Environmental Control Units (ECUs) are similar to Portable HVAC (also called portable climate control) but differ in that ECUs are typically engineered for military applications. That means that ECUs need to meet military requirements and they need to be able to stand-up to military environments and conditions. ECUs are commonly built with COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) components. Testing will follow a military standard like MIL-STD-810.
Though most ECUs have a military application they are sometimes used commercially. Satellite broadcasting, airplanes, sleeper cabins for long-range trucking, and some laboratory environments are examples.
ECUs offer heating, cooling, and sometimes humidity control for rigid and soft shell (tent) structures, containers, vehicles, aircraft, weapon systems, mobile hospitals, base camps, aircraft hangers, and communications enclosures. Durability, portability, and rapid deployment are all important factors.
ECUs come in different forms big and small. Horizontal, vertical, split (evaporator inside, condenser outside) and trailer mount are most common. Process air is measured in tons and output of cooling or heating is measured in BTUs.
Some units are designed for heating and cooling while others are primarily used for just one purpose. Units designed for telecommunication shelters, for example, tend to emphasize cooling as the electronics in those structures put out a lot of heat. The heater aspect of the unit will handle a lower kW amount often with upgrade options. The heater may also exist as a means of keeping the coils from freezing. Adding significant heat to a telecom shelter becomes relevant only in the coldest regions of our planet. Those units have robust heaters to maintain a safe working temperature.
Tutco-Farnam designs and manufactures custom heating elements for ECUs, APUs (Auxiliary Power Units), and other climate control devices. Durable. Reliable. Custom. Contact a Tutco-Farnam engineer today to see what we can do for you.