Zoo Fans enhances their destratification fan offerings in a big way.
By being responsive to inquiries about ways to eliminate hot and cold spots and reduce energy costs in spaces with drop ceilings, they designed a new fan system specifically for T-bar/drop-ceiling applications.
"The ZOO Fans In-Ceiling Fan System can
be configured in many different ways, all of which improve comfort in
the ZOO, or 'Zone Of Occupancy.' This system can be used to eliminate
temperature differentials within any space with drop ceilings—open,
walled, partitioned, or aisles—and is effective for both vertical and
lateral installations." explains Jeff Benton, President.
"For example, by locating the intake at the top of
a vertical wall adjacent to a high, open-ceiling central area and the
exhaust(s) in a lower, drop-ceiling perimeter area, this fan system is a
great way to equalize significant temperature differences in a space
that is notoriously difficult to heat. With the added options of a very
effective ultra-violet air cleaner and a filter, this closed-loop system
removes most airborne germs, mold, viruses, VOCs, and particulates."
NED: How is this system different from similar ones on the market today?
fan systems for drop ceilings use axial fans with a protruding or
customized exhaust, then simply add a dome over an axial fan, with the
intake and exhaust right next to each other. In order to avoid potential
short cycling, unwanted motor noise in the occupied space, and to offer
a solution for lateral applications, the ZOO Fan In-Ceiling Fan System
separates the intake and exhaust, and utilizes existing HVAC components
that blend seamlessly with drop ceilings.
There is also a choice of an
inline centrifugal fan or a mixed-flow impeller fan, both of which are
designed to overcome static pressure and operate in this manner. ZOO
Fans’ in-ceiling models are very quiet and offer the added feature of an
ultra-silent version that utilizes acoustic ducting and specialized
motors that are ideal for noise-sensitive installations. This fan system
works well in ceiling heights from 8 to 45 ft, and is variable-speed
controllable to ensure occupant comfort.
NED: What problems needed to be addressed during the development process?
of the various components need to be compatible and suitable for
operation in this type of environment, so there was quite a bit of
consultation with fan engineers in order to identify and match fan
motors, intakes, ducting, and diffusers. This ensures that each
assembled system will reliably deliver the proper range of airflow for
each type of application. It had to be a closed-loop system that doesn’t
violate the integrity of the return plenum, and we wanted to be sure it
was easy to install and operate, either manually of through a building
management software interface.
NED: How long did it take from conception to ultimate production?
initial design was first sketched on a napkin several years ago—actual
engineering design through production took close to a year.
NED: What effect did cost factors have in changing the final design of the product?
are a number of shortcuts that could reduce the overall cost of this
system somewhat, but we opted to use Energy Star and other top-rated fan
motors, acoustic ducting for near-silent operation, and top-quality
intakes and diffusers. The UV cleaning system we offer is also
top-of-the-line and outperforms other air-cleaning systems on the
market. We think we’ve achieved the ideal balance between efficient,
reliable performance and price.
NED: Who is your target audience and what benefits will they achieve from using this product?
facility with a drop ceiling—office, retail, or commercial space—would
likely benefit from this fan system. By eliminating hot and cold spots
and equalizing temperatures throughout, comfort noticeably improves and
heating and cooling costs go down. The UV air-cleaning module is ideal
for hospitals, dentist and doctors’ offices, veterinary clinics,
restaurants, bars—again, almost any space with a drop ceiling where
there may be concerns about germs, viruses, odors, or airborne