Did you know that the human body dissipates between 290 and 3800 kJ of thermal energy per hour? That translates into a power of 80-1050 Watts! Not only quite a significant amount of heat, but a huge variation in output depending on the activity being performed.

The heat produced by humans is often forgotten about when designing cooling systems for buildings. It is well known that industrial machinery and processes require cooling to ensure workers are kept comfortable, but what about spaces where many people congregate or even exercising? These buildings often require more cooling than an industrial plant!

The summer holidays also brings larger crowds to many activity-based facilities, with families flocking to trampoline parks, climbing walls and soft play. These facilities often require a cooling solution to maintain comfortable conditions in the hot weather. To be effective, they need to be designed to take into account the huge amount of heat produced by exercising humans.

Let’s take a look at how we can effectively cool spaces where there are lots of people that are producing a lot of body heat.

Cooling People with Refrigeration-based AC

From climbing walls to trampolining facilities, soft play areas to other gym and leisure centres, one option is traditional refrigeration-based air conditioning. These can run all year round, managing the heat produced by customers on a daily basis, irrelevant of the temperatures outside. 

Refrigeration systems are an effective form of cooling; however, sizing is very important. If they are undersized for a facility, then the cooling can be ineffective and inefficient. The systems must be sized for the hottest, busiest day of the year to ensure they work effectively, and this can be very costly.

Refrigeration based air conditioning works by recirculating the same air round and round, cooling it air each time it cycles through the unit, until the whole room gets to the desired temperature. If this air is particularly warm, it will essentially be continually cooling the air, requiring a lot of energy in the process. Not only this, but it will also recirculate odours and allergens which can be unpleasant in leisure facilities.

Cooling People with Evaporative Cooling System

Evaporative cooling systems are extremely effective in the UK due to the country’s temperate climates, providing guaranteed inlet temperatures below 25ºC all year round without the need for refrigeration. During the winter months, the hot air produced by body heat will simply be exhausted from the building and fresh air will be brought in from outside.

When the temperatures increase, it is more often than not a dry heat which has a low relative humidity. This means the air can absorb a large amount of water; therefore, we get the best cooling effect and inlet air will be cooled using this process. The evaporative cooling process also typically consumes less than 10% of the energy of an equivalent refrigeration system.

Working as part of a balanced ventilation system, evaporative cooling introduces clean and fresh air into your space and constantly replaces the internal air with fresh air, removing contaminants and odours. There is also no need for expensive filtration as this cooling solution exhausts sweaty, dirty air. With gym and leisure facilities being a place of physical activity, it’s important they always smell fresh and clean as well as stay cool in the summer.

System sizing is important as well; however, the systems are significantly less capital cost than refrigeration and are an ideal solution for cooling large spaces such as climbing walls and trampoline parks cost-effectively. They can also be used to spot cool areas of high footfall or hotspots within facilities such as cafes or play areas.

Gym & Leisure Cooling Systems from EcoCooling

At EcoCooling, we understand that the gym and leisure industry require systems to ensure the space stays cool in summer, warm in winter and well ventilated. Our EcoCooling Combined Heating and Cooling (ECHC) system does just that in an energy efficient way. Complying with local regulations and measuring CO2, this is an efficient solution that avoids unnecessary heating.

Our External WetBox Evaporative Cooler is another option for gyms and leisure facilities as these systems offer cooling without a fan – all you have to do is fit them to an existing ventilation system or air handler. This saves time by avoiding the need to disassemble and removing current cooling systems, meaning it’s a convenient solution for the summer just around the corner.

Be prepared for the influx of families during the summer holidays and the gym goers getting beach-ready by coming to EcoCooling for your evaporative cooling needs. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.