Chilled Beam Design Guide

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TB012309Chilled BeamDesign GuideTrox USA, Inc.4305 Settingdown CircleCummingGeorgiaUSA .troxusa.come-mail

ContentsIntroduction to Chilled Beams3Passive chilled beamsActive chilled beams35Chilled Beam SelectionPassive beams selectionPassive beam performance dataSelection examplesActive beam selectionActive beam selection examples272728313235System Application Guidelines8Benefits of chilled beamsChilled beam applications89Performance Notes38Multiservice Chilled Beams11Active Beam Performance Data39System Design Guidelines14Comfort considerations14Air side designWater side designControl considerationsInstallation and commissioning15192124Coil pressure loss dataDID600 series beamsDID620 series beamsDID300 series beams39445262Chilled Beam Specifications68Notice to Users of this GuideThis Guide is intended for the sole use of professionals involved in the design and specification of TROX chilledbeam systems. Any reproduction of this document in any form is strictly prohibited without the written consent ofTROX USA.The content herein is a collection of information from TROX and other sources that is assumed to be correct andcurrent at the time of publication. Due to industry and product development, any and all of such content is subjectto change. TROX USA will in no way be held responsible for the application of this information to system designnor will they be responsible for keeping the information up to date.2

IntroductionChilled beams have been employed in European HVACsensible cooling only applications for over twenty years.Within the past few years they have become a popularalternative to VAV systems in North America. Thegrowing interest in chilled beams has been fueled bytheir energy saving potential, ease of use as well astheir minimal space requirements.There are two basic types of chilled beams (see figure2). Passive chilled beams are simply finned tube heatexchanger coil within a casing that provides primarilyconvective cooling to the space. Passive beams do notincorporate fans or any other components (ductwork,nozzles, etc.) to affect air movement. Instead they relyon natural buoyancy to recirculate air from theconditioned space and therefore needs a high free areapassage to allow room air to get above the coil andcooled air to be discharge from below the coil. As theyhave no provisions for supplying primary air to thespace, a separate source must provide spaceventilation and/or humidity control, very typicallycombined with, but not limited to, UFAD. The air sourcecommonly contributes to the sensible cooling of thespace as well as controlling the space latent gains.Chilled beams were originally developed to supersedethe outputs achieved by passive radiant cooling ceilingsystems. Sensible cooling capacities of “chilled” ceilingsare limited by the chilled water supply temperature(must be maintained above dew point to preventcondensation from forming on their surfaces) and thetotal surface area available that can be „chilled‟.Obviously, this area is limited as other services(lighting, fire protection, air distribution & extract etc.)limit the degree of employment of the active ceilingsurface such that their maximum space sensible coolingcapacity is very typically less than 25 BTUH per squarefoot of floor area. As this is not sufficient for maintainingcomfort especially in perimeter areas, chilled beamsvery quickly became the preferred solution in so muchas they occupied less space, had fewer connection andmost importantly offered sensible cooling outputs 2 to 3times that of „chilled‟ ceilings.INTRODUCTION TO CHILLED BEAMSPassive Chilled BeamChilled beams feature finned chilled water heatexchanger cooling coils, capable of providing up to1100 BTUH of sensible cooling per foot of length andare designed to take advantage of the significantlyhigher cooling efficiencies of water. Figure 1 illustratesthat a one inch diameter water pipe can transport thesame cooling energy as an 18 inch square air duct. Theuse of chilled beams can thus dramatically reduce airhandler and ductwork sizes enabling more efficient useof both horizontal and vertical building space.(Exposed Beam Shown)18“ x 18“Air DuctActive Chilled BeamFigure 2: Basic Beam Types1“ diameterWater PipeActive chilled beams utilize a ducted (primary) airsupply to induce secondary (room) air across theirintegral heat transfer coil where it is reconditioned priorto its mixing with the primary air stream and subsequentdischarge into the space. The primary air supply istypically pretreated to maintain ventilation and humiditycontrol of the space. The heat transfer coilFigure 1: Cooling Energy TransportEconomies of Air and Water3

Passive Chilled Beamsprovides sensible cooling, it is not used to condense orprovide latent cooling.combine resulting in a higher velocity in the occupiedspace. Air discharge across the face of the beamshould be avoided as this can reduce the cooling outputby inhibiting the flow of warm air into the heat exchanger coil.Further discussion of the performance, capacities anddesign considerations for each type of beam is providedin the following sections of this document.Passive Chilled Beam VariationsPASSIVE CHILLED BEAMSPassive chilled beams may be located above or belowthe ceiling plane. When used with a suspended ceilingsystem recessed beams, TROX TCB-RB, are located afew inches above the ceiling and finished to minimizetheir visibility from below. Figure 4. illustrates such arecessed beam application.Passive chilled beams are completely decoupled fromthe space air supply and only intended to remove sensible heat from the space. They operate most efficientlywhen used in thermally stratified spaces.Figure 3. illustrates the operational principle of a passive beam. Warm air plumes from heat sources risenaturally and create a warm air pool in the upper portionof the space (or ceiling cavity). As this air contacts thecoil surface, the heat is removed which causes it to dropback into the space due to its negative buoyancyrelative to the air surrounding it. The heat is absorbedlifting the chilled water temperature and is removedfrom the space via the return water circuit. About 85%of the heat removal is by convective means, thereforethe radiant cooling contribution of passive chilled beamsis minimal and typically ignored.Figure 4: Recessed Beam InstallationRecessed beams are concealed above the hung ceilingand should also include a separation skirt (TCB-RBSkirt) which assures that the cooled air does not shortcircuit back to the warm air stream feeding the beam.Recessed beams (TROX series TCB) may be eitheruncapped (standard) or capped (more commonlyknown as shrouded) (see figure 5). Capped orshrouded beams have a sheet metal casing whichmaintains separation between the beam and the ceilingair cavity which is often used for the space return airpassage. This also provides acoustical separation between adjacent spaces.Figure 3: Passive Beam OperationPassive chilled beams are capable of removing 200 to650 BTUH of sensible heat per linear foot of lengthdepending upon their width and the temperaturedifference between their entering air and chilled watermean temperature. The output of the chilled beam isusually limited to ensure that the velocity of the airdropping out of the beam face and back into theoccupied zone does not create drafts.Separation SkirtFigure 5: Capped Passive BeamPassive beams mounted flush with or below the ceilingsurface are referred to as exposed beams. Most exposed beams (e.g., TROX TCB-EB and PKV series) arefurnished within cabinets designed to enhance the architectural features of the space as well as assure thenecessary air passages for the beam.It should also be noted that the air descending from apassive beam „necks‟ rather like slow running water outof a faucet. This slow discharge can be effected byother air currents around it and should passive beamsbe installed side by side, the two airstreams will join and4

Active Chilled BeamsTROX Passive Chilled BeamsPrimary airsupplyTROX USA offers 2 ranges of passive chilled beam asthe core engine behind the variants.TCBU series beams offer a full range of 1 & 2 rowrecessed and exposed passive beams.SuspendedceilingPKVU series beams are 1 row passive beamswith or without exposed cabinets.Figure 6 illustrates an exposed passive beam in whosecabinet other space services (lighting, smoke andoccupancy detectors, etc.) have been integrated. Suchintegrated beams are referred to as integrated or multiservice chilled beams (MSCB). As with recessedbeams, it is generally recommended that the crosssectional free area of the passage into an exposedchilled beam be equal to at least one its width. For moreinformation on these beams see pages 27-31.Figure 7: Active Chilled Beam Operationwell. In these cases, displacement ventilation and conditioning will be used to produce a thermally stratifiedroom environment.Active chilled beams typically operate at a constant airvolume flow rate, producing a variable temperaturedischarge to the space determined by the recirculatedair heat extraction. As the water circuit can generallyextract 50 to 70% of the space sensible heat generation, the ducted airflow rate can often be reduced accordingly, resulting in reduced air handling requirementsas well as significantly smaller supply (and exhaust/return) ductwork and risers.Active chilled beams can provide sensible cooling ratesas high as 1100 BTUH per linear foot, depending ontheir induction capabilities, coil circuitry, and chilledwater supply temperature. Later in this guide, you willsee that careful selection of the beam must be made toensure that high terminal velocities are avoided to maintain comfort, a beam is not just a method of providingcooling, but also a terminal discharge device that has tobe selected to suit the location, space and how thespace is being utilized.Figure 6: Exposed Beam InstallationACTIVE CHILLED BEAMSIn addition to chilled water coil(s), active chilled beamsincorporate ducted air connections to receive pretreatedsupply air from a central air handling unit. This air isinjected through a series of nozzles within the beam toentrain room air. Figure 7 illustrates an active beam thatinduces room air through a high free area section withinits face and through the integral heat transfer coil whereit is reconditioned in response to a space thermostatdemand. The reconditioned air then mixes with theducted (primary) air and is discharged into the space bymeans of linear slots located along the outside edges ofthe beam.Active chilled beams can be used for heating as well,provided the façade heat losses are moderate.Active Chilled Beam VariationsActive chilled beams come in a number of lengths andwidths allowing their use in exposed mounting orintegration into suspended ceiling systems, (their weightrequires they be independently supported). They can befurnished with a variety of nozzle types that affect theinduction rate of room air. Their discharge pattern canbe supplied as either one or two way while some beamsallow modification of their discharge characteristicsonce installed. Finally, some variants are available withcondensate trays designed to collect a limited amountof unexpected condensation.Active beams mounted above the occupied zonemaintain a sufficient discharge velocity to maintain afully mixed room air distribution. As such, they employ adilution ventilation strategy to manage the level ofairborne gaseous and particulate contaminants. Certainvariants of active beams (see discussion below) may bemounted in low sidewall or floor level applications as5

Active Chilled BeamsDID620 series beams are a low profile beam designed to allow integration into standard 24 inch wide ceiling grids. They are ideal forapplications with limited ceiling plenum spaces.DID600 series beams are also designed to allow their integration intostandard 24 inch wide acoustical ceiling grids. Though slightly tallerthan the DID600BU, their construction allows easy modification tospecific customer requirements.DID300 series beams have a nominal face width of 12 inches andutilize two vertical chilled water coils. As such they can be furnishedwith condensate trays to catch any moisture that might have unexpectedly formed on the coil surfaces during periods of unusual operation.Figure 8: TROX Ceiling Mounted Active Chilled Beams6

Active Chilled BeamsDID-E series beams are designed for high sidewall mounting in hotels and other domiciliary applications.BID series beams condition perimeter areas in UFAD applications.Conditioned air is delivered by a dedicated perimeter area air handling unit. This relieves the UFAD system of the responsibility of providing sensible cooling to the perimeter, resulting in substantiallyreduced building airflow requirements.QLCI series beams are integrated into low sidewall mounted cabinetsand to discharge conditioned air to the space in a displacementfashion. They are most commonly used for classroom HVAC as theyoffer significant air quality and acoustical advantages. In fact, they arethe only available terminal capable of maintaining classroom soundpressure levels compliant with ANSI Standard S12.60.Figure 9: Other TROX Air-Water Products7

Benefits of Chilled BeamsCHILLED BEAM SYSTEM APPLICATIONGUIDELINES Higher chilled water temperatures used bychilled beams may allow chiller efficiencies tobe increased by as much as 35%.Chilled beams (both passive and active) posses certaininherent advantages over all-air systems. Thesebenefits can be divided into the three categories asfollows: Chilled beam systems offer attractive waterside economizer. Unlike the case with air sideeconomizers, these free coolingopportunities are not as restrictive in climates that arealso humid. Maintenance costs are considerably lowerthan all-air systems. Chilled beams do notincorporate any moving parts (fans, motors,damper actuators, etc.) or complicated controldevices. Most chilled beams do not requirefilters (and thus regular filter changes) orcondensate trays. As their coils operate „dry‟,regular cleaning and disinfection ofcondensate trays is not necessary. Normalmaintenance history suggests that the coils bevacuumed every five years (more frequently inapplications such as hospital patient roomswhere linens are regularly changed). Figure10 compares the lifetime maintenance andreplacement costs for active chilled beams tofan coil units (FCU), based on an expectedFCU lifetime of 20 years. It assumes thateach beam or FCU serves a perimeter floorarea of 150 square feet.First cost benefits of chilled beam systemsChilled beams afford the designer an opportunity toreplace large supply and return air ductwork with smallchilled water pipes. This results in significant savings interms of plenum space and increases usable floorspace. Chilled beams can be mounted in ceilingspaces as small as 8 to 10 (vertical) incheswhile all-air systems typically require to 2 to2.5 times that. This vertical space savings canbe used to either increase the space ceilingheight or reduce the slab spacing and thus theoverall building height requirements. The low plenum requirements of chilled beamsystems make them ideal choices for retrofit ofbuildings that have previously used sidewallmounted equipment such as induction units,fan coils and other unitary terminals. Chilled beams contribute to horizontal spacesavings as their significantly lower supplyairflow rates result in smaller supply and return/exhaust air risers. The capacity of the airhandling units providing conditioned air to thechilled beam system is also reduced, resultingin considerably smaller equipment room footprints. Fan Coil UnitActive ChilledBeamTwice YearlyNAFilter Changes:Frequency:Cost per Change:Cost over Lifetime (20 Years): 30.00 1,200.00 0.00Twice YearlyEvery four YearsClean Coil and Condensate System:Frequency:TMLEED also requires that certified buildingsbe purged for a period of time beforeoccupancy in order to remove airbornecontaminants related to the construction process. The significantly reduced airflow requirement of chilled beam systems reduces the fanenergy required to accomplish this task.Cost per Event:Cost Over Lifetime: 30.00 30.00 1,200.00 150.00Once during lifeNAFan Motor Replacement:Frequency:Cost per Event: 400.00Cost Over Lifetime: 400.00 0.00 2,800.00 150.00Life Cycle (20 years) maintenance cost:Operational cost benefits of chilled beam systemsSource: REHVA Chilled Beam Application Guidebook (2004)The energy costs of operating chilled beam systems areconsiderably lower than that of all-air systems. This islargely due to the following:Figure 10: Life Cycle Maintenance CostsActive Chilled Beams versus Fan CoilsReduced supply air flow rates result in lowerfan energy consumption. Operational efficiencies of pumps areintrinsically higher than fans, leading to muchlower cooling and heating energy transportcosts.8

ApplicationsComfort and IAQ benefits of chilled beam systems1)Properly designed chilled beam systems generallyresult in enhanced thermal comfort and indoor airquality compared to all-air systems.Trading areas consists of desks where asingle trader typically has access to multiplecomputer terminals and monitors. This highequipment density results in space sensiblecooling requirements considerably higher thanconventional interior spaces while the ventilation and latent cooling requirements are essentially the same. Active chilled beams remove 60 to 70% of the sensible heat bymeans of their water circuit, reducing theducted airflow requirement proportionally.Active chilled beams generally deliver aconstant air volume flow rate to the room. Assuch, variations in room air motion and cold airdumping that are inherent to variable volumeall-air systems are minimized. The constant air volume delivery of primary airto the active chilled beam helps assure thatthe design space ventilation rates and relativehumidity levels are closely maintained.2)Although the advantages of using chilled beams arenumerous, there are restrictions and qualifications thatshould be considered when determining their suitabilityto a specific application. Chilled beams are suitable foruse where the following conditions exist:Mounting less than 20 feet. Ceiling heightsmay be greater, but the beam should generallynot be mounted more than 20 feet above thefloor. The tightness of the building envelope isadequate to prevent excessive moisturetransfer. Space moisture gains due tooccupancy and/or processes are moderate. Space humidity levels can be consistentlymaintained such that the space dew pointtemperature remains below the temperature ofthe chilled water supply. Passive beams should not be used in areaswhere considerable or widely variable airvelocities are expected. Passive beams should only be consideredwhen an adequate entry and discharge areacan be assured. Passive Chilled beams can not be used toheat.Broadcast and recording studiosBroadcast and recording studios typicallyhave high sensible heat ratios due to theirlarge electronic equipment and lighting loads.In addition, space acoustics and room airvelocity control are critical in these spaces.Passive chilled beams are silent and capableof removing large amounts of sensible heat,enabling the use of a low velocity supply airdischarge.Chilled beam application criteria Brokerage trading areas3)Heat driven laboratory spacesDesigners often classify laboratories accordingto their required supply airflow rate. Inlaboratories that are densely populated byfume hoods, the make up air requirement istypically 12 air changes per hour or more.These laboratory spaces are classified as airdriven. Laboratories whose make up airrequirement is less than that are typicallyconsidered heat driven. This category includesmost biological, pharmaceutical, electronicand forensic laboratories. The ventilation requirement in these laboratories is commonly 6to 8 air changes per hour, however, the processes and equipment in the laboratory canoften result in sensible heat gains that require18 to 22 air changes with an all-air system. Tomake matters worse, recirculation of airexhausted from these laboratories is notallowed if their activities involve the use ofgases or chemicals.Active chilled beams remove the majority (60to 70%) of the sensible heat by means of theirchilled water coil, enabling ducted airflow ratesto be reduced accordingly. Not only is thespace more efficiently conditioned, but theventilation (cooing and heating) load at the airhandler is substantially reduced as far lessoutdoor air is required.Applications best served by chilled beamsChilled beams are ideal for applications with high spacesensible cooling loads, relative to the space ventilationand latent cooling requirements. These applicationsinclude, but are not limited to:9

Applications4)High outdoor air percentage applicationsBlind BoxApplications such as patient rooms in hospitalstypically demand higher ventilation rates aswell as accurate control of those rates. Chilledbeam systems are ideal for these applicationsas their hydronic sensible cooling regulates thespace temperature while allowing a constantvolume delivery of supply and ventilation air tothe space. Displacement chilled beams suchas the „TROX QLCI‟ also offer opportunities forimproved contaminant removal efficiencies,reducing the likelihood of communicablediseases spreading to health care staffmembers.5)PassiveChilled BeamReturn AirGrillePerimeter treatment for UFAD systemsAs conditioned air passes through the openfloor plenum in UFAD systems, it picks up heattransferred through the structural slab from thereturn plenum of the floor below. The amountof heat transfer that is likely to occur is veryhard to predict as many factors influence it.However, the resultant temperature rise in theconditioned air can often lead to dischargetemperatures 4 to 5 F higher than thoseencountered in interior zones nearer the pointof entry into the supply air plenum. Suchhigher temperatures contribute to perimeterzone airflow requirements that are typically 35to 40% higher than that of conventional(ducted) all-air systems.Finned TubeHeating CoilSwirl TypeFloor DiffuserFigure 11: Passive Chilled Beams forPerimeter Treatment in a UFAD SystemChilled beams are also an excellent choice w h e r ethe vertical height of the ceiling cavity is limited. Theseinclude applications involving:Passive chilled beams such as the TROX TCBseries provide effective and reliable cooling ofperimeter spaces in UFAD applications. Figure11 illustrates such an application where thepassive beam is mounted above the acousticalceiling and adjacent to the blind box above anexterior window. Floor diffusers fed directlyfrom the pressurized supply plenum continueto provide space ventilation and humiditycontrol. Heating cannot be effectivelyaccomplished by passive beams, so anunderfloor finned tube heating system orradiant panel heating system typicallycompliments the chilled beams.1)Building height restrictionsBuilding codes may restrict the overall heightof buildings in certain locales. This commonlypromotes the use of tighter slab spacing whichreduces the depth of the ceiling cavity. Passivechilled beams can often be fit betweenstructural beams in these applications. Activechilled beam systems can easily be designedto require 10 inches or less clearance whenintegrated into the ceiling grid system.2)Use of passive beams for perimeter areasensible cooling can reduce overall supplyairflow rates in UFAD systems by as much as50%. This also results in a) smaller airhandling units and ductwork, smaller supplyand return air risers, c) reduced maintenancerequirements and occupier disruption, d)improved space acoustics and air quality.Retrofits involving reduced slab spacingMany buildings that are candidates for HVACsystem retrofits utilize packaged terminal units(induction units, vertical fan coil units, etc.)that are installed below the ceiling level. Assuch, many of these structures have ceilingcavities with limited depth. Chilled beams areideal for such retrofits.a10

Multi-Service Chilled BeamsMulti-service (or integrated) chilled beams incorporateother space services into the linear enclosures associated with the chilled beams. This allows fitting of theselected services to the beams within the factory anddelivery of elements that house all of these services tothe job site in a “just-in-time” fashion. Upon arrival,these devices are hung, attached in a linear fashion andmodular connections facilitate the installation of thevarious service systems.In addition, the outer frame is often customized to provide a visual appeal that is consistent with the architecture of the space in which it is mounted.Multiservice chilled beams can be provided as eitheractive or passive versions. In cases where passivebeams are used, a separate air distribution system mustbe provided. Oftentimes this air supply utilizes the cavitybeneath a raised access flooring system as a supplyplenum and is referred to as Underfloor Air Distribution.Figure 12 below illustrates an active multi-service beamand the services that can be easily integrated with it.The core of this device is a DID302 active chilled beamwhich incorporates a primary air duct (and plenum) achilled water coil as well as inlet (perforated face) anddischarge (linear slot) air passages. The outer frame ofthe device is designed to provide mounting surfacesand provisions for other services which are installed atthe factory prior to shipment to the job site. Some of theservices that can be integrated include: service fixtures provided with multiservice beamsare usually provided by others and issued tom the factory for mounting and connection where possible. Uponcompletion, the beams are shipped to the job site formounting and final connection.Lighting provided with these beams may be direct, indirect or both. In all cases, the lighting system designershould be consulted to assure that the beam design andplacement also provides sufficient space lighting. Fireprotection designers should also be consulted in orderto assure that the placement of the beams does notconflict with that of the fire sprinklers.Lighting fixtures and controlsSpeakersOccupancy sensorsSmoke detectorsFigure 12: Multiservice Chilled Beams11

Multi-Service Chilled BeamsMultiservice Chilled Beam DesignsThe Case for Multiservice BeamsFigures 13 and 14 below illustrate passive and active(respectively multiservice beam installations.Multiservice chilled beams offer numerous advantagesover conventional service delivery systems, notably:Note that the photograph in figure 13 includes a swirltype diffuser mounted in the floor near the window. Thisdiffuser supplies conditioned air for the ventilation anddehumidification of the space. The beams include alinear bar grille for the room air discharge and arecurved to conform to the curvature of the ceiling. Bothdirect and indirect lighting is provided.1.Figure 14 illustrates an active beam version where thefacial slots have been relocated such that they are notvisible and are integrated into the top of the beam, discharging supply air across the surface of the exposedslab. Again lighting is both direct and indirect in thecase of these beams.2.3.4.The photographs in these figures do not show a services corridor that runs perpendicular to the beams toward the interior of the space. This corridor is approximately the depth of the beams themselves and housesthe main ductwork, piping and other services that feedthe beams. These corridors may also house the returnair passage in case where the slab is exposed. As arule of thumb, about thirty (30) linear feet of beams maybe connected to each run leaving the service corridor.5.As the services are integrated into the beams in thefactory, quality control can be much better maintained than with field mounted services. Factorymounting involves the provision of proper fixturesto do the work and facilitates difficult piping andvalve connection. This also allows the final pipingto be leak tested after the components are assembled.Factory mounting of the space services reducesthe amount of required trade coordination on thejob site.All of the space services mounted in the commonhousing can be easily accessed for final connectionand commissioning as well as future maintenance.The design of the housing involves the project architects as well as the engineering consultants anddrives early coordination efforts as opposed to lastminute panics.The above advantages can result in significantreductions in the time required to construct thebuilding.Most multiservice beams are provided for exposed slabapplications but other versions can be provided to integrate with acoustical ceiling grids.The construction time reduction has made multiservicebeams very popular in the Europe, especially the UnitedKingdom. Cases where the building construction timehas been reduced by 25 to 30 percent have been welldocumented in a number of publications. Constructionschedule reductions of ten to fifteen percent result inFigure 13: Passive Multiservice BeamsFigure 14: Active Multiservice Beams12

Multi-Service Chilled Beamssignificant cost savings. In particular, fixed site costscan be retired much earlier. These fixed site costsinclude but are not limited to: Height RequirementsMultiservice beams may also afford opportunities forreduced building height and/or facilitate the retrofit ofbuildings with limited slab spacing. The integration ofspace services in the beam often eliminates the needfor an acoustical ceiling and allows the beams to bependant mounted directly to the structural slab.Communication and utilities servicesSanitation servicesEquipment rentalsInsurance costsOn a job with a two year construction schedule, thesefixed costs (which contribute nothing to the value ofthe project) typicall

Design Guide Trox USA, Inc. 4305 Settingdown Circle Cumming Georgia USA 30028 Telephone 770-569-1433 Facsimile 770-569-1435 e-mail . Figure 3: Passive Beam Operation Figure 4: Recessed Beam Installation Separation Skirt Figure 5: Capped Passive Beam . 5 Active Chilled Beams

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