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Phoenix Controls case study

Phoenix Controls case study
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About Phoenix Controls


About Phoenix Controls

Phoenix Controls Corporation of Acton, Massachusetts is the world leader in the field of precision airflow control systems for critical room environments; laboratories, isolation rooms, and pharmaceutical clean rooms.  Phoenix supplies both Constant Volume (CV) and Variable Air Volume (VAV) systems, utilizing advanced venturi air valves and patented sash sensing technologies that are acknowledged as the best in the industry.

Their Celeris™ Laboratory Airflow Control System handles both airflow and temperature control.  BACnet™  interfaces deliver cost-effective integration.


Usage Based Controls™

The company is also an innovator, and the creator of Usage Based Control™ (UBC™) - an approach to laboratory design using precise containment and pressurization technologies to ensure operator safety, while significantly reducing energy use and mechanical requirements. 

Increased airflow for increased safety when a human entersThe animation demonstrates a typical chemical fume hood in a laboratory.  When someone enters or exits the detection zone, the "face velocity" (speed of the air flowing into the open area below the sash) automatically adjusts to a safe level. 

When no human is nearby, the Phoenix airflow control system draws enough air to deliver a safe face velocity of 60 Feet Per Minute (FPM), about seven-tenths of a mile per hour. This is shown as the black arrow with a white border in the graphic on the right.

When a human enters the detection zone, the Phoenix UBC™ raises the airflow to deliver an increased face velocity of 100 FPM, above 1.1 miles per hour, for increased safety.   This is depicted with the blue arrow in the animation.

Even Phoenix Controls' best traditional VAV system relies on the operator's compliance in lowering the fume hood sash to achieve maximum cost savings.  Studies show, however, that many users leave sashes open for long periods of time, although they are only working at the fume hood for a few hours per day.  Indeed, advanced sash sensing cannot reap the ultimate benefits of reducing all possible airflow.

Phoenix Controls' Usage Based Controls™ system is founded on one fundamental insight: safe operating conditions can be assured at different airflow levels, based upon user presence at the fume hood.  While Phoenix always recommends that fume hood operators lower their sashes, the UBC™ system provides safe and cost-effective operation independent of sash position.  When the operator is not present, the airflow can be reduced, with complete safety and substantial savings.  This system, applicable in both CV and VAV environments, lowers airflow at every safe opportunity.  UBC™ maximizes savings, but never compromises safety.


Accel® II Digital Airflow Control Valves

Phoenix systems utilize innovative electronic venturi valve technology; to provide speed, accuracy, and stability for the precise control of airflow and the achievement of maximum safety through fume hood containment and room pressurization.

Accel® II Digital Airflow Control Valves deliver:

  • Energy savings via high turndown ratios (greater than 20 to 1)
  • Safety via instantaneous speed of response (less than 1 second)
  • Pressure independence - unaffected by duct inlet and exit conditions
  • Guaranteed performance with a high accuracy (+/- 5% of actual commanded signal)
  • Reliability and low operational cost with virtually no maintenance

The next animation, in the top pane below, demonstrates how Accel® II valves regulate airflow.  A digital control (outside the duct and not shown) levers the cone assembly into or out of a venturi throat, throttling or increasing the airflow.  The example is a 20 to 1 turndown ratio from 1000 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) to 50 CFM.


Airflow regulation through the Accel II control valve
Airflow regulation ...

with pressure Independence

Pressure independence of the Accell II control valve


The last animation, in the bottom pane above, illustrates how Accel® II valves achieve pressure independence.  The example shows the valve maintaining an airflow of 575 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) during a pressure differential variation from six-tenths of an inch of Water Column (WC) to three inches of Water Column.

All Phoenix valves maintain a fixed flow of air by adjusting to changes in static pressure.  The cone assembly has a spring designed to compensate for changes in duct pressure.  When there is low static pressure, less force is applied to the cone, which causes the spring within the cone to expand.  As the static pressure increases the force in the cone, the spring compresses and the cone moves into the venturi to maintain the set flow.

The Accel® II family of valves, available in 8", 10" and 12" sizes, cover airflow ranges from 30 CFM (50 cubic meters per hour) to 6000 CFM (10,200 cubic meters per hour) while providing turndown ratios up to 20 to 1. 

Accel® II valves are capable of operating at dramatically lower sound power levels than many traditional variable air volume (VAV) devices - thereby reducing or eliminating the need for silencers.  Additionally, the valves help designers meet American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE)'s new, more stringent, room criteria (RC) scale of sound measurement.  Their ultra quiet operation combined with speed of response, pressure independence, and low cost of operations makes them the clear choice for critical room environments.

Phoenix operates one of the world's most sophisticated laboratory airflow testing facilities in which it helps planners and designers prove the effectiveness of their mechanical and airflow systems.  Click here to visit Phoenix Controls' web site.



Honeywell acquired Phoenix Controls Corporation as a wholly owned, yet autonomous company.

Controls form the basis of Honeywell's business - from the company's founding in 1885 with the invention of the automatic thermostat control for home heating, to today's position as a global leader in control technology.  Honeywell control solutions provide products, systems, and services that increase comfort, protect the environment, conserve energy, and enhance productivity and safety in homes & buildings, industry, and aviation & space.  Click here to visit Honeywell's web site.


Copyright © notice 

Logo, company name, Accel® II Digital Airflow Control Valves, Celeris™, and Usage Based Control™ (UBC™) are the copyright and trademarks of Phoenix Controls Corporation.  Logo and company name are the copyright and trademarks of Honeywell.  Vignette, logo, and graphics are used with permission of Phoenix Controls Corporation.  

BACnet™ is the trademark of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). 


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