Tag Archives: air conditioning

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

A host of energy saving options for commercial buildings

ENERGY SAVING

A new brochure from Mitsubishi Electric highlights all of the central plant solutions that the company can offer to help reduce energy consumption in our built environment.

Commercial buildings in the UK remain massive consumers of energy and, at the same time, the nation has to address the need to reduce emissions if we are ever to meet ambitious carbon reduction targets.

“Our occupied spaces have to be made more energy-efficient, less carbon intensive and incorporate renewable energy where possible,” explains Graham Temple, Marketing Manager for the company..

Key drivers, from climate change and fuel poverty to Government legislation and increasing consumer pressure, are leading to changes in how we produce and consume energy.

With our national fossil-fuel supplies dwindling, along with our energy independence, how we provide solutions to address these changes is fundamental.

“The good news is that many of the solutions are affordable, scalable and available now,” adds Temple, “we have created this brochure to highlight examples where the installation of well-designed, energy efficient central plant has really made a difference.”

The brochure looks at both the e-series modular chiller range and the comprehensive NX chiller line up.  It details the renewable heating options available with the Ecodan range of air, ground and water source heat pumps and explains how the company’s advanced range of Lossnay (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) Systems and Air Handling Units (AHU) can reduce energy consumption for almost any building.

The brochure also looks at large VRF air conditioning systems including the company’s award-winning Hybrid VRF which uses water to heat and cool in occupied spaces, removing the need for leak detection.

“The other area we specialise in that can sometimes be overlooked is controls because you can have the best equipment in the world but it simply will not deliver the efficiency levels expected if you don’t add in the advanced controls that help monitor and control energy use,” ends Temple.

The brochure can be downloaded from Mitsubishi Electric’s Document Library –http://library.mitsubishielectric.co.uk/pdf/book/Central_Plant_Solutions_Brochure

Sussex-based Aspen Pumps Celebrates Win at RAC Cooling Industry Awards

aspen2

Aspen Pumps, the market leader in condensate removal pumps, is celebrating winning a prestigious Cooling Industry Award for its innovative Micro-v i4. This intelligent air conditioning (AC) condensate pump beat off extensive competition to win the ‘Air Conditioning Product of the year: Accessory, Component or Process’ category.

Now in its 12th year, the RAC Cooling Industry Awards champions the leading innovations and environmental successes in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. The award winners were announced at a ceremony on 28th September at the prestigious London Hilton, Park Lane, where the key players in the industry came together for a night of recognition and celebration of the sector’s achievements. 

  “We are delighted to have won an RAC Cooling Industry Award and have the Micro-v i4 recognised in this arena” said Joe Rose, Head of Group Marketing at Aspen Pumps. “At Aspen Pumps we are committed to offering the market the latest, most innovative products and we are therefore very proud to be named winner of the ‘Air Conditioning Product of the year: Accessory, Component or Process’ category.”

Featuring integrated i4 technology, the Micro-v i4 is the next generation of mini pump. Designed specifically to simplify installation and maintenance, while offering a wide raft of smart features, the Micro-v i4 ticks all the right boxes for AC engineers. The Micro-v i4 reliably and efficiently removes condensate from AC units while avoiding installation and maintenance issues.

aspen

Suitable for high wall split systems, ducted units and floor standing and chassis AC units, the pump is ideal for installing directly inside the AC unit. The Micro-v i4 is the first pump available that combines integrated i4technology with the convenience of a floatless sensor that is immune to contaminant build up and is both small and powerful whilst being quiet and reliable.

Made up of four intuitive technologies that all work harmoniously to provide a total system approach, i4 technology features Pulse technology that gives a visual indication about correct installation of the pump; Hydrotech technology which collects data and adjusts switching levels and motor speed, depending on the flow rate; and in-built Silent+ and Univolt technology so the pump is controlled on demand, with the i4 Technology offering a soft start as standard, leading to truly quiet running.

Offering worry and maintenance free plug and play installation, the Micro-v i4can be installed in multiple orientations and provides continuous running. Plus the Micro-v i4 does not use a breather tube and only one connector is needed when installing it in high wall units, further adding to its installation versatility.

Aspen Pumps’ extensive range boasts the largest variety of condensate removal pumps for the air conditioning, heating and refrigeration industry, with something suitable for every application. The pumps boast reliability, ease of installation, are the quietest on the market and all pumps have a free anti-siphoning device. Aspen Pumps continued success and achievements has been built by the hands-on experience of installation engineers, making Aspen Pumps the market leader in condensate removal.

For more information, visit www.aspenpumps.com.

Holiday Inn Express uses innovative hybrid air conditioning

holiday-inn

A new 250-bedroom hotel has become the first in the UK to use an innovative hybrid air conditioning technology that removes the need to install leak detection equipment in occupied rooms.

The Holiday Inn Express Birmingham City Centre in central Birmingham is using Mitsubishi Electric’s Hybrid VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) system to keep guests comfortable in a controllable, energy efficient way, whilst still offering the full flexibility of design and installation that VRF air conditioning is synonymous with.

“We needed reliable and effective air conditioning that is easy to use from the guest’s perspective but which is also more cost effective for the hotel moving forward as it removes the annual maintenance costs associated with a leak detection system”, explained Mark Foster, Managing Director of Centre Island, which will manage the hotel.

“The added advantage of using Mitsubishi Electric equipment is that we can control the whole system centrally, which minimises energy use for the business whilst still allowing guests to have individual control within their rooms. This also ensures we can stop rooms being heated or cooled when they are empty”.

The design for the air conditioning system was put together by SISK Design and Build Contractors who worked with Building Services Consultancy DW Pointer. Together they committed to providing a VRF system that did not need the significant cost of adding leak detection units in all of the bedrooms.

“We proposed Hybrid VRF as it completely removes leak detection in occupied spaces whilst still offering the flexibility of a VRF system,” said Brian Inett of John Sisk & Son.

“We were already aware of the Hybrid system and had been looking for a suitable project to use it on, so this was an ideal solution for the client, especially as it does away with the annual costs of leak detection maintenance.”

The 18-storey hotel in Holliday Street, Birmingham, which was designed by Liverpool-based KKA Architecture, will use 16 outdoor condensing units to operate 250 slim ducted indoor units in a clever design that has one outdoor unit serving one wing on each of two floors to minimise the refrigerant pipework within the building.

“Hybrid VRF uses water to transfer heating and cooling around the building, which removes the need for refrigerant leak detection in occupied spaces,” said Dennis Winter of installer Dragon Air Conditioning Ltd.

“But there are also other benefits to the project as the system is being installed in phases which matches the way the hotel is being built.”

The hotel, which is to open in April 2017 will employ around 60 people when complete and forms part of the Arena Central redevelopment scheme in Birmingham City Centre which will also be home to the new HSBC headquarters.

“There are a lot of hotels that are now coming to terms with how to keep guests comfortable whilst complying with new legislation on refrigerants and leak detection,” explained Mitsubishi Electric’s Mark Grayston Senior Product Manager for VRF & Hybrid VRF.

“This is why we have developed the Hybrid VRF system and this new development points the way to delivering the highest levels of guest comfort without adding significantly to install and maintenance costs.”

Further details on the innovative, award-winning system can be found at the dedicated website: https://hybridvrf.co.uk.

City Multi helps out underneath the arches

Mitsubishi ElectricAn artisan pizza restaurant under railway arches in central Newcastle has solved the problem of summer overheating with the installation of a heat recovery VRF air conditioning system.

The Herb Garden is one of Newcastle’s quirkiest, fine food restaurants, specialising in fresh, stone baked pizzas and rustic Italian salads and sharers. The venue is also renowned for its feature lighting and is tucked away in Arch 8 of Westgate Road, just beside Central Station and Newcastle Castle Keep.

Siting a pizza oven inside a metal-clad railway arch had previously caused problems with a build-up of heat in the summer and the site had limited space for any plant, alongside restrictions on internal fittings because of the metal cladding.

“We needed a quiet, energy efficient solution that wouldn’t detract from our distinctive décor yet was able to cope all year round”, explained Ryan Darrington, the owner of the restaurant.

“There are also planning restrictions on what can be fitted to the front of the restaurant, so we had to find a solution that could be fitted in the small space at the rear”.

Tyne and Wear-based ADS Air Con Ltd, who operate throughout the UK, were called in to install a system whilst working around the restaurant’s opening hours.

“The arches are listed and owned by Network Rail and there were restrictions on the type of solution that we could install”, said David Short, Director of ADS Air Con.  “That’s why the two-pipe solution from Mitsubishi Electric has worked so well”.

A single City Multi outdoor unit has been installed in an empty space to the rear of the building and this can send simultaneous heating and cooling to the indoor units installed throughout the restaurant to maximise the efficiency of the whole system.

“City Multi units can also be installed and commissioned in different stages which meant we were able to work around opening times and keep disruption to a minimum”, added David Short. “Coupled with this is the fact that they are some of the quietest units available on the market and they can also be used to heat the restaurant in the winter”.

The arches are metal-clad to prevent water from the brickwork entering the building, so it was not possible to fix the internal air conditioning to this. The first floor VIP area in particular proved a real challenge due to the curvature of the building.

Options were proposed for low wall and cassette units however a ducted fan coil mounted on the roof of a storage room was finally selected as it offered easy installation and better air movement for the occupants.

For the ground floor restaurant, cassettes were hung from the structure for the first floor, however, it also required a unique solution that could cope with the decorative lighting and herb racks.  A ducted unit mounted on the top rack above the herbs provided a solution which didn’t affect the décor and provided comfortable air movement.

The control strategy for the system also had to be user-friendly and cost-effective. Based on those requirements, PAR-31 hard-wired controllers were used for the three control zones.  These are aesthetically pleasing, intuitive to use and offer energy saving functions along with a programmable time schedule.

“We’ve been delighted with the result and found David and his team completely professional and highly efficient”, said Ryan Darrington.  “We now have an energy efficient system that ensures our customers can enjoy their Italian experience in complete comfort regardless of the weather outside”.

New 3D i-See Sensor matches air conditioning to room occupancy

ME

Mitsubishi Electric has launched a new slim line cassette with a 3D i-See Sensor which scans a room to detect exactly how many people are in it and switches off the air conditioning when a room is empty.

Available immediately for the popular Mr Slim and City Multi 600 x 600 cassette ranges, the slim unit is only 245mm in height above ceiling, making it ideal for narrow spaces.

“The 3D i-See Sensor is likely to get all the headlines because it can recognise when the air conditioning is needed and when it’s not, but we have packed this new cassette with a host of other features as well”, explains Mitsubishi Electric Product Manager Carl Dickinson.

The SLZ/PLFY cassette units have also been designed to make installation easier, with temporary hanging hooks, a drop-prevention cord, and hexagonal screws which can be removed even if the screw hole becomes worn.

Designed to fit snugly to ceilings, the unit provides clear lines for excellent aesthetics which work well in offices or retail environments.

Occupant comfort is also improved with a new airflow feature which can direct air horizontally across the ceiling, helping eliminate uncomfortable drafts, and a new 3D turbo fan which reduces sound levels.

Mitsubishi Electric has produced a short video highlighting the main features which can be seen at the company’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1GnEEjKRgQ

Further can also be found at the dedicated digital library ( http://library.mitsubishielectric.co.uk/pdf/book/i-SEE_SENSOR_PI_SHEET ) or by emailing air.conditioning@meuk.mee.com .

Panasonic’s guide to R32

Panasonic R32 Logo

After successfully leading the introduction of R32 in Japan, Panasonic is ready to drive the refrigerant change in Europe. The company has already introduced R32 models to the Nordic market in September 2015, with its outstanding A+++/A+++ HZ-Series, and now, Panasonic is set to introduce new R32 models across the rest of Europe within the coming months. Panasonic will also be offering comprehensive training and information on R32 over the coming months, to help distributors and installers get to grips with the new technology.

On 9th June 2014, the EU F-Gases Regulation came into force with the aim to protect the environment by reducing emissions of F-gases from refrigeration and air-conditioning units, electrical switchgear, heat pumps, fire-protection systems as well as other sources.

Classified at a grade of A2, R32 gas is a mildy flammable gas. Dispelling the concern surrounding this flammability score, Marc Diaz, Country Manager at Panasonic Heating and Cooling UK & Ireland comments: “R32 has been used for many years, making up 50% of current R410A gasses. Not only is it a more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to R410A, but it is equally as safe to use. There have been concerns surrounding the fact that R32 gas is partly flammable, however, this gas is extremely difficult to ignite. In the rare case a fire were to start, R32 burns at a slower speed than walking pace, at 6.7 cm/s as opposed to Propane’s burning velocity of 46 cm/s, reducing the likelihood of any damage.”

Marc Diaz continues: “Under normal, everyday circumstances, R32 possesses no risk to the air conditioning systems or work environment. There is no possiblity of an ignition caused by a spark within the machine or in the magnetic switch of a power panel.”

Only under extremely specific circumstances might ignition occur. An example of this would be when ignition energy is applied whilst the gas concentration of R32 is between 13.3% and 29.3%. This gas concentration materialises at a level at which oxygen deficiency can occur (18% oxygen concentration or below), an environment in which people will not work in.

When exposed to high temperatures R32 will, like all HFC refrigerants, break down into three components: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen flouride, which converts to hydrofluoric acid, a toxic substance, when it comes into contact with water. It is important to remember that this is the case for all commonly used HFC refrigerants; indeed this process clearly indicates how important it is for those working in the refrigeration sector to be mindful of safe and proper working practice at all times.

Indeed R32 has a number of other attributes which make it an attractive alternative, including:
R32 reduces charging volume by 30% compared to R410A
R32 has higher efficiency (10% compared to R410A) => Higher COP and EER
R32 delivers better performance at extreme outdoor temperature

The EU F-Gases Regulation follows previous research which revealed that R32 could be an attractive solution with a low-global warming potential (GWP) for air conditioning and heat pump installation, with performance comparable to R410A. The results were in favour of R32, in terms of efficiency and cost as a suitable replacement for R410A. R32 has been used as a component of both R407C and R410A for many years, and makes up 50% of R410A.

R32’s use as part of R410A means that the installation of the refrigerant should change little from current procedure. The pipework and testing is the same but different tooling may be needed during installation, such as recovery systems and leak detectors. The major difference is that R32 is mildly flammable, which means it must be properly ventilated when being charged and recovered, because if the gas builds up it can be ignited by a naked flame. However, this should not present a significant issue to installers, as currently if R410A separates into its component gases then R32 is present

Other Key points
R32 has a GWP of 675 compared with R410A’s GWP of 2,088
R32 can be more energy efficient than R410A
Smaller charges result in heat exchangers and other components being more compact
R32 is rated as A2L – there is a low risk of accidents due to toxicity (A), and low risk of flammability (2L)
As a single component refrigerant, R32 is easier to reuse and recycle
The boiling temperature of R32 is similar to R410A, slightly higher than R22
It is easy to handle because it doesn’t fractionate

The move towards R32 is part of an overall strategy to reduce the impact of refrigerants on the environment. In 2020 refrigerants such as R404A and R507, with a GWP higher than 2500, will be banned for use in stationery units and will have to be converted to R407A. By 2025 refrigerants with a GWP greater than 750 will be banned for use in splits air conditioning units, and in 2030 use of R410A, R134A and R407C will be heavily restricted.

Panasonic is continuing to develop new products that incorporate R32. More information on these products will be announced over the coming months.

For more information, please visit www.aircon.panasonic.eu