beams act similarly to chilled ceilings except that
they incorporate a convection effect. Chilled beams
typically have one or more conditioned water pipes passing
through a suspended beam; this is sometimes combined
with a fan that passes air through the beam cooling
the room air. The natural convection effect of warm
air rising and cool air falling is enhanced. The beams
also serve to cool objects in the room by absorbing
their radiant energy, just as radiant ceilings function.
Because of their lower contact area it is more efficient
to combine the radiant cooling with convective air-cooling.
Conditioning with chilled beams can
provide 30% energy savings over conventional air conditioning
systems. The beams may be active utilizing fans or passive
just relying on radiant energy and natural convection
currents. The beams can be used for perimeter conditioning
or as a main A/C system. The beams can provide heating
as well, but are typically used for cooling.
Chilled beams come in many shapes
and sizes and can serve as an attractive multi-functional
architectural feature by combining them with overhead