In many locales, winter brings low humidity and increased static electricity which can negatively impact manufacturing processes, printing and paper factories, electronic repair facilities, computer rooms, and factory floors.
Focused Humidification System for Avionics Repair Facility
“When I was designing the repair shop expansion I wanted an in-space humidifier as the existing in-duct steam unit hadn’t been performing well. I looked at various options and MicroCool’s Focus System was affordable and kept me on budget.”
– Yuji Yoshikawa, Panasonic Avionics, Orange County, CA
The Santa Ana winds typically bring extremely dry air and an increase in static electricity. After several winters of nursing an underperforming humidification system at their Orange County location and facing an expansion, Repair Facilities Manager Yuji Yoshikawa finally decided that he needed to find a humidification system that worked consistently to address these issues. Reducing static to combat the impact from weather changes was his first concern for his facility which specializes in repair on avionic electronic systems. When planning the repair shop’s expansion, Yuji received a high quote from his vendor to extend the existing humidification system which forced him to look at different options to improve or upgrade the humidification system. Yuji needed a multi-zone solution that could be trusted in the production environment to emit high pressure water fog where it is needed most, creating localized humidity. MicroCool’s proposal would solve the high maintenance issues of in-duct systems by providing a more energy efficient and reliable humidification network.
The issue of static electricity in a sensitive electronics repair facility can be an ever-present enemy that can’t be seen, and it’s not a small matter for solid state environments. The Electrostatic Discharge Association reports that hundreds of millions of dollars are lost every year in damage to product and effect on production costs.
MicroCool has devised a customized solution capable of creating humidity across various zones utilizing the Focus POD humidifiers that release fog as necessary to reach and maintain the set point. MicroCool’s high pressure water fog solution was far more energy efficient than the previous system of in-duct steam created by using electricity to boil water, a technique commonly used by other humidification providers. After removing the old hardware and replacing with MicroCool’s Focus System (Hummingbird pump, a custom Vector humidity control panel and Focus POD nozzles), the install team was able to adjust set-points determined by Yuji’s requirements, adding humidity to the repair shop across various zones.
The use of MicroCool’s in-space Focus humidification system that releases fog only as necessary to meet a humidity set-point, helped Yuji Yoshikawa create energy efficiencies within his facility. The streamlined, calibrated system of humidity zones was the perfect solution to combat static and maintain humidity requirements for Panasonic Avionics’ work on sensitive electronic equipment.
The Importance of Winter Humidification
Winter is not just about plummeting temperatures and snow. It is also a time of dry itchy skin, frazzled hair, nasty colds, and the flu going around. A major reason for all this is the excessively dry winter air inside homes, shops, facilities, and offices.
Dry air is not just a nuisance or minor health hazard – it can wreak havoc on your appliances, tools, and electronics. Winter is also the time when wooden furnishings, fixtures, and raw materials start cracking due to low relative humidity.A lot of these issues can be easily prevented by improving the humidity levels inside your establishment. You can accomplish this by using a winter humidifying system with a high-pressure water fog solution. It can effectively eliminate dry air and reduce static electricity.
What Is Static Electricity and Why Does It Matter?
In all atoms, electrons are stable particles that carry a negative charge. When two surfaces rub against each other, the friction can cause electrons to get ripped out of their atoms. These free electrons tend to congregate on just one of the surfaces, creating a negative charge there.
On the opposite surface, the lack of electrons creates a positive charge or static electricity. The electrical charging of materials through contact is called the triboelectric effect. If the surrounding air humidity (moisture in the air) is high, the water particles will absorb some of the excess charges, reducing the risk of electrostatic discharges.
But in the cold and dry winter air, there is less moisture to absorb the static charges and they can build up to thousands of volts. A simple act of walking across a carpeted floor can create a static charge at the soles of your feet.
If you come in contact with any electronic circuits at this point, the thousands of volts built up in static electricity can fry those circuits and short expensive equipment. In any region with cold and dry winters, static electricity buildup is a major industrial hazard for electronics and other equipment.
Static Electricity Humidity Level in Winter
With a modern high-pressure fog humidifying system, you can maintain a precise level of humidity inside your buildings, production areas, and storage rooms. Depending on the materials or equipment stored in a space, the ideal humidity level can vary.
However, if reducing the risk of electrostatic discharge is your sole concern, you should focus on keeping the relative humidity levels above 30% at all times. The ideal range is somewhere between 30% and 60%.
Many people assume that humid air prevents static electricity – it does not. Instead, what it does is absorb and evenly distribute excess charges before any damage occurs. Ideally, if you have expensive computers and other electronics, you should try to create static-free zones using special anti-static materials.
Health and Safety Benefits of Winter Humidifying Systems
Apart from damaging electronics, the static build-up can also create sparks when in contact with metals and other good conductors. If a facility has any combustible or flammable substances lying around, this can be extremely dangerous to the safety of the occupants of a facility.
A minor static discharge on its own can only cause minor health issues like simple shocks or frazzled hairs. However, dry air is not suitable for our nasal passages or skin. It can also increase the risk of flu infections. Installing a winter humidifying system can bring multiple benefits to your workforce.
It will improve the comfort levels inside your shop or factory drastically. When relative humidity plunges below 30% or 20%, the air starts absorbing excess moisture from nearby organisms and objects. Loss of moisture from the skin can lead to itching and severe discomfort.
By maintaining optimal humidity levels between 30% and 60%, you can improve the workspace comfort levels. This can boost productivity and reduce the incidence of health issues and sick days.
Get Optimum Humidity Level with MicroCool
When trying to protect your business equipment and staff against the harmful effects of static electricity and dry air, a MicroCool humidifying solution is your best bet. Our humidifier systems are highly customizable and come in a wide array of configurations that can fit any commercial or industrial use.
Choose a high-pressure fog system to significantly reduce static electricity and increase comfort with minimal water and energy costs. Contact MicroCool and a resident fog expert by calling us at 1-800-322-4364 or reaching out online to learn more about how we can help you and your business.
Fog Humidification Resources
View Directed Humidification video on right, and/or click link to download documentation (in PDF format) below.
For additional information, please contact MicroCool.