Maintaining a comfortable and safe environment is crucial in large spaces and warehouses, where soaring temperatures can negatively impact productivity, wellbeing, and overall efficiency.
In this four-part series we will unpack the challenges faced when looking at cooling in large spaces and warehouses, why it’s more important than ever to tackle these issues now in the face of rising temperatures, explore the various cooling options available and dispel some common misconceptions about large space cooling.
The Importance of Warehouse & Large Space Cooling
Over the past few decades, global temperatures have been skyrocketing, causing warmer seasons to become increasingly hot and unbearable. In fact, July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded on earth, according to the Scientific American.
Additionally, heatwaves have intensified, becoming more frequent and prolonged, posing a growing health risk for warehouse workers and users of internal large spaces (such as sports halls) if effective cooling solutions are not implemented.
The Challenges of Cooling Large Spaces
Large spaces such as warehouses and sports halls pose unique cooling challenges due to their vast sizes, high ceilings, and often limited insulation. Traditional cooling methods have frequently proven inefficient and expensive to purchase and run, prompting the need for revolutionary approaches to tackle these issues.
Cooling massive spaces requires a comprehensive understanding of the specific needs and limitations. Factors such as occupancy levels, electrical supply limitations, equipment heat generation, internal fit out or racking, seasonal temperature fluctuations, ductwork positioning costs and limitations, and insulation play a crucial role in determining the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable cooling solutions.
Additionally, any air conditioning cooling system faces the additional challenge of stratification.
Understanding Stratification In Large Space Cooling
Stratification is the natural layering of air within a space due to differences in temperature or density. In larger spaces, stratification occurs as hot air rises towards the higher regions, whilst cooler air settles near the floor. This vertical separation creates temperature variations throughout the space, which can cause incorrect or inconsistent thermostat readings and creates significant challenges for the efficacy of air conditioning systems.
In PART THREE of this series, we will unpack and explore the best warehouse cooling systems that solve the many challenges of large space cooling… but first, let’s explore some more common challenges, considerations and requirements when selecting a warehouse cooling system.
Spot cooling is another important consideration in identifying the best cooling solution for large spaces. Spot cooling involves the strategic placement of cooling systems throughout a warehouse to provide targeted cooling to specific areas or zones, such as those occupied by workers, or where there is a need for temperature regulation for preservation of products.
Unlike traditional central air conditioning systems that cool the entire space uniformly, spot cooling focuses on cooling only the areas where it is needed. This allows for more precise temperature control while reducing energy consumption and wastage in cooling areas that aren’t used or do not require as much (or any) cooling.
Spot cooling can also overcome the challenge of cooling large spaces containing extensive warehouse racking or other fit out, which can obstruct airflow, cause uneven temperatures, and make it difficult for cooled air to reach floor level where it is needed.
By avoiding wasted cooling energy, spot cooling optimises the cooling process in large spaces, resulting in improved energy efficiency, sustainability and more cost-effective cooling solutions for warehouses.
Stay tuned for PART TWO of this 4-part series where we will dive deeper into the impact of uncooled spaces on occupants (such as warehouse workers or school students in sports halls) and why the latest sustainable warehouse cooling solutions can not only deliver energy and cost savings, but improved worker efficiency and other benefits.