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Selecting the Laboratory Air Flow and Temperature Control System

Ken Kolkebeck, Facility Diagnostics Inc.


Laboratory airflow control systems have been widely specified and used for the past fifteen years. Systems being installed today represent the third generation of evolution, provide valuable operational data, and include the ability to integrate seamlessly into building automation systems as well as the Internet.

In this session we will review the current system offerings from the various manufacturers, what changes trends are emerging in airflow controls for lab buildings, and what the future holds. Covered will be systems for applications involving variable volume, constant volume, makeup air systems, and low flow fume hoods. The author will also discuss how to evaluate alternative systems for a given lab design.


Ken Kolkebeck has spent nearly thirty years in the control field, most of it in the specialized area of controls for critical ventilation systems. Ken holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Early in his career he was employed by Johnson Controls and Rosemount, and later as a representative for industrial control companies including Yokogawa. Ken was a founder of Tek-Air Systems, Inc. in 1983 and served for fifteen years as president of this leading manufacturer of airflow measurement and control equipment. Ken founded Facility Diagnostics almost two years ago to provide guidance to building owners constructing and renovating laboratories.

Ken has several patents awarded for airflow measuring devices and is the developer of two generations of systems for laboratory and fume hood airflow control. He is the past chairmen of AMCA's Airflow Measurement Station Division and a Co-author of ANSI's Airflow Measurement Device Test Standard 610.

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