Another efficient design choice is treating just 10 percent of the air to maintain the proper air conditions, Bond says. The other 90 percent represents already-filtered air that the system has recycled.
Even the cleanroom's massive 20-by-19-foot roll-up access door contributes to the energy savings. The door offers a large opening to accommodate spacecraft parts and components as they are moved inside the facility. Despite its size, the door takes just a couple seconds to roll up, unlike similar doors at other clean rooms that can take up to a minute or more to open. In addition, the door rolls inside a spiral track, preventing the inside surface from touching the outside surface. The room, therefore, is exposed to contaminated, unfiltered air for shorter periods of time, drastically reducing the energy needed to treat large quantities of fresh air. Outside contaminates aren't transferred to the inside just by opening the door, either. Those particulates that do enter are then filtered and redistributed.
While MMS needed a relatively large space, other missions in the future may not. Therein lies another advantage of the new cleanroom, designed and constructed by CleanAir Solutions of Fairfield, Calif.
"It's versatile," says company president Kathie Kalafatis. Unlike fans in traditional cleanrooms that run at full throttle at all times regardless of the cleanliness of the air this cleanroom senses pa
|Contact: Susan Hendrix|
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center