Portable Spot Air Conditioners in Industrial Applications: Your questions answered

Webcast presenter Jim Magallanes answers more viewer questions.


Jim Magallanes, President of Computer Room Uptime. Courtesy: Computer Room UptimeJim Magallanes, President of Computer Room Uptime, recently presented the July 30 Plant Engineering Webcast, "Portable Spot Air Conditioners in Industrial Applications: Increase Revenue and Create a Safe Working Environment." Since there were more audience questions than time allowed, Magallanes has responded to those viewer questions here.

The full archive version of the Webcast can be found here.

Q: How often do you have to empty the condensate tank in the portable AC?

Magallanes: It depends on how hot and humid it is at your location. Hot and humid weather (i.e. Southeastern US) will fill up the tank very quickly, maybe 1-2 days. In the hot and dry southwest it may take a 3-5 days to fill up the tank. From the fall to early spring it is very dry in Colorado and can a month or longer to fill up the condensate tank. Therefore it all depends on what part of the country and season you're using spot cooling portable air conditioners.

Q: What is the smallest size of a portable AC unit that can be used for a 10-ft. by 10-ft. area?

Magallanes: A small 10,000 Btu/hr portable air conditioner can be used to cool down a small 100 sq. ft. area. However if there is equipment inside the space you'll want to make sure you take that into account when sizing the air conditioner. The equipment adds heat to the space, and you may need to size up in capacity to handle the extra heat load. Smaller units that operate on common 115V go up to 16,800 Btu/hr cooling capacity.

Q: What about a cooling field survey prior to installing cooling equipment?

Magallanes: A cooling field survey is always recommended prior to installing portable air conditioners. During the survey you can determine how much equipment and space is required to cool, what electrical power is needed to operate the portable air conditioner, and if you need to duct out the warm exhaust air. If ducting is needed, determine the most efficient way to remove it from the building.

Q: How do you feel about a combination of passive building ventilation and portable AC units?

Magallanes: Yes a combination of passive building ventilation and portable AC units is a good strategy to keep your industrial space properly cool. This combination of techniques offers a very efficient way to cool your critical hot spots requiring a low initial capital investment with ongoing low operating expenses. The passive building will help with removing the warm exhaust air from the warehouse space, and may eliminate exhaust ducting altogether.

Q: So, a good rule of thumb is to keep the filters on AC units clean to maintain the efficiency?

Magallanes: Keeping the air filters clean on the portable air conditioners will improve efficiency and prevent the air conditioners from working too hard. The frequency on how often you clean the filters will depend on the cleanliness of the space you're trying to keep cool. The standard foam filters are very easy to clean with a wet/dry vac or with water.

Q: Is regular routine maintenance true for all equipment?

Magallanes: Portable air conditioners from a high quality manufacturer will require very little routine maintenance besides cleaning the filters periodically. The motors and compressors should all be hermetically sealed to prevent dust and moisture from entering, and does not require any lubrication. The only other preventative maintenance would be to check the condensate pan, tank, and tubing to make sure there is no blockage from debris. This will prevent the unit from shutting off unnecessarily or leaking water onto the ground.

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me