Environmental Altitude Room

HEUCH PTY LTD were engaged at Victoria University to provide two Environmental rooms that provide simulated conditions as desired by the users of the room. The room offers the users the ability to set the humidity and temperature of the room. For this project two environment rooms were built, each custom designed to suit a specific purpose. The two rooms share a common control plant but each room can be operated independently and set to different conditions.

The first room was a Simulated Climate Chamber able to provide conditions ranging from -30C to +55C and humidity between 20% to 95%(when above +5C). This single user room allows an athlete to train in simulated conditions. Another possible application of this room is product testing.

The larger room was an Environmental Exercise laboratory designed to provide simulated conditions for the purpose of enabling a group of athletes to train in a controlled environment. This room is also fitted with a Kinetic© hypoxic system. Hypoxic air is simply air with the percentage of oxygen in it reduced. By piping in different proportions of hypoxic air the room can be changed to replicate the conditions found at high altitude.

A data logger was mounted on a switchboard. This data logger logs the room conditions and the conditions can be retrieved at a later time for analysis with the appropriate software.

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University Environmental Chamber

In 2003, Heuch was engaged by Munters Australia to provide engineering and equipment support for the installation of a new environmental chamber to be constructed at the University of South Australia in Adelaide for ongoing research and development programs involving athletes and various other personnel.

The equipment was manufactured in Melbourne, where it was matched to a master system by Munters. Heuch personnel attended site for the commissioning and testing after installation by University contractors.

Continuous site monitoring during this period was provided by direct connection between the unit controller and the Heuch Service Network. This allowed for quick and effective tuning of control loops and allowed Heuch Service Engineers ready assessment of potential areas by the monitoring software.

The installed equipment controls the room temperature anywhere between -10oc and + 40oc. A single semi hermetic refrigeration service compressor with a variable speed drive and electronic discharge bypass provided 0% to 100% unloading as required. This arrangement provided the maximum possible capacity turndown.

The equipment was split into four separate sections. There was a fan / coil unit, a packaged air cooled refrigeration service unit, an electrical control cubicle and an air distribution sock for the room.

The package consisted of:

  • A vapour tight housing made of 100mm sandwich panel. The housing has inlet and outlet flanges as removable panels to provide access for filter removal and general maintenance.
  • A return air roughing panel filter.
  • An evaporator coil with aluminium fins, copper tube and aluminium frames. This also allowed for a defrost cycle, as necessary, for operation at 0oc and +5oc room temperatures with high humidity.
  • A centrifugal belt driven air circulation fan.
  • The air cooled condensing unit was supplied on a common skid base and consisted of a large air cooled condenser, compressor assembly and all necessary refrigeration service components.

The compressor is speed controllable between 750 and 1750 RPM with electronic discharge bypass used to further reduce the cooling capacity and give full capacity control over the full operating temperature range. The air cooled condenser with multiple fans and epoxy coated fins will be cycled in response to the compressor discharge temperature.

A replaceable filter / dryer with upstream service valve was installed to allow for pump down of the refrigerant for ready servicing.

The following mechanical safety devices were incorporated to protect the equipment in the event of a fault condition, for example, compressor low refrigerant pressure, compressor high refrigerant pressure, compressor high discharge temperature and compressor oil pressure.

The electrical enclosure houses all the electrical equipment and has a Heuch DDC on board to communicate with the client’s input/outputs. The enclosure is constructed of heavy gauge sheet steel suitably braced to maintain rigidity and complete with hinged lockable access doors weather proofed to a IP55 standard. The enclosure houses all electrical controls and Heuch DDC equipment.

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