Interview with Nick Wolgamott
NJK Precision’s airflow measuring station allows operators to precisely adjust a facility’s air quality in ways that improve comfort, health, and workplace productivity. It features a patented dual-chambered airfoil design which allows dynamic normalization of turbulent airflows inherent in the ductwork. In addition, NJK Precision flow sensor probes can be placed in a wide range of locations, making it easy for engineers and installers to adapt to existing conditions without compromising sensor accuracy.
Nick Wolgamott, the vice president of engineering at NJK Precision and the inventor of its airflow measuring stations, first came up with the idea in 2010 while he was involved in engineering for the high-performance automotive industry. At the time, he was building lab-grade flow meters and working with fuel injection systems that were required to precisely measure the amount of air going into an engine.
“I’m constantly taking classes and educating myself further on subjects that interest me,” Wolgamott says. “I took some HVAC classes where they discussed airflow measurement. To me, the commonplace systems at the time were very archaic compared to the work that we were doing with race cars and lab grade systems.”
With this realization in hand, and leaning on his automotive background, Wolgamott began designing a simplified HVAC air measurement system that was also more accurate and reliable than competitive products.
“What I ended up developing was a blend between what the industry was using and what we were using in lab-grade technology,” he explains. “I used the KISS rule when I started designing because I wanted it to be robust, and I wanted it to be reliable, which is essential in automotive. Parts need to last and remain accurate.”
Industries Using Airflow Measuring Stations
NJK Precision’s stations are installed in healthcare facilities, commercial buildings, manufacturing plants, and education. Many cutting-edge schools are trying new technologies to cut down on their energy usage are using these systems.
Airflow and building pressurization are critical in operating rooms and hospitals. In healthcare facilities, some rooms must have positive airflow to manage airborne contaminants. Other rooms need negative pressure to contain or restrict air. “If you do not measure the supply of the outside air and the return air flows exactly, errors will occur,” Wolgamott notes. “Because of NJK Precision’s accuracy and dependability, our systems are quite popular in hospitals. They are confident that when they get a measurement, it’s going to be precise and stay precise for a long time.”
Simplicity, Durability, and Accuracy
NJK Precision’s airflow measuring stations are designed to be simple. The system is robust, and there are fewer parts that have the potential for errors. For example, there is only one sensing probe instead of multiple probes in an array, resulting in fewer failure points. This simplicity also equates to easy maintenance. If the system gets dirty, only one part needs to be cleaned. The durability comes from the aluminum flow frame, which is anodized and corrosion-proof. The pieces are also simple to install in new installations and in retrofits.
The sensors used are thin-film resistors, as opposed to hotwire, so they run at a much cooler temperature. “Cooler temperatures make parts last longer,” Wolgamott explains. “If things like debris land on the measuring wire, it’s a lot less likely that they will burn, get fused to the wire, or cause other issues.”
He continues, “NJK is accurate at high airflows and very low airflows. That’s super important because those low airflows are what creates efficiencies and saves money.”
Additionally, the airflow measuring station is modular. There is one main communications module with a multi-sensor system that houses the display and the controls, and multiple sensors can be run off that single display. “You can have one unit with six different airflow stations,” Wolgamott explains. “That saves on installation costs because all of the wires run to one place instead of six different places.”
This also makes the system much easier to install and easy to upgrade. Wolgamott shares an example, “You may need only outside airflow measurement now, but later on, you might want to add supply and return. With the NJK Precision product, you can start with a multi-sensor unit with only one sensor. And you could add two sensors later and save quite a bit in cost.”
Different Than Anything on the Market
“This technology is really game-changing,” Wolgamott states. “It’s so different from everything else out there that even engineers question how it works. People don’t understand how this thing can use one sensor and can still measure accurately.”
He continues, “It uses the same well-known lift principles an airplane uses to fly. The way that I put these different principles together made something that was simple and elegant. And it just worked really well.”
“Take the Theory of Relativity: E=MC²,” he says. “It’s a super simple equation. It’s not 10 miles long, but it does a lot of really cool stuff. So, every once in a while, you find the right combination of things that seems simple at first but is loaded with potential.”
“When people see how NJK Precisions’ airflow measuring stations work,” Wolgamott adds, “and they understand the science behind it, it becomes clear that NJK Precision offers super reliable, long-lasting, accurate airflow management. It’s just a really great product.”
Want to Learn More About NJK Precision?
Coward Environmental Systems, Inc. is proud to represent NJK Precision in the Philadelphia region, Central PA, Delaware, and Maryland. Contact us today to discover how NJK Precision can be a part of your next project.