Big Ass Solutions: Cassidy Elementary School, Lexington, KY | Big Ass Solutions
“The product takes a commodity piece of equipment and moves it to the next level through sound engineering and design principles. At first glance, one could say, ‘It’s just a fan,” but in reading all of the details, it becomes clear that the team put a lot of work and thought into the design, execution and testing of the solution.”
--Energy Manager Today Awards judge
After parents and observers reported issues with the industrial fans at Cassidy Elementary, Big Ass Fans stepped in with a recommendation. In prior research conducted at Oakland Unified School District, Big Ass Fans designed a custom solution that helped the school keep students comfortable without using any air conditioning in classrooms. The company’s engineering team tested numerous fan configurations to ensure air movement would be high enough for comfort but low enough to prevent papers from blowing off desks.
Meanwhile, Cassidy Elementary’s renovated library space, with its 33-foot ceilings, struggled with heat stratification, in which warm air rises to the ceiling’s peak. The HVAC system worked overtime to keep occupants warm. The school attempted to remedy the problem with large industrial fans, but the noise rendered them unusable. The originally installed gear-driven industrial fans were large enough to provide destratification but nearly doubled the sound levels in the library. When Big Ass Fans engineers looked at the Cassidy Elementary library space, they knew Essence by Big Ass Fans could improve energy usage with no background noise The team provided a custom layout using Essence fans, then installed two 10-foot diameter Essence fans, free of charge. Slowed to efficiently destratify heat, the fans move warm air off the ceiling without creating drafts. This decreased temperature differences in the space by 72 percent and HVAC runtimes by 15.7 percent.
Additionally, the data collected in the school’s library helped determine the ideal settings for energy savings and improved comfort in schools. The research conducted in this space will undoubtedly lead to future energy-saving and customized solutions for other schools, Big Ass Fans says.
One judge said the team offered a “nice analysis, addressing common problems that might arise.”