We have yet to visit a manufacturing facility (including ours) that does not have a problem with equipment overheating.  Compressor and vacuum pumps are definitely the worst for overheating as they run constantly and under full load conditions.  It is ideal to keep a noisy compressor outside of the main plant, but protecting the compressor from the elements means possible overheating as it is difficult to build a big enough shed to handle the heat load. Rather than go buy a large sea can or simply build a larger housing, we decided to design and build our very own wind tunnel.   

If you are driving by our plant you may notice the new compressor structure off the back of the building. The base is made of steel so the entire structure can be moved easily for future expansion.  The bottom side of the steel base has 8" of spray foam insulation.

If you are driving by our plant you may notice the new compressor structure off the back of the building. The base is made of steel so the entire structure can be moved easily for future expansion.  The bottom side of the steel base has 8" of spray foam insulation.

The north side of the structure is the intake and has louvers to keep driving rain or snow out.   The north side intake means prevailing winds help to increase airflow.

The north side of the structure is the intake and has louvers to keep driving rain or snow out.   The north side intake means prevailing winds help to increase airflow.

Directly behind the intake are slide-out removable filters so all air entering the structure will be free of debris.

Directly behind the intake are slide-out removable filters so all air entering the structure will be free of debris.

Moving inside the structure, the entire intake wall is made of 6 electrically controlled dampers.  These dampers open based on the inside temperature so only the necessary amount of air passes through.  This is great for the winter months when almost no outside cooling air is needed.

Moving inside the structure, the entire intake wall is made of 6 electrically controlled dampers.  These dampers open based on the inside temperature so only the necessary amount of air passes through.  This is great for the winter months when almost no outside cooling air is needed.

Here is a view of the south wall with 2 of the fans.  You can also see the compressor and 2 vacuum pumps installed.  We sized the fans to completely exchange the air in the building in 30 seconds.  Notice the walls are also lined with white aluminum sheeting so cleaning the entire structure is simple.  Behind those walls is 6" of spray foam insulation to stop moisture build up and to make sure that the structure can hold its own temperature no matter what the outside ambient is.   

Here is a view of the south wall with 2 of the fans.  You can also see the compressor and 2 vacuum pumps installed.  We sized the fans to completely exchange the air in the building in 30 seconds.  Notice the walls are also lined with white aluminum sheeting so cleaning the entire structure is simple.  Behind those walls is 6" of spray foam insulation to stop moisture build up and to make sure that the structure can hold its own temperature no matter what the outside ambient is.   

All of the fans and dampers are thermostatically controlled through a custom programmed PLC.  At certain set points, dampers are opened and fans turned on so the minimal electricity is used and ideal operating temperatures are maintained. 

All of the fans and dampers are thermostatically controlled through a custom programmed PLC.  At certain set points, dampers are opened and fans turned on so the minimal electricity is used and ideal operating temperatures are maintained. 

A gable mounted cross draft fan was installed to add additional cooling as well as draw in warm shop air in the cold winter months to prevent freeze up.  

A gable mounted cross draft fan was installed to add additional cooling as well as draw in warm shop air in the cold winter months to prevent freeze up.  

Electricity service to the shed is 600V, and the appropriate transformers are installed to drop down to both 460V and 208V.  Notice the use of LED overhead lights to make sure maintainence and electricity use are at a minimum. 

Electricity service to the shed is 600V, and the appropriate transformers are installed to drop down to both 460V and 208V.  Notice the use of LED overhead lights to make sure maintainence and electricity use are at a minimum. 

Outside the south wall, you can see the flaps open for both one large exhaust fan and the gable fan.  As a side note, the white entry doors (left side of picture) were also manufactured in house at Lean Machine! 

Outside the south wall, you can see the flaps open for both one large exhaust fan and the gable fan.  As a side note, the white entry doors (left side of picture) were also manufactured in house at Lean Machine!