Commercializing “Q” Air Terminals: Addressing Challenges of Indoor Air Quality, Energy Costs, and Health Risks

Keeping the air in an office, dormitory, laboratory or school at a comfortable temperature and free of germs and odors requires lots of energy. NuClimate Air Quality Systems has designed equipment to address both indoor air quality and energy concerns. The product, consisting of induction units/ chilled beams, is called the “Q” Air Terminal. “Q” stands for “Quality.

Air terminals are the units that take air in and put it back out into a room. The NuClimate system, located in the ceiling, works by taking a source of primary, or fresh air, and mixing it with the inside air. Fresh air comes through nozzles at a high rate of speed into a mixing chamber. The resulting induced room air flows over a coil that is set to maintain a comfortable temperature by the room thermostat. The heated or cooled air then streams down into the room by a design that uses the coanda effect, the same principle of air fl ow that makes an airplane lift off the ground or a sailboat move forward on the water.

A “Q” Air Terminal moves air at a slower pace than more common forced-air systems, reducing the distribution of dirt and germs. And because the system operates on air fl ow principles, there are no electric motors or fans using energy, making noise, or needing repair and maintenance. NuClimate’s system requires duct work that is one-third the size of traditional air heating and cooling systems. This smaller size also reduces the architectural impact in building construction.

With access to research and lab facilities for testing and development at SyracuseCoE, as well as valuable networking benefi ts for publicity, NuClimate has been able to grow at exponential speeds. They continue to develop spin-offs of their original invention into different models, which possess the same induction technology.

John DiMillo, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at NuClimate, credits much of the product’s success to SyracuseCoE. “The Syracuse Center of Excellence kind of took us under its wing,” DiMillo says. “They’ve done tons of work for us. In 2010, SyracuseCoE successfully assisted NuClimate in its pursuit of the New York City School renovations, which begin in 2011.”

Recently, NuClimate developed a more advanced model for individual residences, cementing a relationship with Titus Corporation (a $5 billion corporation specializing in HVAC products) and the US Military. By June of 2010, NuClimate had shipped more than 2,500 units. The company is also in the process of developing a unit specifically for the hospital market.