TEST ROOM 3000
TEST ROOM 3000 is a the company's outdoor test facility, located at Cranfield University in Bedfordshire. It is a realistically sized room: 3.6 x 3.0m on plan x 2.4m high. The south wall can be removed to allow the installation of alternative constructions or building components.
The facility is available for hire to component manufacturers or building designers who require high quality outdoor testing of building components in a controlled environment. We pride ourselves in providing a comprehensive service, from experimental design using a range of computer modelling tools, through instrumentation and data acqusition, all the way to data analysis and report production.
The building uses novel construction techniques to ensure that tests can be carried out quickly and yet produce reliable results. As described above, the south wall of the room can be removed to allow the installation of alternative constructions for testing. The remaining five surfaces have heated cavities behind them. By controlling the temperature in each of these cavities the heat loss through the corresponding room surfaces can be programmed, thus avoiding a major drawback of conventional test rooms in which all the walls are exterior walls. Instead, we are able to mimic the thermal performance of a room in a real building, which is typically surrounded by other heated spaces.
Careful design and closely controlled construction have been used to eliminate unwanted heat loss paths. Edge effects, often a problem in test rooms because of their small size, have been effectively eliminated. Unwanted air leakage has been reduced to such a low level that it represents a negligible part of the test room energy balance.
The room is highly instrumented, with the readings of up to 160 sensors being recorded every five minutes. In its basic configuration 27 air temperatures are measured, along with 30 surface temperatures. Air velocity is measured using ultrasonic anemometry, and glass surface temperature is measured using non-contact thermometry.
To date we have tested a wide range of glazing systems, and a conservatory. We have also collected a large amount of data for the developers of both thermal and CFD models.
Data from the room can be made available to clients using FTP over the Internet. Normally this will be password protected, but some sample data is available to any visitor.
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