Well-working machine room ventilation guarantees sufficient working conditions for the operators and for the process. Non-working ventilation can easily affect on product quality and cause problems for the production facilities due to the condensation and low/high temperature caused deterioration. This article describes how the machine room ventilation study can be performed to maximize the benefit of the results.
Evaluation of the current state
Evaluation of the existing ventilation system creates the base to plan the improvements for ventilation system. The following tasks will be done:
- Check-up of the earlier studies
- Flowsheet based analysis
- Measurement of the air balance (process and general ventilation)
- Discussions with the operators about the observations and possible known bottle necks
- Measurement of the air flows and air properties
- Comparison of the measurements and dimensioning values
- Mechanical inspection of the air system
- Measurement of the air quality inside the production facilities (temperature, relative humidity, heat index, dust index
Example of the measured conditions inside the machine room
Measurement data is collected into the report presenting the current status of the machine room ventilation and the process ventilation.
Evaluation of the alternatives for the future needs
Data from the measurements gives basic figures for the further analysis and is used as a validation data for the system engineering. Data can be used for the following purposes:
- Comparison of the data and the dimensioning values à Focus on the most remarkable deviations à To do list for the maintenance and further check-ups
- Validation of the calculation model to estimate air, heat and water balances
- Validation of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model done for the machine room ventilation.
Example of the CFD model prepared for machine room ventilation
After the validation the models are scaled and modified to present the future situation as follows:
- Dimensioning of the process ventilation system for the future production
- Dimensioning of the machine room ventilation to fix the existing malfunctions and to fulfill the new production situation
- Mechanical pre-engineering of the planned upgrades
Based on the measurements and pre-engineering the ideas and plans are summarized into the master plan which gives guide lines for the rebuild steps. Typically, master plan is divided into the several stages and it includes activities for both process and room ventilation equipment. Typical timeline for the master plan is several years.
With the machine room ventilation study the status of the existing air system can be evaluated and the master plan for the future rebuilds to be created. Study itself gives indication about the existing bottle neck and helps operators to improve the utilization of the existing machinery as efficiently as possible. Master plan will give the guidelines for the recommended improvements and steps to be done.