Case Study: Technology Center Rents 'Plug and Play' HVAC Technology
September 2011 - MSThe Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, Calif., hosts a range of special events, including networking meetings, investment expos, and speaker forums.
“Sometimes, we have 400 to 500 people in our meeting center, and maintaining a comfortable climate in the room can be a challenge,” says Michelle Chang, Plug and Play’s event coordinator. “The use of portable cooling equipment from Atlas Sales & Rentals Inc., has solved a problem for us and provided an affordable solution.”
The event room originally was an outdoor area enclosed to create a large, atrium-style space that is partially open at the top.
“To provide cooling for special events, we tried renting a non-portable air-conditioning unit that would be large enough to cool the space,” Chang says. “It was not a practical solution because we also needed a generator to power the equipment and a forklift to move the unit in and out. After doing some research on the Internet, we decided to try portable cooling and contacted our local Atlas sales office to explore options.”
Atlas technicians determined the best approach would be to use multiple 1.4-ton portable air-conditioning units that deliver 16,800 Btu per hour of cooling each and run on 115-volt power. For a typical event, Atlas supplies eight units, for a total of 134,400 Btu per hour, or 11.2 tons. The portable units are mounted on casters, and workers roll them into the back of the room and connect them to provide cooling.
Atlas provides 25 feet of flexible duct for each unit to exhaust hot air through sliding doors. Condensate from the cooling process collects in tanks built into the units. Facilities also use a drop curtain to separate the portable units from the meeting space and to absorb sound.
Atlas technicians deliver the portable coolers to the site for installation the day before each event and pick them up the day after.
“It only takes an hour or so at each end, so there is minimal disruption,” Chang says. “The use of portable cooling only costs one-half to one-third of what we were paying before, and it is definitely much less of a hassle.”