A well-known rehabilitation hospital in Chicago contained a room with five extensively used therapy pools. Therapy pool rooms present different challenges than normal indoor pool rooms. Therapy pool water temperature is typically maintained in the 90-degree F range with air blowers agitating the water for a therapeutic effect. Also, while room temperatures are set for patient comfort, therapists working in these rooms find air temperatures over 78 degrees F oppressive. In almost every case, therapy pool rooms present very large moisture loads in relatively small-volume rooms.
At this rehab facility, the original dehumidification system was misapplied initially and was not intended for the specific conditions. The system’s breakdowns and high operating costs became prohibitive. To make matters worse, the manufacturer had been out of business for years, and repair parts were not available. The facility contacted DCA's Chicago representative, who then worked with DCA for a solution.
DCA application engineers selected a DCA7000T-RA-CT dehumidifier to provide the moisture removal capacity needed at a reduced CFM required because of limited room volume. The new dehumidifier was also tied into the building’s cooling tower, providing room cooling when needed. The therapy room was located in the building’s interior where there was little or no heat loss, so room space heating was not required. Outdoor make-up air was ducted to the dehumidifier, while the dehumidifier's air circulating blower provided constant air circulation. The building's management control system controlled the dehumidifier.
A local HVAC contractor installed the DCA dehumidifier in a centrally located mechanical room. The work began on a Friday evening after hours, and by Monday morning the therapy pool room was operational with no down time. Staff immediately noticed that the room air temperature was maintained at a comfortable, constant 78 degrees F, and a wind tunnel effect created by the old system was gone.
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