Category Archives: Environmental Control

Mark this renewable day in your diary and celebrate

by Russell Jones ~ Communications Manager at Mitsubishi Electric

Russell Jones asks whether a whole day of electricity produced without burning a single lump of coal spells out the end of an era for the nation.

Last Friday, 21st April 2017 was a very special day for the UK as the country generated a whole day of electricity without needing to use coal-fired power stations.

This landmark moment is the first working day in since 1882, when the first public coal-fired generating plant opened in London when no coal has been needed to help supply power to the nation – as reported by many news outlets such as the BBC and the Financial Times.

Whilst low demand for electricity in the week after the Easter holiday is quite normal and Friday’s are the day of the working week with the lowest power demand, this move away from what has been a bedrock of the UK’s energy production since the start of the industrial revolution is a real achievement.

This shows how the nation’s energy system is changing to embrace low-carbon electricity production through the use of nuclear, solar panels, wind turbines and a switch from coal to biomass and gas-powered stations.

In 2016, the government reported that it was working to phase out the last coal plants by 2025 in an effort to cut overall carbon emissions.

As we move towards low carbon power generation, renewable technologies such as air source heat pumps become even more viable and attractive.

So it looks like we are really starting to see a greening of the electricity grid which is tremendous news for renewable technologies such as heat pumps, which consume electricity but use it to maximise renewable heating for our homes.

Earlier this year, we produced an infographic looking at the history of home heating so I’m delighted to see that we are starting to enter the last phase of that and set the scene for a low-carbon power generating grid, feeding low-carbon heating systems – all of which will help minimise energy bills for homeowners and aid the country as we strive to meet stringent carbon reduction targets.

We look forward to discussing this more on The Hub over the next few years as we strive to move towards a truly zero-carbon society.

At Mitsubishi Electric, we also love to discuss this topic over on our Green Gateway Twitter page, so please join the conversation.

Russell Jones is PR & Communications Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Living Environment Systems in the UK.

If you have any questions about this article or want to know more, please email us. We will contact the author and will get back to you as soon as we can.

https://thehub.mitsubishielectric.co.uk

Meet the new SL25 lightweight flood barrier from IBS

Worldwide leaders in demountable flood protection systems, IBS, have just released their smallest, lightest system to date.

Called the SL25, the new lightweight system is targeted at the property sector of the flood protection market and aims to capitalise on the company’s strong brand and product reputation in the wider flood risk management industry.

Drawing on all their experience from more than 2 decades in the global flood defence sector, IBS have designed the SL25 to be as easy as possible to install and more importantly, to require minimum effort to deploy before floodwater arrives. Major advantages of the new SL25 lightweight system include the ability to use it without intermediate posts for widths of up to 2.5m and for heights of up to 1m, as well as not requiring a ground rail* or recess along the bottom edge.

flood protectionWith a patent applied for and pending, this new system will allow IBS to continue leading the way in the provision of innovative new solutions for those people, businesses and communities that find themselves at risk of flooding

To request a brochure for this system or the company’s other products, please get in touch with the sales office on 01302 630015.

The SL25 lightweight barrier will be available for delivery from June onwards.

Tel: 01302 630015

www.ibsengineeredproducts.co.uk

flood protection

IBS Engineered Products Ltd is a leading supplier of flow control and flood protection equipment.  The main product range includes penstocks, stoplogs, glass flood defences, demountable flood barriers/walls and floodgates.

 

The history of home heating and the rise of renewables

Article by Ellina Webb ~ Marketing Specialist at Mitsubishi Electric

We’re all users of a home, whether we own it, rent it, or just occupy it and ensuring we have a comfortable and warm home environment is now seen as an expectation of modern life.

But it hasn’t always been possible to take a warm home for granted and things haven’t always been as easy as they are today.

Since the days when early man first discovered fire and used it to keep the ‘cave’ warm and the wolves from the door, we have found ways to refine how we use that flame.

From the wood-burning days through to the industrialisation of the Victorian age and the introduction of coal, lighting a fire has been the main source of heat for the home.

renewable energy

Until the turn of the 20th Century therefore, this open flame in a home wasn’t just for aesthetics – or to make you feel Hygge it was the only option available and for those petticoat wearing Victorian women, the hazard of accidental death from fire was a very real threat.

In the 1930’s, we started to see the introduction of electric forms of heating, and the introduction of a gas network from the 1950’s and 60’s, saw this fuel start to dominate the world of domestic heating.

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub

However, it wasn’t until the 1970’s and 80’s that we started to see an increase in central heating, predominantly using gas boilers and this still remains the standard for most.

But a reliance on fossil fuels; gas, coal and oil will soon need to become history because as we all know, we cannot continue like this.

So what does the future of our home heating and hot water look like?

As a heat pump manufacturer, you would expect us to promote air source systems but we are not the only ones saying it – The UK government has already recognised that heat pumps have a major role to play in keeping our homes warm and cosy well into the future.

By extracting and harvesting ‘free’ heat energy from the outdoor air, heat pumps are recognised as renewable and qualify for government incentives in the form of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

This is designed to offset the slightly higher capital costs of investing in renewables and is starting to have a significant impact on the traditional heating market as more people accept that they have to play their part.

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub
Heat pumps are suitable from a variety of homes including pre-1930s, 1930-2010, 2010 – present and new build / self build properties.

At the moment, this is also taking the form of adding a heat pump to an existing heating system but as pressure on new housebuilders grows to clearly demonstrate they are delivering sustainable homes for the future, the government fully expects heat pumps to become the norm for home heating.

The other important factor to consider is that as the nation ‘greens’ production of energy with the increased use of wind, solar and even tidal energy production, then heat pumps become even greener.

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub

So, the history of home heating has been an interesting journey so far but has relied predominantly on burning something to produce heat – a large part of which is often wasted up a chimney or flue.

In reality though, it’s quite scary to see how slow things have changed. It’s only now that the clock to a low carbon future really is ticking so we have to pull together to ensure we pick up the pace and move with the times.

https://thehub.mitsubishielectric.co.uk

The environmental lessons to be learnt from Dr Seuss

Article by Ellina Webb ~ Marketing Specialist at Mitsubishi Electric

To celebrate International Children’s Book Day it only seems appropriate to talk about a book with an overarching environmental theme.

The book in question is The Lorax by Dr Seuss which tells the story of the effects of pollution, deforestation and climate change after the forest of “Truffula trees” is chopped down.

Dr Seuss was a writer who was frequently inspired by political topics like the environmental movement, which allowed him to channel his negativity into magical and meaningful children’s literature – such as The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who and Oh! The Places You Will Go.

To some his underlying use of political themes might be viewed as controversial, especially in children’s storybooks, but as an adult reflecting on this story – which was a must-read of my primary school curriculum, the environmental messages are certain…and scary. Nevertheless, I’m glad that these books have subtly informed me and taught me that even though the world is full of issues, if you care, you can help to make them better.

To start, I’m going to give you a quick summary of the story:

A boy living in a polluted area of town seeks to discover what happened to the Lorax. To discover this he visits a man called Once-ler in the place where the “Grickle –grass grows”. While visiting Once-ler he hears the sad story of how Once-ler chopped down all the Truffula trees to fund his manufacturing business, destroying the home of the animals and polluting the air and water. This in turn drove the Lorax away and the Once-ler now lives alone and with deep regret of his selfish actions.

Re–reading the short story of the Lorax which was published in 1971, it’s clear what the important themes are that Dr Seuss has focused on and it’s sad that over 40 years later (and well over 20 years after the death of Theodor Seuss Geisel) these themes are still major issues that we face today.

So what are the themes and how are they still relevant today?

Deforestation

The major catalyst to the Lorax leaving was the cutting down of all the trees. The Lorax speaks for the trees “for the trees have no tongues” and unfortunately all his speaking did could not save them – especially as the innovation in Once-ler’s axe technology quadrupled his turnover of tree harvesting!

In real life and in today’s terms, deforestation is devastating to our planet and at the current rate of deforestation the world’s rainforests could completely vanish in a hundred years. The most common reasons behind deforestation are agriculture, logging and urban sprawl. The biggest impact deforestation has is on the 80% of the earth’s animals and plants that live there. While for climate change, no trees means dryer soils and less absorption of greenhouse gasses.

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Deforestation is a primary threat to animals like the Orangutan

Poor respect for the environment

If you work for a large corporation, the term Corporate Social Responsibility might be something you have heard quite a lot about.  Respecting the environment from a business level has thankfully become quite important in the past few years, but for the average individual, is respecting the environment still a challenge that we need educating on? In 2015 The Telegraph reported on a government survey that showed how only 18% of Britons are “very concerned” about climate change. So does that show that they have no driver behind pro-activity respecting the environment – like Once-ler?

It’s a question we ask ourselves over on our Green Gateway Twitter page (@green_gateway) so feel free to discuss your thoughts with us on there.

The importance of plants

As previously mentioned, less trees means drier soils and less absorption of greenhouse gasses. But on an everyday scale, trees and plants are so much more than that. Plants, like in the story of the Lorax, provide shelter, food, oxygen and water purification. Without the Truffula trees the pollution from Once-ler’s factory destroys the quality of the air and the water, changing the landscape and driving the animals away. Beyond this, plants also provide medicine and store carbon dioxide, helping us reduce the impact of other environmental threats like the burning of fossil fuels.

The impact of pollution

Aside from the physical impact of pollution, the Lorax touches on the impact of pollution from over manufacturing “your machine chugs on, day and night without stop, making gluppity-glupp. Also schloppity-schlopp”. According to Conserve Energy Future, any form of pollution can be traced back to industrial practices. This can be seen in countries that face a rapid growth of industry. The contamination and effects of this are so vast that they would require an article in themselves to do them justice. But if Dr Seuss’ exploration of this theme is something you want to delve into further, the more in-depth Lorax film from 2012 is definitely worth watching.

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Industrial pollution
Industrial waste is a large contributor to global pollution

So relating this back to International Children’s Book Day, I hope you appreciate why The Lorax is not just an enchantingly poetic story. It is also worthy of being in the realm of children’s classics, like his other work: Oh! The Places You Will Go, this has deep and touching meaning that will leave children and adults alike questioning their impact in the world we live in today.

Ellina Webb is a Marketing Specialist at Mitsubishi Electric

If you have any questions about this article or want to know more, please email us. We will contact the author and will get back to you as soon as we can.

All hands on deck for refurbishment of The Ship

When the owners of one of Plymouth’s most iconic building were looking to refurbish and upgrade the derelict office within weeks instead of months, they needed a team of installers able to hit the ground running, and a flexible heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system that would still deliver the energy savings needed.

HVAC

“When we first decided to buy The Ship we knew that the existing HVAC system was just inadequate and the whole system would need upgrading,” explained Rob Monroe, managing director of owners Burrington Estates.   “New tenants were keen to move in so we also had limited time in which to make the drastic changes that were required.”

What was needed was a company that would be able to design, install, commission and maintain a far more energy efficient and sustainable system and be able to do this in a very short space of time.

“We would normally expect the timescale for completion of a job like this to be three or four months and we were given 10 weeks,” said Kurt Hedgley, managing director, JCW Energy Services Ltd.  “Not only this, the client needed us on site just seven days from the date of receiving the purchase order.”

The company was able to build a team from a number of its nationwide offices and called upon the technical and logistical support of manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric.

“JCW Energy Services was a perfect fit,” said Monroe, “To finish a project of this size in the tight timescale given, I applaud their speed, organization, engineering team and work ethic.”

Built in 1993, The Ship used to be home to The Herald and Western Morning News but in recent years it has been left empty and was even being considered for demolition until a leading city property development company, Burrington Estates, acquired the building
Now The Ship is being restored to its former glory, and has been renamed Spirit of Enterprise with hundreds of jobs being created by the businesses that will take up residence.

Mitsubishi Electric

“It was clear that reducing the building’s energy consumption was of paramount importance to Burrington Estates, who are renowned for their sympathetic development of historic sites in the region,” commented Kurt Hedgley.

“We worked within our partnership agreement with Mitsubishi Electric who provided us with innovative support to ensure the most suitable system that could be designed, installed and commissioned within the tight deadline specified.”

For the first phase of this impressive project, 12 City Multi Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) outdoor condensing units and four Mr Slim split air conditioning systems were installed to serve 89 individual ceiling units.

City Multi was chosen as it could be installed in a modular fashion providing JCW engineers with the flexibility needed to work around the other elements of the refurbishment.

“We chose this VRF system because of its high performance and that fact that it only uses two pipes rather than the usual three which was ideal in a job with such tight deadlines,” added Hedgley. “It also comes with intelligent controls that make it easier to interface with the Building Management System.”

As a Business Solutions Partner with the manufacturer, JCW is also able to offer a seven-year warranty on the equipment.
With the whole building under refurbishment, it was also imperative that JCW engineers could work alongside a large number of tradespeople and engineers from shop fitters, life system installers to window cleaners and even mural artists.

Working around existing equipment was also a challenge with regard to integrating systems and negotiating new pipework around old. The shape of the building and also the positioning of the plant has added to the challenge with some units being fed through over 150 metres pipe runs, putting added pressure on the system.

“One of our engineers told me that this was one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding projects he’s ever worked on,” added Hedgley.

The final solution needs to provide a regular temperature, even with the architectural challenges of the building. It also demanded a system that can be easily controlled, provide the best energy efficiency and be sustainable.

“The energy rating will drastically improve immediately and our design provides effective, simultaneous heating and cooling which can offer substantial savings on the annual running costs,” explained Hedgley.

A complete planned preventative maintenance programme has also been prepared to run alongside the seven-year warranty.

The Ship’s next phase will include the completion of the restaurant and gymnasium for the use of the staff within the offices. And finally, the amazing Board Room with its spectacular views.

This will see the completion of the plan to breathe new life back into the building and see it restored to its former glory and become a major hub for business in the area.

Further details on the services provided by JCW can be found at http://www.jcwes.com/.

https://airconditioning.mitsubishielectric.co.uk

Diffusion Keeps Things Comfortable at Prestigious London Riverside Development

Diffusion HVAC

British heating and cooling equipment specialist Diffusion is supplying a large number of its Highline 270 fan coil units to provide heating and cooling at The Corniche, a new landmark development in London. This exclusive riverside development is situated opposite the Houses of Parliament and offers a selection of luxurious one, two and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses, boasting magnificent views over some of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Diffusion is supplying 580 of its Highline 270 units, an energy efficient waterside control fan coil unit that provides heating and cooling to both residential and commercial properties. The Highline 270 is fitted with high efficiency EC/DC motors and boasts a specific fan power as low as 0.16W/l/s and infinite fan speed control. It is the most efficient fan coil on the market, offering the best possible energy savings. These versatile 270mm deep fan coil units can be mounted in horizontal (ceiling), vertical (wall) and underfloor applications. In The Corniche development the fan coil units are discretely mounted in the horizontal ceiling void. 

“We are delighted that the Highline 270 has been selected to provide heating and cooling at this prestigious development. The Corniche provides exceptional living with apartments, offices, restaurants and a residents’ club lounge with terrace, private screening room, gym, infinity pool and spa. Residents will expect very comfortable living conditions and the Highline 270 will help provide this” explains Jon McDonald, Sales Director at Diffusion. “Thermal comfort is an important factor in modern homes and energy efficient fan coils offer discrete on-demand heating and cooling to homeowners.”

Diffusion’s Highline 270 is ErP Directive 2015 Compliant and has a lifetime ECO wire mesh filter, fitted as standard, that can be vacuum cleaned in situ or removed for cleaning elsewhere if required. Flexibility of design allows the Highline to be configured to suit a variety of installation requirements; including circular, rectangular and bulkhead ducted connections. Inlet and discharge attenuator options are available and the fan coil performs at system pressures up to 50 pa.

Diffusion has manufactured heating and cooling equipment in the UK for over 50 years, during which time it has established an enviable reputation for both quality of product and service. Its competitively priced product portfolio comprises a wide range of fan coil units, air curtains, fan convectors and general purpose heaters. Diffusion’s main objective is to deliver high quality solutions to meet clients’ needs, designing and manufacturing energy efficient equipment that can accommodate specific requirements in the most cost effective way, where the standard is never compromised.

For more information on Diffusion, please visit www.diffusion-group.com.

British Manufacturer Vent-Axia Wins at Prestigious CIBSE Awards

Vent-AxiaLeading British ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia is celebrating winning ‘Energy Efficient Product or Innovation of the Year’ at the prestigious Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Building Performance Awards 2017. Scooping the award for its revolutionary Sentinel Kinetic Advance Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR), the Sussex-based company received the accolade at Grosvenor House, Park Lane in London on Tuesday 7th February at an event that was attended by the biggest names in the industry.

Now in its 10th year, these respected awards recognise excellence in the built environment. This year over 750 people came to hear England International rugby star, Matt Dawson, announce the winners. The esteemed CIBSE Building Performance Awards recognise outstanding new and innovative products which significantly improve building performance. The awards focus on actual, measured performance, not design intent or performance specifications so only proven products are shortlisted and award winners are acknowledged as best in class.

Judged by a distinguished panel of industry leaders the ‘Energy Efficient Product or Innovation of the Year’ award recognises building services solutions that reduce the amount of energy used in buildings through the efficient use of energy by the innovation itself. Following a rigorous judging process the ground-breaking Sentinel Kinetic Advance was chosen as the winner of the award. The Judges were impressed by the Sentinel Kinetic Advance’s ingenious use of very modern technology, its ability to “deliver strong performance” as well as “ease of installation” and that internally it is made from all recycled materials. 

“We are delighted that our innovative Sentinel Kinetic Advance MVHR has won the “Energy Efficient Product or Innovation of the Year’ award at the CIBSE Awards 2017. To be recognised by the industry in this manner, and in such important awards for the built environment, is a real honour” said Ian Mitchell, Product Marketing Manager – New Build Residential,. “At Vent-Axia we are committed to innovation and continuous development and the Advance really is a new breed of MVHR unit.”

With best in class performance and offering near silent, energy efficient and high pressure operation, Advance is perfect for care homes and student accommodation as well as New Build residential properties. It extracts warm, moist air from ‘wet’ rooms through ducting which passes through the heat exchanger before being exhausted outside. Fresh incoming air is preheated via the integral heat exchanger which recovers over 93% of the heat energy that would otherwise be wasted.

Designed for air-tight thermally efficient new build properties, the Advance is the first UK-manufactured web-enabled App-controlled MVHR unit, providing energy efficient ventilation and pioneering control. Featuring groundbreaking commissioning and control via the App, Advance encourages best practice and high performance through simplified commissioning, saving installers time on site. USB functionality also allows pre-commissioning, thus saving time on developments with same specification builds.

There are many other benefits that this new technology brings. Firstly a key specification driver is efficiency. The Advance tops the PCDB list as the best performing MVHR system in its class, boasting a specific fan power of 0.38W/l/w with 93% heat recovery and airflow of 100l/s at 150Pa, offering high pressure development. This new breed of MVHR is not only efficient, it is also extremely quiet with trickle settings up to 40% staying below 20dBA, achieving the Holy Grail of high efficiency and low sound levels.

Offering a range of features that improve indoor air quality (IAQ) the Advance features a unique and innovative free App which residents can download onto their smartphones to allow them to control their IAQ. Via the App residents can boost the unit and view efficiencies and temperatures. Filters up to F7 grade ensure that even buildings in heavily urbanised areas can filter out most impurities, including damaging PM2.5 particles. A filter check warning tells building occupiers via the App or email when filters need changing, thus helping to maintain the quality of incoming air.

Developed for modern thermally efficient buildings, Advance also features a revolutionary programmable summer bypass to ensure year-round thermal comfort. The summer bypass is pioneering since it is fully automatic and truly intelligent, a first. The summer bypass is set for both comfort temperature and minimum external temperature. These settings enable the controls to determine whether it is winter or summer allowing it to run without resident intervention. 

For further cooling the Advance summer bypass has an evening purge feature that boosts early evening and then runs on a timer until about 10pm so there is no nuisance noise at night. Additional cooling is also available for periods of several days of high temperatures and warm nights. Here the Advance utilises a Night-Time Purge. This allows a building to be pre-cooled for the following day by taking advantage of cooler night-time temperatures.

For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590 or visit www.vent-axia.com. For further details visit on the CIBSE awards, visit www.cibse.org/building-performance-awards/2017-winners

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