Automation & Controls
LG Air Conditioning Technologies USA has expanded its robust portfolio of single- and multi-zone products with LGRED (Reliable to Extreme Degrees) technology, bringing powerful heating capability to more single zone products, so as to push the industry forward in the electrification of residential and light commercial building sectors. Single zone products with LGRED Boasting superior heating capacity performance down to 5 °F and continuous heating operations down to -13 ˚F, products featu...
The UK’s heating industry has failed to train and upskill boiler installers to the standards required to fit modern condensing boilers, and 86% of installers feel ‘let down’ by the sector, according to research from consumer advice specialists at The Heating Hub. Modern high efficiency boilers became mandatory in 2005 and since then around 20 million boilers have been sold. However, there has been no corresponding investment made to upskill the workforce in heating system desi...
As the evidence around the health impacts of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) continues to build, experts from across the ventilation sector have come together to drive awareness amongst installers and the wider public that the Green Homes Grant can cover ventilation improvements alongside insulation installations. Green Homes Grant scheme The UK Government scheme, which launched back in September 2020, aims to support improvements to energy efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ). The scheme hig...
Demand for underfloor air conditioning systems, which are far more flexible and adaptable than ceiling-based systems, has risen as developers and landlords scramble to reconfigure office spaces in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Experts have predicted a 50% reduction in office occupancy, as millions embrace working from home. What is underfloor air conditioning? A zonal underfloor air conditioning system makes use of the raised floor void as a plenum for the distribution of air. Supply a...
Millennials have been shaped by their experiences growing up with technology and by their heightened awareness of the environment. These facets of a consumer market dominated by millennials will guide the future of the HVAC market over the next several years. Each generation reshapes markets in their own image. In the case of millennials, trends and behaviors are influencing how companies design new solutions, including those in the world of HVAC. Sustainable solutions and personalized experie...
The Luxaire® brand of Johnson Controls, the provider of smart and sustainable buildings and the architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, and distributor partner Design Air, rallied the communities of Wisconsin to help raise funds for children with critical illnesses during the Make-A-Wish® Wisconsin Walk For Wishes® event. The state-wide fundraiser garnered record-breaking funds of $250,000 compared to previous Milwaukee Walk for Wishes events, which will grant 50 wishes to Wiscon...
The 14th edition of Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator study surveyed 150 commercials, institutional, and industrial facility executives in the U.S. in September 2020. The COVID-19 pulse survey included questions on coronavirus-related improvements, investments, and impacts. Flexibility, Health, and Safety Drive With the pandemic, facility managers have new concerns about building health, changing their motivation for building investments. Increasing building flexibility to respond to coronavirus and other emergency conditions was second in priority only to cost savings in driving investment during the pandemic. 81% said increasing the flexibility of facilities to quickly respond to a variety of emergency conditions (e.g., pandemic, natural disaster) was extremely or very important as a driver of investment 63% said protecting the health and safety of building occupants during the coronavirus pandemic was extremely or very important as a driver of investment Occupant Health And Safety Improving occupant health and safety while reducing energy costs during both pandemic and new normal occupancy conditions are also high priorities for these organizations. The percentage of organizations saying that improving occupant health and wellness was an extremely or very important driver of investment increased from 62 percent to 74 percent in 2020. 85 percent said energy cost savings was an extremely or very important driver of investment. Air Treatments and Ventilation Recommendations on various changes to indoor spaces to help control the spread of the virus Industry, trade, and public health organizations have recommended various changes to indoor spaces to help control the spread of the virus. In addition to increasing work schedule flexibility and reducing occupancy density, more than half of organizations have performed indoor air quality assessments, introduced elevated temperature scanning systems, and increased air filtration. More than 60% plan to install air treatment solutions, increase outdoor ventilation, and recommission building systems and equipment 20% of organizations used economic stimulus and recovery funds to pay for building improvements COVID-19 Related Building Investments Increase work schedule flexibility Perform an indoor air quality assessment Introduce occupant elevated temperature scanning systems Reduce occupant density Increase air filtration Install air treatment system (e.g., UV-C, bi-polar ionization) Increase outdoor air ventilation rates Recommission building systems and equipment Introduce touchless entry and access Add pre-scheduled occupant isolation rooms Introduce social distance tracking and tracing systems Reduced Energy Consumption Increasing outdoor air ventilation and air filtration can significantly increase energy use depending on building type and locations. This creates real potential for energy efficiency. During the pandemic, less than 10 percent of organizations have experienced an energy use reduction of greater than 20 percent despite significantly reduced building occupancy.
Renowned water heating manufacturer, Ariston has a range of high quality, energy efficient products designed with landlords, HMOs and rental properties in mind. Ariston’s electric water heaters are reliable, robust and suitable for buy-to-let applications including apartments, family homes, bed sits and en-suite rooms as an alternative to traditional cylinders. UK landlords are legally responsible for ensuring their tenants have adequate hot water at all times. They are also responsible for any repairs and replacements required under the Landlord and Tenant Act (1985). As a result, any water heater needs to be robust and reliable, while also complying with the latest energy efficiency legislation. Electric water heaters Ariston’s electric water heaters are lightweight and easy to install, offering tremendous cost savings, both in terms of the initial price of the units, as well as lower energy bills. Electric storage water heaters, such as Ariston’s Velis Evo Wi-Fi, boast fast reheat times and best in class ErP energy efficiency ratings, making them the ideal option for rental properties – benefitting both landlords and tenants alike. These compact models utilize ultra slim (27cm depth) twin tank technology for optimum performance. With a choice of 45 or 80-liter models available, units offer up to 16% more hot water availability compared to an equivalent capacity standard electric water heater, alongside superfast reheat times of under 30 minutes! Wi-Fi compatibility Each unit’s Wi-Fi compatibility offers additional energy saving opportunities In addition, each unit’s Wi-Fi compatibility offers additional energy saving opportunities, as the products work with the Aqua Ariston Net app for remote smartphone control. This allows tenants to monitor their energy consumption and achieve savings of up to 25%, via daily and weekly programming. In turn, fitting modern water heaters with such smart functionality provides landlords with an enticing selling point when marketing a property. Another electric storage water heating option for rental properties is Ariston’s Andris range, with the Andris Lux and Andris Lux Eco units both boasting capacities of 6, 10, 15 and 30 liters. These compact products offer impressive reheat times, while Andris Lux Eco models also benefit from anti-legionella functionality. Aures Slim Multi wall mounted, instantaneous unit Finally, an alternative to electric storage water heaters is Ariston’s Aures Slim Multi, a wall mounted, instantaneous unit that does not need any time to heat up. Water does not need to be stored – instead, it is heated instantly when it comes into contact with a powerful heating element as it flows through the unit, resulting in unlimited availability on demand. Victoria Gutierrez, Marketing Manager at Ariston, said "Our range of market-renowned electric water heaters offer landlords a number of long-term benefits, including lower repair bills and enhanced efficiency, complying with all necessary EPC requirements. We also ensure that renters remain healthy and safe for the duration of their tenancy by offering products that eliminate the risk of being exposed to legionella.”
As the UK lockdown gradually begins to ease, and offices and retail outlets begin to reopen their doors, Ariston is highlighting the flexibility and benefits of its range of electric water heaters – especially with people now more aware of the importance of washing their hands more frequently. Ariston has an extensive collection of products suitable for all sizes of commercial properties, helping businesses and employees adhere to stricter levels of hygiene, while also accounting for an increase in hot water usage post-lockdown. Electric water heater Ariston’s energy efficient electric water heaters are available in a range of capacities and sizes, with oversink and undersink models available for light commercial applications such as offices, factories or retail outlets. Ariston’s Piccolo is a 5-liter wall-mounted point of use electric water heater perfect for a single washbasin in a bathroom or toilet facility. As 5 liters is the average amount of water a person requires to wash their hands, this product is ideal for light usage and businesses with small numbers of employees. As more basins require hot water, greater capacity is needed, so for offices or retail outlets where staff numbers (and water usage) is higher, Ariston’s Andris Lux and Andris Lux Eco electric storage water heaters are highly recommended. Impressive reheat times Ariston also offers medium-platform electric water heaters such as the Velis Evo Wi-Fi and Pro1 Eco Units boast capacities of 6, 10, 15 and 30 liters, with the latter capable of feeding two kitchen sinks. They also offer impressive reheat times, with 15-liter models taking just 20 minutes to be ready for use again after all the hot water in the tank has been used, with Andris Lux Eco models having the added benefit of anti-legionella functionality. When larger capacities are required, Ariston also offers medium-platform electric water heaters such as the Velis Evo Wi-Fi and Pro1 Eco. Modern alternatives to hot water cylinders, the smaller versions of these products (45-50 liter capacities) can supply enough hot water for a shower, while there are larger 80-liter models available when multiple showers and basins are in use. (A 30L electric storage heater does not have sufficient capacity for a satisfactory shower, so larger units are recommended.) Light commercial environments An electric water heater such as the Pro1 Eco is perfect for workplace applications such as hairdressers, restaurants, coffee shops and office shower rooms. Their benefits to light commercial environments are further enhanced by Ariston’s patented WaterPlus technology; this is an exclusive feature which keeps any incoming cold water at the bottom of the tank, ensuring it does not immediately mix with the stored hot water, resulting in up to 16% more hot water being available. These electric storage water heaters benefit from Ariston’s ‘Eco Evo’ function – an electronic control with software that automatically learns the usage habits. This clever addition provides energy savings of up to 14%; the equivalent of running an A+ rated fridge-freezer for approximately a year. Optimal tank protection Ariston’s compact Aures Slim Multi can fill three wash basins or a kitchen sink (supplying one outlet at a time) Pro1 Eco units also utilize Ariston’s Titanshield technology for optimal tank protection. This sees the inner surface of the tank titanium enameled and protected with a magnesium anode for long-term durability and reliability. When hot water is required immediately, Ariston’s compact Aures Slim Multi can fill three wash basins or a kitchen sink (supplying one outlet at a time). The advantage of this wall mounted, tankless water heater is that it does not require any heat-up time or water storage space. Water is instantly heated by coming into contact with the powerful heating element as it flows through the unit, resulting in unlimited hot water availability on demand. Victoria Gutierrez, Marketing Manager at Ariston, commented: "At Ariston, we are committed to offering electric water-heaters that can provide hygienic handwashing and comfort in equal measure. Whatever the size or location of a business, we have a wealth of products to ensure employees can feel safe as they return to work after lockdown.”
The YORK brand of Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart and sustainable building solutions, and the architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, unveiled a new complete home comfort system with state-of-the-art zoning technology, offering improved, high-efficiency comfort with simplified installation and setup. Hx3 Communicating Zoning System The Hx3 Communicating Zoning System gives consumers ultimate control of individual room temperatures, in up to eight zones that they can manage anywhere, with the new and improved Hx app. In addition, the new app gives contractors remote access and monitoring with homeowner permission. “More than ever, today’s connected consumers expect a complete system that provides efficient performance, worry-free reliability and customizable functionality that fits their family’s lifestyle,” said Jason Wilson, Product Manager at Johnson Controls. Jason adds, “That’s exactly what the best-in-class technology of the Hx3 Communicating Zoning System delivers, making it the ideal solution for the new generation of smart homes.” Remote access and control The entire system can be directly controlled by the homeowner on a mobile device, using the completely re-engineered Hx app or via the Wi-Fi-enabled Hx3 Main Controller, which acts as the primary control point for the entire home. It features multiple, customizable schedules for up to eight zones and advanced settings, such as humidity control, geo-fencing, away mode and vacation mode, which can be set for individual zones or the entire home. It partners with additional, secondary thermostats or sensors to enable control of the remaining zones, which can be customized based on the homeowner’s needs and budget. Innovative Hx app The innovative, easy-to-use Hx app empowers consumers to take full control of their HVAC system The innovative, easy-to-use Hx app empowers consumers to take full control of their HVAC system, featuring a simplified set-up process and intuitive schedule control for enhanced efficiency. The app has a new, refreshed interface with a user-friendly design, allowing first-time users to seamlessly navigate based off in-depth customer research. It’s available on the Apple Store and Google Play and compatible with Apple Watch and Amazon Alexa voice control. Compatible with 3-wire, 24V power open/close damper Unlike zoning equipment that require bypass and barometric dampers, the Hx3 Communicating Zoning System is compatible with any existing 3-wire, 24V power open/close damper. This reduces changes to existing ductwork, saving homeowners on material and costs, while saving contractors on installation time. In addition, the system features intuitive, easy-to-read error messages and one-touch testing of airflow and damper settings without additional sensors and probes. Installation is further simplified for contractors with an easy setup and maintenance interface on the Hx app, along with remote access and monitoring with homeowner permission. Maximizing energy savings and performance The Communicating Zoning System is compatible with YORK Affinity premium variable capacity or two-stage indoor and outdoor communicating equipment with QuietDrive technology and a full range of indoor air quality products. These high-efficiency HVAC systems maximize energy savings, while offering superior performance.
The European HVACR industry association, Eurovent has announced extending its scope of representation with the addition of J2 Innovations to its Associate Members list. Following a formal approval of the Eurovent Board of Directors, J2 Innovations, globally renowned provider of control and management software for HVACR equipment, has joined Eurovent (Association for Indoor Climate, Process Cooling and Food Cold Chain Technologies) as its newest Associate Member. FIN Framework software platform FIN Framwork enables partners to bring new products to the market faster, with the latest technology for competitive advantage Established in 2008, J2 Innovations is a provider of control and management software for HVACR equipment. They created the FIN Framework, the next generation software platform for building automation and IoT devices. FIN Framwork enables their partners to bring new products to the market faster, with the latest technology for competitive advantage. Mr. Chris Irwin, Vice President of Sales for EMEA and Global Marketing at J2 Innovations, said “At J2 Innovations, we are committed to supporting the indoor climate and HVAC industry through our open platform for smart buildings, smart equipment and IoT.” Close association with Eurovent Chris adds, “We are delighted to be an Associate Member of Eurovent, as we strongly believe in cooperation and collaboration, in order to help build a greener and better world. We look forward to working with Eurovent to help shape the future of our industry.” Mr. Felix Van Eyken, Secretary General of Eurovent Association, said “We are proud to welcome J2 Innovations to the Eurovent family. It is great to see our association grow with the different stakeholders of the European HVACR industry coming together around their common objectives.” Eurovent Associate Members Eurovent’s Associate Members are organizations that are engaged in activities related to sectors covered by the association. Associate Membership is open to, for example, associations of engineers and consultants, exhibition organizers, laboratories, universities, or software providers. Information on all Eurovent Associate Members can be found online on the Eurovent website.
IMI Hydronic Engineering, the provider of innovative and reliable HVAC solutions, has selected Confirmit Horizons as the platform to support its new customer experience (CX) program. IMI Hydronic Engineering is working with Confirmit to build a series of surveys that will deliver a clear picture of the customer experience across key touchpoints throughout the customer journey. Surveys will be automatically triggered through an integration with the company’s CRM system. Supporting survey creation Peter Agneborn, Director of Sales, IMI Hydronic Engineering explained: “We already have a good view of our long-term customer relationships, but it’s vital that we understand how we are winning business, and which touchpoints are critical to our success. By capturing feedback from customers and prospects at key stages – such as after receiving a quote or post-installation – we can ensure that we improve our approach to offer a better experience to our clients so we can win and retain more clients.” The program supports survey creation and deployment, tailored reporting to dozens of IMI team members IMI Hydronic Engineering is already up and running with the solution, which is operating across 3 key countries. The program supports survey creation and deployment, tailored reporting to dozens of IMI team members, and alerting to enable the team to take immediate action based on feedback. Exceeding customer expectations Peter Agneborn said: “It was very clear that Confirmit was the right partner for us. Not only could they support us in integrating with our existing CRM system, but they were also able to support us to get started. This is an important initiative for us as we strive towards our vision of delivering great customer service, so being able to work with an agile, supportive and expert team at Confirmit has been fantastic.” Tim Hannington, Chief Revenue Officer at Confirmit added: “We’re delighted to be working with the team at IMI Hydronic Engineering. Their commitment to continuous improvement to exceed customer expectations is clear evidence of how they place their clients at the center of their operational drive to succeed. We’re proud to partner with them and look forward to supporting their growth and success out into the future.”
In the automotive sector, it is no longer fashionable to call a business a car manufacturer; they are suppliers of transportation solutions. This is not twisting the meaning of the message. It is a very true example of how organizations that once manufactured the asset that carried out the task of transportation, have now become end-to-end service providers. General Motors investing in ride share service Lyft is just one example of a manufacturer becoming a servitization business. The HVACR sector is going through a similar period of heated change as automotive. Industry professionals demand more than just solutions and products; they expect a full-service offering. Forward-thinking decision-makers should therefore be looking at ways of transforming its business models to become more service-centric. Businesses must first recognize the need to adopt a service mindset and then work pragmatically to develop and mature their service organizations, which means working with partners with a like-minded care and approach to the customer. In the past, Panasonic had a technical approach to service. In the 2020s, however, service means so much more, whether the customer is commercial or residential. Service-centric HVAC The first step in the journey to servitization is a holistic analysis of the service operations right across the organization, including a business maturity assessment. With this understanding, businesses are able to formulate a step-by-step strategic approach to develop the level of maturity servitization requires. Depending on baseline maturity, step one will for most companies involve the adoption of common tools that promote uniformity of processes, reporting and ways of working. The HVACR sector is going through a similar period of heated change as automotive Let me take you back to the automotive sector for an example of why this is such a crucial step. If you were to go to a BMW or Mercedes showroom, you would expect to get the same experience regardless of what country you are in. Germany, France or the UK, you would expect a similar kind of service. And that's really what all service providers in the HVACR space should be aiming for; no matter where the customer is—whether it is Italy, Czech Republic, Spain or Norway—they receive a consistency in service. One of the main challenges to this process, and one that faces most of not all companies in the sector, is that different nations or regions have established their own ways of doing things, creating a silo mentality. To counter this, while still respecting independence, businesses need to develop a service offer that has a top-down governance in terms of the technology platforms in use and the operational tools and processes to sell service and report on growth and sales. While taking care not to stifle the creativity and uniqueness of regional subsidiaries, a firm hand will be needed to steer away from each country going off at right angles. Standardizing technology platforms Standardizing technology platforms is a crucial part of this transition. Panasonic has partnered with enterprise software provider IFS for a central remote assistance solution to be used by sales, support and technical staff across Europe. This is an important first phase of our strategy, as it offers a truly unified way of working. Everyone in the organization has to work in the same way, and to the same high standard. One crucial realization is that servitization is inextricably linked with digital transformation and the application of new technology to reinforce business imperatives. In the case of Panasonic, the choice to deploy a merged-reality software solution that has been a remote solution to provide our teams with a merged reality software platform that blends two real-time video streams into an interactive environment has been a decisive first step toward our servitization vision. Installers, field technicians, engineers and customers must be able to share real-life situational context with remote product experts to diagnose issues, share knowledge in real-time and accelerate the repair time rates. Servitization is inextricably linked with digital transformation and the application of new technology to reinforce business imperatives Considering the benefits that can be reaped even through an incremental technology investment strategy, businesses can’t afford to remain on the servitization fence. Just looking at the potential benefits of remote assistance technology in the HVACR sector, companies should with relatively little effort be able to realize significant reductions in repair rates while also reducing or even eliminating time-consuming and environmentally unfriendly site visits. By equipping service staff with the right technology, they will also be able to capture customer feedback in real time as well as easily share knowledge and technical insight with coworkers. Future opportunities Finding and deploying the right enabling technology is a key part of any servitization initiative. Another crucial step is examining the HVAC service sales structure itself to determine how services are sold. The holy grail is for customers to see you as a solution to their problems, rather than a company they buy products from. This means examining what offerings are appealing to the customer base, and how to develop those into subscription-based offerings. For most HVACR companies, this will translate into the delivery outcomes, and for the customer to trust their service provider to guarantee their air conditioning, for example, is always operating optimally. If you look at hotels, hospitals, retail, restaurants, warehouses, industries, offices, and many other applications, they want to get on with doing what they do best – they don't want to worry about HVACR equipment. That's our job, and we need to determine how to best meet that need. Finding and deploying the right enabling technology is a key part of any servitization initiative As a business moves to a servitized model, so too must its service engineering modernize. Opportunities include providing feedback from the engineers in the field, and from customers to the product development team, which will improve the creation of new products and solutions. In today's economy, the customer expects that if a premium product is purchased, then a premium service has to be part of the same offering. The ultimate goal is to maximize customer retention, and to do that we need to mature and innovate in how we provide service to our customers. This is a new beginning for the sector and I'm excited for the journey.
Having spent the last few months working from our sofas, dining tables and ironing boards, many of us have become accustomed to the world of remote working. But we’ve now arrived at a point where many businesses are starting to reopen their doors or have plans to do so in the near-future. Employers will be hoping that a return to work will prove productive, reinvigorating the workforce and driving growth. To this end, however, they will need to instill confidence by demonstrating how they can keep employees safe and comfortable. Bringing employees back to work will be complex. For a start, businesses have had to implement a large number of new safety measures in response to COVID-19. However, ensuring safety in the workplace goes beyond adhering to social distancing measures and anti-bacterial cleaning stations. Behind the scenes, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) play a crucial role in facilitating a safe workspace. Whether it’s the systems implemented to limit the spread of the virus, the ongoing servicing of these systems or their wider environmental impact, HVAC solutions and facilities managers (FMs) rest at the heart of a safer return to work. Embracing new strategies for clean air Walking in the building through a new automatic door, most office workers will be greeted with a queue for the lifts and plenty of signage reminding you to sanitise your hands and keep your distance. Some may have their body temperature scanned by a thermal detection camera on entry, which could also count how many people enter to ensure numbers are safe. Others could be met with an anti-virus access point that scans your face using facial recognition rather than a pass, and enforces hand hygiene by dispensing sanitiser before the lifts will open. Behind the scenes, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) play a crucial role in facilitating a safe workspace All of these measures, however strict, are part of the new normal: ‘contactless’ buildings. Designed to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, facilities managers have plenty of options when it comes to keeping people safe. But not all of them are so apparent when entering a building. Some of the most important measures are those we can’t see. A healthy and safe working environment has always relied on a building’s HVAC infrastructure – temperature control, good air flow, and a reliable level of comfort are top of most office workers’ priority lists. But the pandemic has taken this to a new level of importance. As a critical part of their wider health and safety plan, facilities managers can look to identify strategies to increase clean air levels further. This could include increasing outdoor air circulation to decrease pathogen exposure, with smart air handling units. These will enable managers to bring in more outside air to displace potentially contaminated air, by increasing ventilation and air change rates. Improving Filtration Methods Improving filtration methods is another possibility, by adding additional filters including high efficiency filters and HEPA filters, to trap more particles and increase the percentage of clean air in a building. Portable HEPA solutions are also an option for those who need more flexibility. In addition to air filtration and circulation, it is also possible to use UV-C lighting to effectively ‘disinfect’ the air or surfaces, using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to inactivate viral microorganisms. These can be installed brand new or retrofitted into existing facilities, to reduce costs for FMs and speed up implementation. These innovative uses of HVAC to limit the spread of infection could have a huge impact on the health and safety of occupants in any building – and this is by no means limited to offices. Within healthcare and laboratory facilities, for example, solutions like room pressurisation, air change rates, humidity and temperature controls are all critical to reduce contamination in the air and on surfaces. A healthy and safe working environment has always relied on a building’s HVAC infrastructure Safety is an ongoing process No matter which HVAC solutions a facilities manager chooses, it’s not a case of installing them and then waving goodbye. As with any good health and safety strategy, constant monitoring is crucial to ensure building occupants are well looked-after – and this also ensures you can get the most out of HVAC investments. For some this means keeping a close eye on how your HVAC equipment runs, to ensure that they’re reaching optimum performance and delivering the best ROI. Working with a partner who can provide continuous service and monitoring is critical, so that the pressure is off FMs themselves. Especially now, having remote monitoring capabilities is an added bonus, so that minor issues can be fixed without an engineer having to visit the site. For those with smart technologies in place, such as smart connected chillers, FMs may rather be reliant on predictive maintenance and monitoring tools, which use AI and automation to predict issues before they arise, and ensure equipment runs reliably and downtime can be minimised. Whether in person or remotely, good quality service and maintenance of HVAC equipment goes a long way – both to get the best return on investment, and to keep buildings as safe and comfortable as possible. Enabling a smarter and more sustainable workplace HVAC has always been critical to keeping employees happy and healthy at work – but for a long time this has had a negative impact on the planet. Inefficient HVAC systems can give a building a much bigger carbon footprint than it would ideally have. 75% of organizations plan to increase their investment in energy efficiency and smart building technologies Last year, our Energy Efficiency Indicator survey found that 75% of organizations plan to increase their investment in energy efficiency and smart building technologies. The opportunity, then, to overhaul HVAC systems in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 is also an opportunity to invest in more efficient, greener HVAC technologies, built for the future. Taking a holistic approach to your HVAC equipment is the best way to do this, to ensure efficiency gains can be made across an entire building or estate, by connecting intelligent systems. Chillers, for example, with efficiency and intelligence built in as standard can reduce energy use and carbon emissions for a building, or collection of buildings, helping FMs meet energy targets and keeping costs low. Choosing the optimal HVAC system Under current circumstances, the decisions made by FMs are pivotal in enabling business continuity and will ultimately impact building occupants’ comfort and safety. It should therefore come as no surprise that businesses are paying close attention to every move FMs make. Choosing the optimal HVAC system for your building and ensuring regular servicing and maintenance will prove cost-effective and energy efficient. Not only this, but smart HVAC technologies go a long way in enabling a safer, productive and more sustainable working environment. By picking the right tools for the job, businesses of every type can position themselves for growth while remaining as safe and secure as possible.
The modern technological world is filled with ‘extrusions’. They are all around us, in the form of small and not-so-small cross sections. The function of an extrusion is to form seals between components of complex machinery and keep them functional. And, depending on the ‘type’ used, they can make a big difference to how a machine operates. Some of the most desirable types of extrusion — and especially for use in HVAC systems — are those made from silicone. Silicone, which is a type of rubber, has a robust set of properties. For one, silicone can withstand extreme temperatures, both high and low. Semi-Exterior environments Ranging from -60°C to temperatures exceeding 200°C. (And there are even higher grades that can be manufactured to withstand temperatures well above 200°C.) Ideal for HVAC units that work round the clock to keep large numbers of people in large buildings comfortable in summer and winter conditions. In addition to this, silicone is also one of the more resistant properties to the constant vibrations of working machinery. It can be difficult to locate the source of the problem if a tiny extrusion has dislodged. Vibration-resistant properties make silicone extrusions less likely to disengage or fall out of place, therefore minimizing the need for costly repairs. Finally, silicone is also more durable than most other materials when it comes to exterior or semi-exterior environments, such as that of rain or ultraviolet light. Protecting electrical components Silicone is useful in HVAC systems because it offers enhanced sealing and compression protections As a result of this favorability, there is already a considerable number of different types of silicone extrusions that can be found in a lot of HVAC systems. These include HVAC sealing gaskets, hatch seals and vibration isolation pads. But also silicone sponges, which act as a protective layer of thermal insulation. As well as providing thermal insulation, silicone sponges can double-up as a form of acoustic insulation, with considerable noise reduction and anti-squeal properties. Silicone enclosure gaskets protect electrical components, and environmental seals — as the name suggests — help to keep everything protected from the sometimes harsh elements of the environment outside. Silicone is useful in HVAC systems because it offers enhanced sealing and compression protections over most other materials. Closed cell structure On a material level, silicone has a ‘closed cell structure’, which helps to keep out moisture ingress, along with water and dust. The combination of a closed cell structure, along with sealing and compression benefits, makes silicone ideal for exterior seals and gaskets in and around HVAC systems. The softer grades of Silicone have an excellent memory and low stress relaxation, which in turn helps to prevent common faults with HVAC systems — usually caused by gasket failures made from other materials that soften and compress inaccurately. The low stress relaxation properties require minimal force on behalf of the engineers sealing the enclosures, while the memory-properties of the silicone allow it to conform to awkward shapes and gaps of various widths. Manufacturing HVAC systems proactively with silicone in mind can allow more design flexibility on behalf of the engineers. Inevitable rapid movements General purpose solid silicone or silicone sponge is suitable for many HVAC applications And, as mentioned above, vibration isolation pads work as dampers to protect against the inevitable rapid movements of the systems as they power along. But also to help withstand the vibrations of HVAC units on transport systems, such as buses and trains, which naturally vibrate as they run over imperfections on rail and road tracks. As it happens, general purpose solid silicone or silicone sponge is suitable for many HVAC applications, not just those discussed above. The designs of the extrusions would be different, reflective of their function, but the material would be the same. In some instances, customers may also require a flame retardant silicone — certified to UL94 specifications — in order to meet safety standards in certain situations or environments. Great temperature ranges For all its material advantages, silicone is generally more expensive than the other types of material rubber that are used to manufacture extrusions, such as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM). And while other materials do of course have stand-out benefits of their own — EPDM for example is more hard-wearing than silicone — silicone is still often the extrusion ‘type’ of choice because of its ability to withstand great temperature ranges. This is very important for heating and air conditioning systems. Because some of the most common factors that cause HVAC systems to break down are as a result of seal and gasket failure, which can come about as a result of an overheating unit. Very cold environment Chances of a unit overheating can be just as likely — in fact perhaps more so — where the system has to operate in a very cold environment. With the threat of climate change etched more than ever into the public discussion, we can predict that there will be a steady increase in the amount that this material is used to make up the HVAC seals. And not just because, as temperatures continue to increase and summers get hotter and more prolonged, there will be an increased demand for them. Effective public relations It is no secret that HVAC systems can be relatively expensive to run It will become a matter of effective public relations for managers, building regulators and transport officers to make sure that the equipment they are using — and making — is ‘green’. By using the right materials that help conserve energy and increase efficiency, this will not only sit right with the general public, it should also be more economical, too. It is no secret that HVAC systems can be relatively expensive to run. Minimizing wastage, and the time spent on call outs and repairs will make a notable difference. Of course there are many other ways to also set about making air conditioning and heating units more efficient. Using seals or gaskets made from silicone is just one small piece of the puzzle. But utilizing them will almost certainly be more beneficial than you might imagine. And anything that is a step in the right direction is a welcome change.
Elon Musk has proclaimed that HVAC is his ‘pet project’ and has even suggested a timeline: ‘Maybe we can start working on that.’ As a high-profile business magnate, industrial designer and engineer, Musk is CEO of automobile company Tesla, whose goal is to accelerate the use of sustainable energy. Tesla is on the cutting edge of technologies that can transform how we use energy, and Musk believes the benefit of that technology will translate well into home HVAC systems. Heat pump technology “You can make a way-better home HVAC system that is really quiet and super-efficient and has a way-better filter for particles,” Musk said at a recent Tesla presentation. “It works very reliably.” A feature would be use of a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Musk’s vision is to adapt heat pump technology the company uses for its Model Y automobile to home HVAC systems Musk’s vision is to adapt heat pump technology the company uses for its Model Y automobile to home HVAC systems. “It’s tiny. It’s efficient and designed to last 15 years. It operates in all conditions from the coldest winter to the hottest summer,” says Musk. The small units can be ‘stacked’ to provide a super-efficient and scalable home HVAC system, says Musk. A lot of work has already been done for a ‘kick-ass’ system, he adds. Cheap solar power A further benefit would be the ability of home systems to communicate with Tesla cars so that the home HVAC system ‘knows’ when residents are coming home and can dial in the settings for heating and cooling to make the house comfortable when they arrive. Because HVAC systems are such big users of energy, it makes sense that Tesla would target the industry as a means of promoting greater use of sustainable energy. Musk says that wind and solar comprise 76% of new electricity in the United States this year, and Tesla offers the cheapest solar power in the U.S. – only $1.49 per watt for a solar system installed on an existing roof. As a technology disruptor, however, Musk mentions that scaling the manufacture of products is 10 times more difficult than creating a prototype – suggesting a probable delay before any HVAC product that Tesla introduces would become widely available. From Electric Vehicles To HVAC When Tesla entered the electric vehicle market, it helped to jump-start investment in electric vehicles even among traditional automakers. Might the visionary company have a similar impact on the mature HVAC industry? Specifically, would Tesla’s delivery of a reliable and efficient product spur faster innovation for HVAC in general?? Efficiency is one of the main competitive factors among HVAC equipment suppliers" Senior Capital Equipment Analyst Kyle Peters of The Freedonia Group thinks so: “Efficiency is one of the main competitive factors among HVAC equipment suppliers, and it’s no surprise that most have embraced technological change to make their systems more efficient and appealing to customers.” Tesla’s entry into the market would accelerate that trend, says Peters. product development “While existing manufacturers are already developing the next generation of filtration technologies to maintain their hold on the industry, its considerable growth potential is likely to attract new industry participants like Tesla,” says Gleb Mutko, another Freedonia analyst. In addition, Musk’s entry into the HVAC market will likely increase investor interest in HVAC and filtration systems and provide impetus for additional product development. Based on the innovation and investment we are seeing in the HVAC market already, it’s a sure bet the industry will look very different in the next decade. Increasingly, it also appears that Elon Musk will be playing a part in that transformation.
Closed and cramped environments are especially problematic to the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. A ‘smart’ glass-paneled bus stop shelter, developed in Korea, embodies new approaches to making such spaces safe, including elements of HVAC. Smart shelters The smart shelters are closed-in glass cubes that serve as bus stops in the Seongdong district in northeastern Seoul, South Korea. The local district office collaborated with LG Electronics to develop the futuristic technology, which is designed to combat summer heat, monsoon rain and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Air conditioning and ultraviolet (UV) light sterilizers clean and cool the air Air conditioning and ultraviolet (UV) light sterilizers clean and cool the air. A solar panel on the roof provides back-up power. Surveillance cameras keep watch over the bus riders and intelligent video, an alert bell and an artificial intelligence (AI) noise sensor can provide information immediately to police and fire professionals, in case of an emergency response. Equipped with digital video screens Digital video screens provide warning when a bus approaches, and the sound system plays therapeutic music. Other amenities include free WiFi, charging stations for laptops or mobile phones, and even hand sanitizer. A thermal camera mounted at the entrance measures temperatures and allows entry through the automatic doors only to those with temperatures below 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 degrees Celsius). Mounted at a lower height is a separate camera installed for children. Smart bus shelters to prevent COVID-19 spread A Seongdong district official said the smart shelters provide an environment where people can escape scorching weather and pouring rain, while preventing virus infections. The smart bus shelters represent a new approach to preventing coronavirus infection. Ideally, people should avoid small, closed-in spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, crowded urban areas make it harder to do so. Also, the persistence of the pandemic and its continuation for months and likely into 2021, makes development of new solutions even more urgent. Technologies to protect against infection When social distancing is difficult, solutions such as the smart shelters will enable societies to return to some semblance of normalcy. However, people entering the shelter are still encouraged to wear masks, practice good hygiene and to stay one meter apart from others. Such technology developments will be crucial in large cities around the world, where crowded populations cannot return to their productive lives until additional mitigating approaches are developed to slow the virus spread. Avoiding disruption of transportation infrastructure Smart shelters contribute positively to economic recovery as the coronavirus impact subsides By helping to ensure operation of the transportation infrastructure, the smart shelters can contribute positively to economic recovery as the coronavirus impact subsides. However, the smart shelters are expensive, about a million dollars for the 10 units installed in South Korea or some US$ 84,000 for each shelter. Since they were installed, each shelter has been used by about 300 to 400 people a day. Obviously, many more of the shelters would be needed to provide a comprehensive solution. New innovations to counter continuous pandemic spread South Korea has not been spared by the novel coronavirus, despite deployment of widespread testing and tracing. The country is credited with waging one of the world’s most successful fights against COVID-19 and never imposed a nationwide lockdown. Of the country’s more than 50 million people, there have been around 23,000 cases and 385 deaths. However, as Asia’s fourth largest economy, the country has continued to suffer persistent outbreaks, especially in the more densely populated areas. The smart shelter demonstrates the need for new innovative solutions to address the novel coronavirus, and the important role of HVAC systems as a component of those solutions.
Carrier launched its BluEdge tiered service program after hearing from customers looking for a streamlined experience and a reliable, invested partner throughout the equipment’s lifespan. Carrier conducted a customer survey before launching BluEdge, and the common theme was a need for Carrier to articulate more clearly its value proposition and to simplify its service offering. Carrier launched BluEdge at the end of June in three businesses within the company, including the North America Commercial HVAC Service segment. The global pandemic has led to changes in priorities and requirements for commercial building spaces - indoor air quality is a chief concern for both owners and occupants. air quality assessments “We are incorporating Carrier’s Healthy Buildings solutions - such as air quality assessments and retrofits for upgraded filtration and controls - into the BluEdge service tiers,” says Ajay Agrawal is the Senior Vice President of Strategy & Services at Carrier. “One of the easiest ways to ensure high-quality indoor air is to keep a building’s HVAC system properly maintained.” The backbone of the BluEdge suite of HVAC services is Carrier SMART Service Carrier's HVAC business has signed up more than 200 service agreements since the launch of BluEdge and introduced a specialized first-year service offering on qualifying commercial equipment purchases in the U.S. and Canada. Technology helps to enable BluEdge. The backbone of the BluEdge suite of HVAC services is Carrier SMART Service, an Internet-of-things-enabled connected service platform. monitoring HVAC performance Every applied chiller leaving the factory is enabled for connectivity, and Carrier is embarking on a retrofit campaign to connect previously installed equipment. The company analyzes hundreds of parameters generated by connected equipment in real time using SMART Service, and they also monitor HVAC performance in BluEdge Command Centers (currently in Bengaluru, India, and Kennesaw, Georgia). Carrier is integrating and building up both capabilities to create an even more seamless experience for BluEdge customers - this includes technologies such as remote intervention, prognostics, and artificial intelligence (AI). cost-Effective solutions “At Carrier, we put the customer front and center, and we are constantly soliciting feedback for how to improve our products and services,” says Agrawal. “Carrier’s vantage over the total HVAC lifecycle enables us to provide innovative and cost-effective solutions for our customers. Maintaining our own equipment allows us to unlock even more value for customers.” BluEdge is designed to appeal to all customers, especially those who might not typically go to the OEM for service plans or even break-fix emergencies. The flexibility of the BluEdge offerings - which include Core, Enhance and Elite levels - ensures that all customers can find a suitable Carrier service program. Carrier is prepared to work with each customer to customize a maintenance program tailored to specific needs and budget, says Agrawal. Customizable maintenance programs We know how to optimally run it, and we know how to maintain peak performance" The BluEdge tiers are designed to appeal to customers in three broad levels. The Core tier is geared towards the customer who primarily maintains their HVAC equipment with in-house technicians - the Carrier customer portal, performance dashboards, and remote inspections can assist those in-house techs. On the other end of the spectrum is the Elite tier, which is for the customer that wants a comprehensive maintenance program. They can hand over the keys to their utility room, and Carrier takes care of the rest. The Enhance offering - the middle tier - is flexible enough for the customer who wants something a bit less comprehensive but still requires Carrier’s expertise. Carrier knows its equipment inside and out, having developed the core technologies, designed the equipment, manufactured it, and installed it, says Agrawal. “We know how to optimally run it, and we know how to maintain peak performance,” he says. remote monitoring centers At the same time, Carrier has built up and is rapidly expanding its service capabilities - including thousands of technicians, a global replacement parts distribution network, and remote monitoring centers called BluEdge Command Centers to analyze and optimize equipment performance. Carrier is uniquely positioned to offer customers an end-to-end, total lifecycle solution for HVAC equipment and building solutions, says Agrawal. The Carrier BluEdge service platform does not just apply to HVAC; they are also rolling out BluEdge across Carrier’s entire portfolio, including products within the refrigeration and fire and security segments.
BG Energy Solutions (BGES) has been appointed to design building management systems for Keadby 2, a new 840MW gas-fired power station under construction in North Lincolnshire. Keadby 2 power station Keadby 2 is expected to become the cleanest and most-efficient gas-fired power station in Europe, enabling the UK to move away from coal in the 2020s and to integrate more renewables into the power grid. It will also be capable of being upgraded to further decarbonize its generation through carbon capture or hydrogen technology, as routes to market develop. When completed, the power station will provide electricity to up to 840,000 homes and businesses in the UK. Siemens Energy is the principle contractor delivering the power station, with specialist HVAC company, Exyte Hargreaves supporting the delivery of mechanical and electrical / HVAC within five buildings on the site. BGES has been appointed to design the building management systems, which will be commissioned in spring 2021. BMS and energy solutions major BGES is a member of the Engineering Construction Industry Association and adheres to the NAECI framework BGES is one of the UK’s renowned BMS and energy solutions companies, with roots dating back to 1995. The company has offices in Sheffield and London and is known for its unique approach to customer challenges, using state-of-the-art technologies. BGES is a member of the Engineering Construction Industry Association and adheres to the NAECI framework (the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry). Adrian Woodhead, Project Lead at Exyte Hargreaves said “As a committed and responsible member of Britain’s Energy Cluster we are delighted with this appointment. Our delivery build methodology incorporates the use of our MMC Offsite Assembly Facility to supply horizontal modules, vertical risers and a prefabricated plant room, housing the centric energy center and heating distribution for the whole facility.” Design and build BMS systems Simon Shaw, Project Director at BG Energy Solutions (BGES) said “We are delighted on our appointment to design and build BMS systems for the world-renowned Keadby 2project. In doing so we’re proud to play our part in delivering a future-ready power station that will help the UK transition to a net zero energy system.” Commercial operation of Keadby 2 is scheduled for 2022 as coal power plant closures come into effect.
Iceland is a high street supermarket chain with 800+ stores across the UK selling frozen and chilled food and groceries. Famous for its pedigree in frozen foods, Iceland worked with Airedale to deliver a standard, optimized, control system which could be applied across all stores to maintain store environments and produce significant energy cost savings. Iceland required a standardized control system that could be integrated into all of the retailer’s stores for both new cooling plant and retrofit, to offer optimized control, free-cooling and simplified spares availability. The controller had to be pre-programmable for a standard store and configurable on site, with selectable install parameters. Incorporating free-Cooling “Previously we had infrastructure in place to incorporate free-cooling, but our standard range of controllers had only fixed capability. Airedale’s controls solution allows us to use the same strategy, whilst enabling attainable energy savings to be achieved,” said Graham Ireland, Project Manager, Iceland. The ACIS™ controls system offered the perfect solution to complement the requirements of Iceland. The ACIS™ controller is integrated with bespoke software, which has been developed by Airedale specialists, to provide complete control of any site. ACIS™ enables the management of smart cooling and other building services across multiple sites through a single central system. It can be applied to new and existing refrigeration and cooling products from Airedale or any other manufacturer. Increased energy efficiency The sophisticated software links the programmable controller to key components within the cooling system The sophisticated software links the programmable controller to key components within the cooling system, allowing units to be optimized for increased energy efficiency. The ACIS™ controls system was initially introduced to 50 stores undergoing a major upgrade program. This initiative proved so successful, with such excellent savings in energy that the ACIS™ controls system has now been rolled out across all stores. Efficient control, coupled with free-cooling and part load efficiencies, has enabled Iceland to recoup significant energy savings. In the stores where the ACIS™ controls system is installed, but no changes to plant were made, Iceland is able to compare energy draw before and after installation. Energy costs in the stores have reduced by 10% through tighter, more intelligent levels of control. Based on these results, over the course of a year, across all stores, Iceland’s total building energy costs of £45 million is expected to reduce by £6,000 per store. Benefits of ACIS to Iceland Energy efficiency and complete control - Time scheduling, alarm triggers, adjustment of dual set points and remote access enables system optimization allowing significant energy reduction, particularly during non-trading hours. Optimize free-cooling - If the outside temperature is 1°C or more below the return air temperature, free-cooling can be used, reducing the need for mechanical cooling. Integration of all store systems - For enhanced comfort, this includes ceiling cassettes, over till and over door heaters. Building Management System capability - ACIS™ can be integrated with a wide range of BMS protocols from various manufacturers. Easy-To-Read display “We have yet to find a store where we cannot use the ACIS™ control system. Whenever an individual store criterion varies, Airedale accommodates this by adapting the software. We can add in multiple time functions and know instantly, by checking the easy-to-read display, exactly what the controller is doing.” “As the controller is standardized and uses one type of software, the system enables information to be centralized, which allows functionality to be easily monitored and evaluated. This streamlines the management process and simplifies the procedure for service contractors.” said Graham Ireland, Project Manager, Iceland.
Airedale International’s design engineers, service and controls experts formed part of a multi-disciplinary team managing a complex chiller design, manufacture and installation project involving two 40-minute helicopter lift operations onto the roof of the London offices of a global professional services firm. The team, comprising Norland Managed Services, Plant Movements and Helirig, called for high performance chiller design combined with meticulous planning to minimize disruption to business operations and manage risk during installation in the pedestrianized location close to other high rise buildings and important historic monuments. “Planned to perfection,” said James Buchan, Lead Project Manager, Norland. Airedale Solutions used 8 x 405-778kW TurboChill™ extra quiet air cooled single circuit chillers (405kW, 630kW, 743kW & 778kW) Low noise solution featuring specially designed acoustic compressor enclosure and base panels Design and manufacture to meet complex logistical and stringent health and safety requirements Airedale chiller sequence manager Airedale ChillerGuard™ service & maintenance Energy efficiency standards Eight Airedale TurboChill™ chillers were designed and manufactured in a total of 18 separate component parts The original chillers, which were approaching end-of-life, were dismantled and removed via the building in two phases to allow time for new concrete plinths, pipework and power supplies to be installed whilst maintaining 100% business continuity. Eight Airedale TurboChill™ chillers were designed and manufactured in a total of 18 separate component parts to meet the 3.2 tonne weight limit per section. Further design considerations needed to take into account health & safety requirements and the need for rapid assembly and connection whilst maintaining Airedale’s highest quality and energy efficiency standards in chiller design. Once delivered to site, the chillers were positioned on aluminum track way laid to protect the paving before being airlifted onto the limited roof space in predetermined order to simplify assembly and connection by Airedale’s specialist site team. Early morning operations The chillers were fitted with removable lifting lugs and guide plates to ensure the units could be lowered into the exact position required. Robust and comprehensive test lifts were conducted at Airedale’s Leeds manufacturing site as part of the design process to anticipate and exceed the requirements of the operation. Further design adaptions, including rationalization of pipework connections, meant that the units could be reassembled on the roof with 50% less manpower and within a rapid timeframe of just one week of each airlift operation. As the location was unsuitable for a crane, a Super Puma helicopter was drafted in. The two early morning operations which were capped at nine individual lifts per operation were successfully carried out in less than one hour each and involved working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), police, local authority, environmental health and estate owners. fan air cooled chillers The TurboChill’s modular ‘V’ frame coil arrangement (patent pending) vastly improves heat exchange A total of eight Airedale TurboChill™ 8, 10 & 12 fan air cooled chillers were designed and manufactured in modular form to meet the 3.2 tonne lifting capacity of the Super Puma. The chillers which offer annual operational cost savings of up to 23% were selected for their energy-saving properties and ease of maintenance, and were supplied with specially designed acoustic packs to ensure they meet stringent local authority noise restrictions associated with the building’s proximity to other offices and hotels. The TurboChill’s modular ‘V’ frame coil arrangement (patent pending) vastly improves heat exchange, increasing performance and control particularly at part-load, and facilitates maintenance. The large surface areas of the polymer-coated micro channel heat exchangers increase cooling capacity and reduce condensing temperatures within a smaller footprint. Variable speed control The TurboChill’s oil-free centrifugal compressors provide very precise variable speed control between 15-100% for tighter water set point management which minimizes power consumption with near silent operation. An Airedale chiller sequence manager maximizes the TurboChill’s part-load efficiencies and ensures even wear of components. Benefits of Airedale solution are as follows: Collaborative, fully managed service Rapid 15 week completion for each operation from receipt of order to on-site installation and commissioning Up to 23% savings on running costs Class A EER up to 4.35 (at 7/12°C water and 35°C ambient)
Custodian Data Center, winner of the Data Center Leaders Awards ‘Green’ category, designed its data center with the highest environmental efficiencies in mind. Working in direct partnership, Airedale designed and built an intelligent, energy efficient data center cooling solution that significantly reduces the need for mechanical cooling and provides fresh air free cooling up to 80% of the year. Preventative maintenance solution Airedale was selected for its ability to design and integrate control logic across multiple protocols, hardware and systems and for its pioneering free cooling technology and high specification chillers. With a system using direct fresh air in a data center cooling environment, Airedale software is also critical in ensuring temperature set point and humidity are maintained. Airedale’s solution effectively controls the Air Handling Units (AHUs), Airedale free cooling chillers and legacy Building Management System (BMS). 2 x 30 to 450kW Ultima™ Compact super quiet chillers 1 x 75 to 450kW Ultima™ Compact FreeCool chiller Design and integration of industry standard SNMP protocol controls and ACIS™ software to systems and proprietary BMS Airedale commissioning, critical service and preventative maintenance solution Chilled water temperature Airedale’s ACIS™ control system manages temperature and humidity in the data center The AHU dampers are controlled by Airedale’s bespoke control logic to maximize the effect of free cooling even when the outside temperature is above the supply air set point. When required, two external Airedale mechanical cooling chillers provide cold water to coils in the AHUs. Chillers are programmed to operate with a dynamic chilled water temperature set point, ensuring water is provided at the optimum temperature required by the system and allowing free cooling whenever the ambient is below the return water temperature. Airedale’s ACIS™ control system manages temperature and humidity in the data center, with each control panel integrating with Custodian’s BMS to provide 24/7 monitoring. Critical service solution PUE figures below 1.15 are regularly achieved, meaning that for every 1kW of power used by equipment hosted in the data center, 0.15kW of power is required to operate all related areas of infrastructure. The collaborative approach resulted in a scalable solution, with infrastructure and pipework installed at the start allowing further air handling and chiller units to be added with minimum disruption and without incurring unnecessary additional cost as data center demand grows. Airedale’s dedicated commissioning and critical service solution ensures the system performed from day one and provides round-the-clock support and quarterly preventative maintenance to ensure optimum system performance. Leak detection monitoring “Airedale provided us with a fast, reliable and most importantly bespoke solution. From initial business to present day they have provided us with continuous support,” said Robert Williams, Technical Director. Fresh air free cooling 80% of the year minimizes carbon footprint Achievable PUE of < 1.15 (ratio of total facility power usage divided by IT equipment power usage) Constant temperature, humidity and leak detection monitoring, generating real-time SMS/email/pager updates Full N+1 redundancy Scalable bespoke solution
Egton Medical Information Systems Ltd (EMIS), based in Leeds, is estimated to hold the data for around 39 million patient records. It is the supplier of healthcare software and related services to GP practices. EMIS required a new 24/7 data center as expansion to the existing facility in order to increase its secure and resilient capacity as it extends its range of services to GPs. The data center incorporates a highly efficient, reliable cooling and monitoring solution designed by Airedale. “We are aiming for a Gold CEEDA when the data center is fully populated. Airedale cooling solution should guarantee an annualized PUE of 1.3 for the room,” said Mike Marchant, Data Center Manager, EMIS. Airedale solutions used 4 x InRak™ chilled water 33kW in-row coolers with an EER of 18.47 (EC fan, N + 1) 2 x DeltaChill™ FreeCool 180kW ExtraQuiet compact chillers with N + 1 resilience ACIS™ building energy management system 24/7 service support The InRak™ units sit within a medium density cold aisle containment. Each InRak™ cools three racks at an average 7kW critical load per rack, with the ability to scale up to 20kW per rack. Chilled water is provided to the InRak™ units via a pipe distribution system by two DeltaChill™ FreeCool 180kW ExtraQuiet compact chillers offering N + 1 redundancy. Energy management system The ACIS™ building energy management system monitors power to all the data center areas and calculates live PUE The data center was designed and built by Sudlows. Says Gary Frith, Sudlows Mechanical Director: “Airedale’s chilled water packaged solution is perfect for this application and the project-specific building energy management system designed and installed by Airedale is a winner with our customer.” With the data center operating 24/7 and the temperature in the cold aisle containment typically at 23.5°C, up to 92% of the year can be spent with free-cooling active. The ACIS™ building energy management system monitors power to all the data center areas and calculates live PUE. Via a touch screen interface, the operator can monitor room temperature and pressure; the fresh air unit and the UPS battery life, run time and load. Fully managed services ACIS™ also provides chiller sequencing, alarm management and fire and water detection. Airedale provides a full managed service including an emergency helpline, professional support and call-out service, with guaranteed response times by qualified engineers. “The InRak™ makes the aisle containment far more efficient. The InRak™ is perfectly designed, directing air sideways across the racks like a curtain, providing even cooling top and bottom. The units are very clever; they communicate with each other to maintain pressure and temperature consistent with the room. The InRak’s EC fans are great – they are all linked to the ACIS™ and ramp up and down according to demand. ACIS™ gives us 24/7 control of the operation and peace of mind,” said Mike Marchant, Data Center Manager, EMIS.
The Tower of London is one of six historic buildings under the care of independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces (HRP). As one of Britain’s most important historic buildings, and home to priceless treasures including the Crown Jewels, it is vital that any works commissioned by HRP deliver best value-for-money and reliability. Principal contractor, EV Bullen, was responsible for the execution of the project from the design phase through to practical completion and handover. Delivering comfort cooling By convening the project team very early on in the design stage and enabling effective communication between the critical stakeholders, including Airedale International, and the rest of the project team at every stage of the project, many of the potential risks typically associated with a scheme of this scale, involving multiple capital plant suppliers, were pre-empted. As part of a major refurbishment program, Airedale was selected to supply two Ultima™ twin circuit compact chillers to deliver comfort cooling to the building. The unique nature of the building’s design and fabric required Airedale to reduce the footprint of each chiller by just 75mm so that it could be moved into position through existing structural openings without damaging the building’s structure. Maximizing energy efficiency Enabling the units to closely match cooling demand and so minimize energy consumption Reducing the dimensions of the chillers allowed fully assembled, fully tested units to be delivered to site, cutting time and cost in assembly and commissioning, and ensuring a smooth transition to the new cooling plant. In addition to best value in capital and operational costs, other key considerations were quality, performance and reliability, and access to professional service and quality components at the end of warranty. To maximize energy efficiency, four stages of cooling are available, enabling the units to closely match cooling demand and so minimize energy consumption. When components work at part-load, wear and tear is also reduced, improving reliability and extending unit life. Modulating head pressure control also ensures energy-efficient operation of the condenser fans whilst protecting the system in low ambient conditions. Exceeding every expectation Units are also designed to ensure easy access to components, simplifying maintenance. To maintain acceptable sound levels, the compressor enclosure is lined with 40mm acoustic material. To ensure performance to precise specifications, the units were commissioned onsite by Airedale engineers who also provided training. “We are delighted with the successful outcome of this project. A building as unique and cherished as the Tower of London requires the highest levels of quality, attention to detail and understanding of the complexities involved. Every member of the project team met and exceeded every expectation,” said Ken Deal Project Manager, EV Bullen.