air in a space and tends to rise to the ceiling. This can result in a significant temperature difference from floor to ceiling. Businesses waste dollars trying to reach a comfortable temperature for employees at the floor level while all the heated air is stuck at the ceiling. Big Ass Fans can be used to destratify heat by moving large volumes of air down from the ceiling without creating a draft. Even though the thermostat setpoint remains the same, the heating system does not have to work as hard to maintain that temperature. The energy savings achieved from reducing the amount of heat escaping through the roof is similar to turning the thermostat down three to five degrees, which can also translate to a serious reduction in operating costs. Childers noted, “The fan saves us money in the winter and it has been a very beneficial investment.”
A Solution for Every Need
Big Ass Fans says it has a solution for every space so if a 24-ft. diameter overhead fan doesn’t fit your need, don’t fret. Ranging in size from 5- to 24-feet in diameter, Big Ass Fans use efficient low-horsepower motors to move massive amounts of air slowly and gently. The company also has several new innovations including the portable 8-ft. vertical AirGo and 44-inch Yellow Jacket, a rugged, portable, mountable fan.
Both the AirGo and Yellow Jacket are available with optional misting packages with a fine atomized mist that leaves people feeling cool—not wet.
Whether a hangar needs to improve its heating efficiency, cool the workforce or a combination of both, HVLS fans are a proven solution.
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