In 1990, the General Shelters Cooling Division – which would later become Portacool, LLC – entered the marketplace selling an evaporative cooler designed to provide economical, effective cooling anywhere. Proudly based in Texas, Portacool has always called the small East Texas town of Center home. In less than 30 years, Portacool, LLC emerged as the global leader in evaporative cooling technologies. The company boasts two brands – Portacool® portable evaporative coolers and Kuul® evaporative media. When looking at the company’s success, it is amazing to see the humble beginnings.
After six years in the industry, Portacool committed to manufacturing their version of superior evaporative media to utilize in Portacool evaporative coolers. In 1996, there was only one manufacturer in the market with one type of media. This media was missing certain characteristics and attributes needed for the various industries in which it is used. We committed to manufacturing our own media for one reason and one reason only – we felt as an OEM ourselves there has to be a better way. We asked ourselves why we should have to make our system conform to the available media? Instead, have the media customized to fit the needs of our cooling systems. While the journey was difficult, the commitment to customized media never wavered. This innovative and customer-centric spirit stayed true as we embarked on an aggressive and fulfilling journey to develop customized media that meets the unique requirements of each customer, channel, and industry.
All Kuul evaporative media is made with 100 percent USA-sourced materials. While the majority of Kuul evaporative media is proudly made in the USA, as the company has grown, global expansion has been necessary to best serve customers. In 2014, Portacool added an evaporative media manufacturing facility in Malaysia to exclusively serve the South East Asian markets with the same high-quality evaporative media which the brand has become associated. Live Customer Service support is based in Center, Texas, United States and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With a strong network of domestic and global distributors, Portacool, LLC continues to expand its worldwide market horizons while producing outstanding sales revenues from both brands – all from Center, Texas.
Kuul evaporative cooling media is a type of rigid evaporative media designed to produce significant temperature drops that are efficient and sustainable. Proudly made in the U.S.A., Kuul media is manufactured using the highest quality raw materials that are specially selected to optimize performance.
In the late 1990s, something interesting happened that put Portacool’s evaporative media products “on the map.” The market leader in media, and Kuul Pads’ biggest competitor, drastically changed their market strategies and began bypassing the major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to sell products directly to distributors. For years, OEMs bought products directly from the competitor and then sold the product to distributors. Suddenly, that was not the case. Distributors were now buying products directly from the competitor, which was a significant departure from their previous go-to-market strategy. This break proved quite fortuitous for the Kuul Pads brand. The product quickly began showing up at big poultry shows in booths where competitor products had been previously. Kuul Pads gained 20-30 percent of the market share the year our competitor made their distribution change. As a result, Portacool added more evaporative media production lines – a second and rapidly thereafter, a third and fourth line. During peak seasons – early spring and summer – evaporative media lines ran 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and still could not keep up with the sharp increase in demand.
In 2016, Kuul Pads underwent a rebrand and became today’s Kuul evaporative media. In addition to a new flashy logo, the company also began focusing on innovative research and development. This has led to the expansion of several series of products, all specifically engineered, designed, and manufactured with different industries in mind. For example, the Kuul Vitality™ series is developed for the agriculture industry and designed with the strongest, longest-lasting materials on the market. The Kuul Control™ series is engineered to provide the lowest pressure drop and highest efficiency with custom design options for any industry or market. Kuul Evolution FirePro™, a UL900 rated product, is one of the few inorganic products on the market designed for the data center industry that powers today’s demand for data processing, internet, and cloud connectivity. However, the technological advancements within Kuul evaporative media do not stop there. The future of Kuul evaporative media is bright with many projects currently in development. New research is being conducted each day to determine how evaporative media can be more widely used in the world in which we live.