Ductwork air pressure testing at Royal Albert Dock

Posted: Nov 27, 2018

Imperial Ductwork Services Ltd (IDSL) has been using a new air pressure testing machine to ensure integrity of the ductwork it has installed at the Royal Albert Docks in London’s East End.

MEP Case study image

MEP Case study image

The former docks are being transformed into the City’s third business and financial district with completion of phase one of this 10-year development expected next year. Phase one consists of over 600,000 sq. ft. of offices apartment and shops.

IDSL senior project manager, Kevin Barcock, explained: “In a project of this type, where a great deal of the ductwork will be hidden away in voids, it is difficult and costly to access if a leak was discovered after completion of fit-out works.

“The new ALF150 machine, which MEP Hire has recently introduced to its range of hire products, is ideal for this application, especially as construction is at a stage where multiple trades are competing for space and access.”

Manufactured by High Wycombe-based Sensing Precision, the ALF150 is easily transportable, simple to use and removes the technical complexities often associated with testing ductwork for air leakage. The compact unit includes everything needed to test for air leakage under positive or negative pressure. It uses conical inlet nozzles, which means the unit is a primary device, and the entire measurement range is covered by 3 easy-to-change nozzles designed to IS05801:2007.

This all-in-one instrument provides a closed-loop controlled leakage test, and the configurable test parameters include duct size, test pressure, test duration & test class. Once it is configured appropriately, the ALF150 control pod will calculate the maximum allowable leakage for the ductwork system and then run the test – first pressurising or depressurising the ductwork to the test pressure set, then monitoring the leakage rate, and finally indicating whether the ductwork installation has failed or passed the test.

The ALF150 is capable of developing static pressures from –2500Pa to +2500Pa, and flow rates from 1 to 150 litres/sec – providing approximately 140 litres/sec of air flow for Class A leakage tests, and up to 70 litres/sec for Class C and Class D tests and features PID controlled automatic test mode for DW/143, EN1507/12237 and SMACNA, and 0.5 to 7.5 seconds sensor damping/averaging.

The leakage rate can be calculated using ‘Actual’ conditions, or ‘Standard’ conditions; ‘Actual’ conditions provides a leakage rate based on the density calculated using temperature and barometric conditions input by the user at the time of testing, and ‘Standard‘ conditions provides a leakage rate based on a pre-set air density of 1.2 kg/m³.

MEP Hire’s sales director, Neil Collier, who has responsibility for low level access and fit-out sales in London, recently introduced the ALF150 to the company’s range of hire products. He said: “The ALF150 Air Leakage Finder fits perfectly into our portfolio – although it’s light enough to move easily around a construction site, the robust construction of the device makes it an ideal hire product; able to withstand the rigours of use on a busy construction site.”

On-site testing for leakage is only needed sporadically, so the unit’s simple operation removes the need to relearn technical skills each time. With ALF150, simply enter the test parameters, using the touch pad, follow the on-screen instructions, then wait a few moments to receive the confirmation of “pass” or “fail”.

Andrew Hamshere, Sensing Precision’s operations director, said: “The ALF150 is an ideal unit for general site use to pressure test ductwork during installation and commissioning. The compact design of this unit, weighing just 20kgs, makes it easily portable around the site; ideal for one man lift and operation.”

This project was covered in the February 2019 issue of Refurb Projects: