Inflation System

Frequently Asked Questions

Inflation System

How are the structural tubes inflated?

Depending on the structure size, there are some inflation electrical motors, each of them with between 1 and 4 kWh nominal power, and a typical consumption about 60% of the nominal power.

How are the inflation motors powered?

The inflation motors must be continuously connected and powered by an external power supply. An alternative power supply source (e.g., ground power unit, external generator) must be also installed, in order to provide emergency power supply whenever the main power supply source fails.

Does the inflation system include alarms, to inform about pressure losses?

BUILDAIR structures operation can be tracked and controlled by means of an Automatic Control System, which:

  • Traces real-time all the involved parameters (pressures of each tube, wind speed, blowers feeding frequency, fire detection, etc.). All this information is accessible real-time from any laptop or smartphone.
  • Automatically regulates the inflation motors speed, in order to minimize the energy consumption, maintaining the structural stability.
In the event of a power cut which causes the inflation motors to stop working, how long would the hangar remain functional?

Without any kind of power supply, the time for complete “M-collapse” (see picture below) depends on the hangar size: from 15 minutes for the small ones, to almost 30 minutes for the big ones. Time is enough for evacuation of the staff and most of the installations. It is also important to consider the light weight of the textile (just around 5-7 kg / m2), because in case of structure collapse, this 5-7 kg/m2 will not harm any person or installation inside of the hangar.

Which is the power of the back-up generator to power the inflation motors in the event of a power-cut?

Depending on the structure size, from 60 kW to 120 kW.

Is the Automatic Control System of BUILDAIR structures capable to start automatically the backup power generator? Is the control unit equipped with the uninterruptable power supply, and has it enough power to electrically start the stby generator?

If there is a power supply loss, the inflatable structure operator shall provide a commutation box, which will immediately and automatically switch the hangar power supply from the standard power source to the auxiliary power unit (e.g., external generator). Most of the generators include and provide this commutation system.

 

The generator will need about 30-40 seconds to supply electrical power to all the inflation motors. At the beginning of such 30-40 seconds period, the Automatic Control System detects the power failure in the inflation motors and makes a phone call to all emergency phones, to inform the operator of the hangar about the situation: the alternative power generator is working (important to check fuel level in the fuel tank), and the standard power supply must be repaired.

 

The Automatic Control System and the Commutation and Control units are power supplied by independent batteries, which last around 20 minutes. This time is more than enough, as the power loss will last around 30-40 seconds, until alternative generator provides power supply. So, if standard power supply fails, the Automatic Control System and the Commutation and Control units don’t turn off and keep working perfectly.

 

In the Automatic Control System real-time application (can be checked on any laptop or smartphone), the hangar operator will be able to see that the power supply changes from the standard power source to the alternative generator.

 

BUILDAIR User Manual, always delivered together with the inflatable structure, includes detailed explanations of these elements and situations.

 

Which is the typical inflation time of BUILDAIR structures?

20 – 40 minutes, depending on the hangar size.

Can you please inform about the estimated dB level of the installation during normal operation?

At 1.5 meters height, noise level is 75.8 dB at maximum power without the protection box, and around 68-70 at working pressure. The external metallic box reduces the noise level about 5 dB.

 

If lower noise level is required, BUILDAIR can provide acoustic protection inside of the external metallic boxes.

Do the inflation motors run continuously?

Yes.

Do the inflation motors require servicing, and which is the service period?

The inflation motors do not require specific maintenance, and can work continuously, 24 hours per day. However, it’s important to perform basic visual inspections on a daily basis:

  • Check that suction grids are free from rubbish, papers, etc.
  • Check cables, air tubes, etc.
  • Change air filters when dirty, especially on polluted environments.

BUILDAIR User Manual, to be delivered with the hangar will include a detailed and complete explanation of the correct operation of the hangar.

Are the inflation motors affected by high or low temperatures?

No.

Is it necessary to have spares?

BUILDAIR hangars are always provided with a complete spares parts package.

Do the inflation motors need to be protected in any way from snow, rain or sand?

The inflation motors are perfectly protected from external environmental conditions by means of an external metallic box, see picture below.

Are air filters required / supplied at the inflation motor air-intakes?

Yes, they are required and supplied with the hangar delivery.

What gases can be used for the inflation?

Only air, in order to keep a constant gas flow. I.e., it’s not used any inflammable gas. The pressure inside the tubes is very low (around 20 mbar over atmospheric pressure).