Close Control Rooms and Environmental Test Cells – an in depth look

Close Control Rooms and Environmental Test Cells – an in depth look

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November 30, 2016 at 4:19 pm by Arcade Team


The development of Close Control Rooms and Environmental Test Cells continues to grow, with a wide range of sectors and set ups demanding sensitive air handling requirements. But, what exactly are they and how can you determine which particular environment you need?

Simply put a Close Control Room is a physical room with a fixed temperature and precise humidity conditions, with centres for scientific research being a key sector that have a need for this type of framework.  In comparison, Environmental Test Cells are specific chambers which provide various temperatures and humidities, often used extensively in product testing industries.

Here at Arcade, our expertise and experience covers both. Our work spans an array of specialist rooms and chamber environments, working closely with clients to develop environments that meet their specific air needs; whether that be in engineering, manufacturing or scientific sectors to name a few. We introduce you to just two of our air handling stories here…

We’re proud to have developed a large number of close control room solutions

We worked with CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research and one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research to help them meet very exacting standards.

A key project was the development of the CMS Pixel room for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider – the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. The operating conditions of the room needed to fluctuate from 21C to 10C at 40% RH. Why? The colder temperature conditions enabled scientists to analyse sensors from the CMS detector; an essential component of the research activity. That’s not all. A desiccant wheel was installed to dehumidify the air stream, with a dedicated air handling unit, electric heater battery, DX cooling coils and humidifier too. And that’s not all – with the room marked as a radiation controlled area due to the radioactive sensors and instruments, access was strictly controlled and materials had to be applicable for use in a radioactive environment. Project accuracy was essential.

Our Environmental Test Cells expertise has supported product testing industries.

Sometimes a room isn’t needed, but a very specific chamber environment is – and we can help there too.  We worked with a major paint manufacturer to develop two environmental test cells (specifically fixed booths); creating specific atmospheres designed to simulate areas and conditions of the world. The products being tested required set parameters for paint to be correctly applied to surfaces that were to be used specifically in defence and scientific research. Precision was essential, with a clear need to meet very exacting requirements for these two bespoke test cells.

Our scope of works included the design and installation of an air handling unit, cooling coil and humidifier to achieve the requirements of a fixed booth. The testing environment included a variable booth test cell too, with fresh air entering through filters in the ceiling and extracts through the floor. Air handling of this nature really does require a fine balance. The operating software had to perform at infinite set points and the equipment range had to be able to cope with both ends of the scale, leading to a significant air handling challenge. One we were certainly able to master thanks to our expertise. Our installation of a desiccant wheel to dry the air stream provided the low relative humidity and temperature conditions required.

Speaking about Arcade’s work in these environments, Managing Director Mike West said: “As experts in this field, we can design any room or environment, to the required size and layout; whether that be to modify or improve an existing room or to build something completely bespoke. Every client’s requirements are unique, and so is our approach. Our temperature control solutions are bespoke, our workings are flexible and we are proud to say that the results we achieve not only meet the set air handling criteria but surpass client expectations too.”

We’d be delighted to tell you more about our work or to outline the value of close control room and test cell environments.  With over 40 years working in the air handling sector, we’re particularly proud of our heating, ventilation and air conditioning knowledge, products and solutions. We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses across the UK and Europe to develop full turnkey installations in areas such as temperature control solutions, new and refurbished HVAC and water treatment systems. Get in touch here to find out more.


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