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Illustrated guide to mechanical cooling - new BSRIA guidanceMay 2010

Mechanical cooling covers everything from earth ducts to absorption refrigeration. Roderic Bunn shows how BSRIA's new Illustrated Guide to Mechanical Cooling will demystify it all.

BG1/2010 Illustrated Guide to Mechanical Cooling is available from BSRIA in both hard copy and pdf.

As the world inexorably heats up, we're going to have to keep our cool - literally and metaphorically. Very soon buildings will need to be cooled more often than they'll need to be heated, and we'll need to find far more efficient ways of doing this if the energy and CO2 targets are to be met.

Mechanical cooling covers a wide range of passive and active techniques. With some inventive design, much of a building's cooling needs can be done by recourse to natural resources, such as the use of ground water. At the more complex end, equipment known as absorption chillers can utilise hot water to create cold water.

Engineers might know all this, but not all clients will. And have you ever tried explaining the absorption cycle to a lay client? It's not easy.

BSRIA's illustrated guides are an excellent way of filling gaps in knowledge. The latest in the series, BG1/2010 Illustrated Guide to Mechanical Cooling, runs through the entire gamut of cooling techniques and technologies, explaining the systems in easy and accessible language. As usual with BSRIA's illustrated guides, simple illustrations also provide a deeper insight to the workings of quite arcane concepts.

The guide starts with a general overview of the various cooling systems and their purpose in maintaining comfortable conditions in buildings. It then describes the main mechanical refrigeration systems and their application principles, the types of refrigerants available, and the various ways in which renewable forms of energy can be used. The guide goes on to explain the various ways in which the cooling can be delivered to an occupied space.

Mechanical cooling systems can be both augmented and/or boosted by passive design measures, such as thermally heavyweight and well-insulated building structures. Some systems, such as ground-coupling, can provide what is known as free cooling. This can significantly reduce or even eliminate the electrical energy required to cool air or water. These approaches are also described in the guide, even though many of them are not strictly mechanical in nature.

BG1/2010 Illustrated Guide to Mechanical Cooling also provides some key commissioning and maintenance guidance, along with key design checks for each technology described.

BG1/2010 Illustrated Guide to Mechanical Cooling is available at £25 to BSRIA Members and £50 to non-members. BSRIA Members can also download a PDF for free from from the BSRIA Infonet, the members' on-line service.

The Mechanical Cooling guide is also available as a discounted set of all BSRIA's illustrated guides, covering mechanical building services, electrical building services, ventilation and renewables.

To order visit the links above or contact the BSRIA Bookshop direct:

T: 01344 465529