As part of its commitment to introducing new fans to meet the requirements of soon to be introduced European legislation on energy efficiency, Elta Fans has added to its existing range with the launch of the ZOO (Zone of Occupancy) de-stratification fan. The fan has won through to the shortlist - one of 6 from 16 submissions – in the 'Air Movement Product of the Year' category in this year's H&V News Awards.

The ZOO approach is designed to prevent the need to overheat an entire space to achieve comfortable temperatures at floor level. The fact that heat rises results in thermal stratification, meaning that the upper areas of a space are typically warmer than the lower areas where it is actually needed i.e. the 'Zone of Occupancy'.

Overheating results in significant increases in energy consumption, particularly in buildings with high ceilings where the temperature differential between floor and ceiling is greater. This is also true in the months when cooling of the building is required. Again, thermal stratification causes variations in temperature which can often result in the over-cooling of an area to achieve the required temperature at floor level.

Elta's new ZOO fans are designed to distribute the heating or cooling evenly throughout the occupied zone, generating columns of air which gently force the stratified air down to the Zone of Occupancy, therefore removing the need for physical ductwork. In cooling situations, the fans can be used in closer proximity to operate as spot coolers, taking advantage of the evaporative cooling sensation.

The fans feature the latest in impeller technology: the FE2owlet sickle bladed aerofoil profile axial impeller powered by the fully speed-controllable Ziehl-Abegg external rotor motor. To reduce noise, the blade has been designed with serrations on the trailing edge of the wing, like the owl, hence the name. These serrations serve to muffle sound, with further noise reduction achieved by the incorporation of winglets, as seen on jet aircraft, on each blade. On an aircraft, the winglets are designed to smooth the airflow across the wing near the tip and reduce the lift-induced drag caused by wingtip vortices. The reduced vortices at the tip of the impeller blade lessen the turbulence and noise generated, as well as easing the path of the following blade, thereby improving efficiency and performance.

With the focus in HVAC increasingly on energy efficiency, the ZOO fan is specifically designed to address this. Not only can it significantly reduce a building's energy consumption, but the fan itself is energy efficient and quiet in operation. It is fully speed-controllable, allowing the fan speed to be reduced to the minimum necessary to maintain the required temperature differential. De-stratifying an air mass consumes more energy than simply maintaining equilibrium. Once the air is de-stratified, the fan speed can be turned down typically by 30 to 60 percent, providing a major reduction in fan absorbed power.

Alan Macklin, Group Technical Manager at the Elta Group, comments: "The projected energy savings for space heating range from 10 to as much as 40 percent by reducing the energy required to condition the air in an occupied space. Of the estimated 40 percent of the world's energy that is consumed by buildings, some 85 percent is used for room heating and cooling. It is therefore readily apparent that this is an area where any contribution to improving energy management can have a significant impact. De-stratification of occupied areas using ZOO fans will result in energy efficient ventilation and lower the operational costs of the building while maintaining good indoor air quality."

Elta Fans is part of the £85 million Elta Group, a family of businesses with operations in six countries on four continents which, together with a network of international distributors, provides quality fans and related air movement equipment to customers worldwide.