Having analysed in depth all the pros and cons of the adiabatic systems on the market, Althermo designed INTELLIBATIC, an adiabatic system that combines all the benefits of a PADS system and eliminates its sole limitation. This led to the creation of the adiabatic system designed for Althermo modular machines which, by integrating AOP (Automatic Openable Pads / Automatic Movable Pads) technology with an innovative management software, gives Althermo dry coolers and modular remote condensers the highest overall efficiency compared to any other machine on the market.
Here again, the reason is simple. There are three types of adiabatic systems on the market which differ greatly from one another in terms of efficiency, water consumption, and maximum operating hours per year:
- LOWER PRESSURE SPRAY system: this is a very simple, low-cost system which sprays a fine mist of water (micro droplets) in the air sucked in by the ventilated machine. This causes the temperature of the air being sucked in to drop, increasing the delta T and as a result, the performance of the ventilated machine. The limits of this system, however, derive from the fact that these micro droplets can humidify the air up to a maximum of 80% and with an “adiabatic jump” of maximum 30%. This means that, in optimal conditions, a maximum 5-degree air temperature decrease can be achieved. Moreover, the finned block must be treated because calcium deposits form on the fins during use, causing corrosion in the long term. The maximum operating period is, in fact, 150 hours per year.
- HIGH PRESSURE SPRAY system: this system is similar to the previous one with added advantages, but more expensive. The water is atomised at high pressure, from 10 to 80 atmospheres by means of a pump. The resulting micro droplets are much smaller compared to the low pressure system (Misting effect) and the adiabatic effect is greater. An approximately 85% saturation can be achieved with about a 7 °C drop in air temperature. The limits of this system are the cost of treating the finned block, the loss of overall efficiency due to electricity consumption by the large, high pressure pump and increased noise emissions due to the addition of the pump. For this reason, the recommendation is not to exceed 200 operating hours per year for this system.
- PADS system: this is by far the best adiabatic system in terms of performance. In this system, the water passes through and wets a plastic or cellulose panel fixed on the inlet side of the ventilated machine. The air sucked in by the ventilated machine passes through the panel and absorbs the moisture of the water, lowering the temperature. PADS systems can humidify the air up to 94-96%, decreasing air temperature by 9 °C. Moreover, since the water does not come into contact with the finned block, the latter does need any surface treatment and the system can operate for up to 8000 hours per year. The PADS system has one major limitation, however. Under the normal working conditions of a ventilated machine, there are room temperature and humidity conditions that do not require the use of an adiabatic panel or make it efficient. Indeed, under certain conditions, the system prevents the passage of water. Under these conditions, however, the fan loses load capacity unnecessarily because the panel, even though it is not sprayed with water, hinders the passage of the air intake. As a result, the fan becomes less efficient because it must consume more energy to guarantee the same capacity. To achieve a perfect system, you would have to remove the adiabatic panel whenever conditions dictated that it was not needed.
In the INTELLIBATIC system, the adiabatic panels, when they are not needed, open automatically, controlled by the electrical panel, thus allowing the device to reconfigure itself to dry conditions as efficiently as possible. For this reason, the INTELLIBATIC system is overall the most efficient adiabatic system: it “independently decides” the most efficient configuration based on the actual environmental conditions. Thanks to the recirculation system, the INTELLIBATIC system also limits water consumption to evaporation, so the water consumed is only what is transferred to the air to lower the temperature.