For nearly three-quarters of a century, Baltimore Aircoil Company (BAC) has developed innovative, cost-effective heat transfer and thermal storage solutions. BAC offers an extensive product line and company development underscores how R&D fosters this global leader’s growth.
“We’re a research-driven organization,” says Steve Jaczun, sales manager for refrigeration. “This investment leads to new products and services.”
Founded in 1938 by John Engalitcheff, Jr., the company experienced early success within the then-emerging refrigeration industry. It evolved into a worldwide producer of environmentally friendly technology that conserves energy and water resources.
Headquartered in Jessup, Md. – and part of AMSTED Industries, a diversified component manufacturer – BAC has wholly-owned production operations, joint ventures, and licensees located around the world.
BAC’s products include cooling towers, closed circuit cooling towers, evaporative condensers, ice thermal storage equipment, and controls. Further, BAC maintains strong client relations, servicing customers from application to installation and then to aftermarket requirements.
BAC’s products harness the advantageous properties of water, an abundant resource that lends itself to cooling solutions for refrigeration, air conditioning, industrial processes, and power generation. Water’s ability to change state (i.e., water to steam or water to ice) is perfect for evaporative cooling and ice thermal storage applications.
Bottom line: customers use less water. This is important. In parts of the world, water is as precious as oil. “It’s accessible but, in some places, very expensive,” Jaczun points out. “Through R&D, we look for ways to conserve both energy and water.”
Evaporative cooling forms the basis of many of BAC products. This minimizes energy consumption of an entire system by providing lower operating temperatures than possible with comparably sized air-cooled equipment. Air cooled units also use much more energy in the form of electricity to produce cooling when compared to water-cooled.
BAC’s broad product range includes four main categories: cooling towers, closed circuit cooling towers, evaporative condensers, and ice thermal storage.
Applications are wide-ranging:
- Evaporative cooling and thermal storage products are used in commercial HVAC applications.
- Cooling towers and closed circuit cooling towers cool condenser water for packaged chillers that provide cooling for: in-plant environmental control systems, jacket cooling for air compressors, metal or plastic molding machines, electric melting furnaces, and machine tool cooling, among other industrial applications.
- Ice thermal storage systems are used in new and retrofit air conditioning applications.
- Evaporative condensers are used in large built-up refrigeration systems, such as food storage and processing, providing performance advantages unmatched by water-cooled or air-cooled packaged chillers.
A world-wide enterprise, BAC manufactures in the United States, Australia, Belgium, China, Italy, Malaysia, and South Africa.
The most important facility related to BAC’s growth is its world-class R&D operations site. Here, engineers and technicians conduct complex tests, involving a wide range of environmental and system operating conditions that simulate real-world conditions.
New concepts are screened by computer modeling and put through rigorous testing. The equipment tested range from small prototype modules to full-scale cooling towers. In addition to thermal testing in controlled-environment chambers, BAC conducts a range of component testing. These include fan development, static and dynamic stress evaluations, accelerated aging and corrosion testing, hydraulic testing, and wind tunnel tests.
R&D impact is considerable: BAC has garnered numerous patents. “Innovation never stops,” says Jaczun.
The year 2011 was busy – new cooling tower technology, a new closed circuit cooling tower and two new evaporative condensers, among other product introductions.
BAC has been in business for 75 years. It offers the best technology to save energy and water. BAC continues to stand for doing the right thing for the customer, going above and beyond – whether that means developing the most efficient and advanced R&D facility, or working with independent certification organizations to ensure a level playing field.