UK: When it comes to designing and maintaining energy efficient cooling and heating systems, Star Refrigeration is undoubtedly an innovator for delivering low carbon, cost saving solutions. So as Europe begins its scheduled phase down of selected HFC refrigerant gases, Star is urging food manufacturers to take a long term, strategic view of their refrigeration systems - or face significant financial penalties.
Star believes that new European F-Gas Regulations will dramatically affect the cost and availability of synthetic refrigerants with high global warming potential, warning that refrigerant suppliers have indicated that the price of some widely used HFC gases may increase by up to 20% this year.
Over the past fifteen years, the refrigeration industry has seen the gradual phase out of synthetic, ozone-depleting refrigerants. From January 2015 the last of these HCFC gases, including R22, were banned in Europe.
Star Refrigeration Group Sales and Marketing Director Rob Lamb says: “As the phase down of HFC gases with high global warming potential takes place over the next 15 years, we predict that there will be a rapid increase in cost and a marked decline in their availability.”
He adds: “We would urge refrigeration plant operators to think strategically and take a long term view of their manufacturing processes by investing in future-proof refrigeration systems.”
Whilst refrigerant suppliers are busy developing new blended synthetic gases with lower global warming potential, Star believes there is a long-established, natural alternative.
Rob Lamb says: “Natural gases such as ammonia have been successfully used as refrigerants for over 100 years. Ammonia has no global warming effect and offers high efficiency, long term availability and low cost per Kg. The use of carbon dioxide as a refrigerant is also growing in popularity due to its relatively low global warming potential.”
He adds: “The initial capital cost of plant that operates on a natural refrigerant may be higher, but the lifecycle cost of running the system is key. Those who continue to operate cooling systems with HFCs are facing the risk of escalating running costs in the short to medium term. We believe that natural refrigerants such as ammonia and CO2 offer long term security.”
UK: Ofgem have reported that they have received an increasing number of complex questions about the eligibility of Ground Source Heat Pumps and shared ground arrays for both the Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI schemes.
In a statement Ofgem say they are aware that a number of installers are working on innovative developments, particularly in the social housing sector. These developments typically include shared ground arrays – with shared ground or water loops – providing heat to more than one heat pump unit located in each individual flat or house. As administrators of both schemes, Ofgem has set out a response to these new industry initiatives.
The 2014 Domestic RHI Regulations define a Ground Source Heat Pump as a plant that generates heat by absorbing energy stored in the form of heat from the ground, including water in the ground, or surface water, or both, and uses that energy to heat a liquid. It follows that a ground array forms part of the plant for the purposes of the Domestic RHI scheme.
Under the current Domestic RHI Regulations, any application involving a plant that is a heat pump seeking accreditation for the Domestic RHI can only be considered eligible if it provides heating solely to a single eligible property, assuming all other conditions are satisfied.
Therefore a plant incorporating shared ground loop arrays that provide heat to more than one single eligible property is not eligible for the Domestic RHI scheme. However, a plant featuring a shared ground loop array, providing heat to multiple domestic properties, can be considered for the Non-Domestic scheme, assuming all other eligibility requirements are met for that scheme.
To find out more about both the Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI Schemes click here
UK: Dearman, the clean cold and power company, was today joined by the Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, at the official opening of its ground-breaking Clean Cold and Power Technology Centre.
The new facility is home to Dearman’s extensive research and development activities, which are focused on the delivery of a range of zero-emission cold and power technologies.
The company is working on diverse applications of its technology for use in transportation, the built environment and logistics. All of these applications utilise the Dearman engine, a novel piston engine that is powered by the expansion of liquid air to provide clean cooling and power.
The Minister and senior Dearman executives were joined by representatives of industry and academia, for a tour of the new facility which includes: state-of-the-art engine test facilities; engine build and component machining facilities: and space for Dearman’s growing number of engineers, designers and analysts. The facility in Croydon, Greater London, also features all of the cryogenic infrastructure needed to run a series of liquid air cold and power systems.
Discussing the visit, Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, said: “From an invention designed and built in the lab to this impressive technology centre, Dearman is one of the great success stories that gives the UK its reputation for driving innovation. I want to continue to make the UK the best place in Europe to innovate and grow a business and this new facility is a strong sign of the progress we are making to achieve this goal.”
Commenting, Toby Peters, Chief Executive of Dearman said: “Today is a momentous occasion for Dearman. Not just because it marks the opening of this ground-breaking research facility, which will be at the heart of Dearman innovation for years to come. But because it highlights the progress we have made, as a team, in such a short period of time.
“Just over three years ago Dearman and clean cold were nothing more than ideas. Today we are a company of more than 50 hugely talented people, we have our own bespoke facility, we have made huge strides in developing our technology and our first application will begin real-world deployment soon. With the rapidly increasing global demand for cold and cooling of all types, especially in the rapidly emerging and developing economies, our vision is to create and supply revolutionary clean cold and power systems that deliver strong environmental benefits and are equally commercially attractive. I am very proud to say that today, our vision of clean cold and power came one step closer to becoming a reality.”
The Dearman Clean Cold and Power Technology Centre is home to more than 40 people, the majority of whom are engineers and technicians. That number will grow in the years to come as Dearman plans to extend its activities, expand its range of applications and begin after-sales and support services.
The first application of Dearman technology is a zero-emission transport refrigeration system, which will begin commercial field trials later this year, before extensive international trials begin in 2016. Subsequent Dearman applications will include a clean power and cooling system for buildings, an auxiliary power unit for buses and HGVs, and a liquid air heat hybrid system for trucks and buses.
Dearman is also developing its world leading expertise, which will enable it to advise organisations on the application of integrated cold and power technologies, helping them to reduce emissions and save money.
UK: A major R22 chiller replacement project at Salisbury Hospital has set what is believed to be a new industry record for underground refrigerant pipework on a Turbomiser installation.
Four new chillers, with a combined cooling capacity of some 1.4MW, are connected to air-cooled condensers by DX pipework up to 75m in length. The large-gauge copper tube (up to 3in 5/8 on the discharge and 2in 5/8 on liquid lines) runs beneath a road in a concrete-lined culvert.
The installation, which took nine weeks to complete, required refrigerant pipe to be mounted on custom-fabricated brackets every 1.5m along the length of the underground structure. Each chiller and condenser is on an independent circuit.
The high efficiency R134a-based chillers replace four aging R22-based Hitachi units, on dual screw compressors, believed to be up to 20 years old. The Turbomisers were installed on the existing mounting points, however they occupy two-thirds the space, due to their high performance relative to their size.
The Turbomisers, fitted with an Economiser based on a high efficiency brazed plate heat exchanger, provide cooling for the hospital’s air handling units, serving wards, administration areas and waiting rooms. They are linked to a hospital-wide Building Management System (BMS), with control based on return water temperature. The BMS controls chiller sequencing and run-time to even-out operational hours and prolong working life.
Cool-Therm provided a complete turn-key installation, including design, supply, installation and commissioning. The company has also secured a five year service and maintenance contract for the chillers.
In a previous project at the site, Cool-Therm supplied a packaged air-cooled Turbomiser chiller, complete with integral condenser, enabling it to be located in a restricted space in an enclosed area of the hospital.
Rob Young, Cool-Therm project director, said: “Due to the need to maintain continuity of cooling throughout, it required a carefully managed staged approach. Because of the time of year, we were able to remove three of the four original chillers and leave one operational, after ensuring it was capable of meeting all anticipated demand.
“When two of the three new systems were operational, the fourth original unit was decommissioned and removed, and the final chiller and associated condenser installed.”
He added: “The need to route pipe work under a road and a delivery area obviously added an extra dimension, and one that we had not encountered before. However, the custom-designed mounting system we developed proved very effective.”
Jerry Henderson, who headed the project for Salisbury Hospital, said: “The new Turbomisers are part of a hospital-wide efficiency programme, designed to reduce running costs and improve our carbon footprint. We were impressed by the proven performance of the chiller and the significant potential energy savings. Cool-Therm were highly professional and worked closely with our on-site team to deliver a complex project ahead of schedule, and – crucially – without interruption to hospital cooling.”
The Cool-Therm installation team was led by Simon Umlandt, assisted by Steve Baker and Andy Comerford.
UK: The new Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician Apprenticeship standard and assessment strategy has now been published on the list of approved standards on the Government Trailblazer website.
The Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician Apprenticeship Standard reflects the needs of employers who employ a range of apprentices to carry out work in a variety of roles in installation, commissioning, service and maintenance of systems in a variety of application use such as retail refrigeration in supermarkets, bespoke industrial freezing processes, and air conditioning or heat pumping in commercial buildings.
The standard and the assessment plan have been developed by employers in consultation with providers over the past 18 months, supported by the Institute of Refrigeration Education Committee.
IOR President, Graeme Maidment, commented "We are delighted that the IOR's leadership in education in the RACHP sector has been recognised as a trailblazer. The new Apprenticeship has been developed on conjunction with employers and in consultation with providers. This has resulted in a framework that is forward-looking and will provide the educational foundation for the needs of our industry. We look forward to supporting all employers in the RACHP sector in implementing the new apprenticeship scheme from September 2016."
It is hoped that employers will be able to start Apprentices on the new scheme from September 2016. Assessment Organisations (such City & Guilds) need to register for approval before they can begin developing materials for the new Apprenticeship (such as workbooks, on line exams, specifications for practical tests and setting up an independent end point assessment panels). It is a recommendation in the new Apprenticeship that input from professional institutes such as the IOR is gained in the development of these materials or qualifications, to ensure that current industry standards are met and that they satisfy Engineering Council Engineering Technician requirements.
Employers will be able to choose which Assessment Organisation and Training Organisation they want to use for the RACHP Apprenticeship, and allocate the matched Government funding accordingly. The government Apprenticeship website will list the options available to employers and explain how much funding is available in due course.
For further information about the new Apprenticeship standard: refrigeration air conditioning & heat pump engineering technician (ready for delivery) click here.
INDIA: A 26-year-old air conditioning engineer was killed on Saturday morning when two compressors on an air conditioning plant he was working on exploded.
According to reports the victim, Nasim Ansari and his colleague were servicing one of the central air conditioning plants at the R Odeon shopping mall in Ghatkopar following reports of a refrigerant leak.
Following the blast the police and the fire brigade were called where they discovered the severely burned body of Ansari, who was subsequently declared dead at the scene.
Assistant Divisional Fire Officer C R Pawar said there was a gas leak in the plant and Ansari had been called to fix it. "It appears the leak had not been plugged properly which triggered the blasts."
According to the Times of India, Senior police inspector SA Dhanavade said they have lodged a complaint of causing death by negligence against Ansari’s employer adding "The arrest will be done after getting details of the contractor whether he has given proper training to the victim to handle the plant servicing and why the victim was not provided with safety gears."
Ansari’s colleague was uninjured as he was said to have been fetching tools from the van at the time of the incident.
Image: A police officer survey's the scene of the incident
UK: Carrier has delivered substantial savings in carbon emissions and building operating costs for Citi, following a chiller upgrade project at the group’s London headquarters.
To meet the customer’s requirements for increased energy efficiency, Carrier upgraded two Carrier AquaEdge™ 19XR5 centrifugal chillers with variable speed drives based on Greenspeed® intelligence, enabling a significant reduction in operating costs.
Carrier designed and built a custom solution matched to the exact requirements of the project. This solution helps reduce chiller energy consumption by adjusting cooling capacity to match the building’s load in real time.
Based on an initial analysis carried out by the Carrier engineering team, the energy saving potential for both chillers upgraded with Greenspeed® intelligence was estimated at £126,000 per year. Power use was then monitored before and after the installation. During the first three months of operation, the results showed actual savings of £33,966, exceeding anticipated savings.
With Carrier’s variable speed drive system, end users can reduce energy use and cut their carbon emissions, as well as extend the working life of chillers. An added benefit is lower servicing costs, as the soft start and soft stop routines contribute to less wear and tear on the system.
A further benefit is a substantial reduction in noise, due to the modulation of compressor running speed. The Carrier system also helps deliver highly stable comfort conditions, as chiller output is closely matched to load, producing a more comfortable and productive environment for building occupants.
The project was carried out in two stages. The first involved installing Greenspeed® intelligence on the first centrifugal chiller. The reduction in energy consumption as a result of the upgrade enabled Carrier to make a supported case for upgrading the second centrifugal chiller, which was accepted by the client.
During the installation phase, due to height limitations in the building’s basement plant room, Carrier co-ordinated the dismantling of the large variable speed drives before they were moved in three sections, and their re-assembly once in position in the plant room.
“The key aim of the project was to reduce energy use without affecting comfort conditions inside the building, in order to lower building operational costs and associated carbon emissions,” said Paul Clements, UK engineering asset manager, Citigroup Realty Services. “We worked closely with Carrier throughout the project to ensure the requirements were met. As the figures for chiller energy consumption demonstrate, the project has proved to be highly successful and met its objectives.”
As a result of the project’s success, Carrier has secured subsequent orders for several Greenspeed® intelligence upgrade projects on centrifugal chillers serving multi-storey commercial buildings in London and elsewhere in the UK.
For more information, contact Graham Easter on Tel 01372 220 220, email email@example.com.
UK: A good fridge is one of the most important pieces of equipment in any kitchen, but it’s usually taken for granted, Williams wants to put an end to this.
Williams Refrigeration has decided that it’s time these stars of the kitchen get the recognition they deserve, and is launching the #loveyourfridge campaign. The aim of #loveyourfridge is to help raise awareness - in a light-hearted manner - of the vital role fridges play in commercial kitchens. It will help ensure your fridge has the longest possible working life by highlighting simple maintenance tasks that can keep it in tip-top condition.
“While the best quality fridges will last the longest, they still need to be looked after properly too,” says Malcolm Harling, Sales and Marketing Director at Williams. “Even the most robust fridges, like a Williams, can benefit from some TLC. After years of unassuming service, it’s time for fridges to have their moment in the spotlight!”
Chefs are encouraged to get involved on Twitter by sharing pictures and tips using the hashtag #loveyourfridge. Particularly creative or amusing tweets could receive a fridge care pack, featuring useful items to help keep fridges looking and performing as good as new. The pack includes a polishing cloth, stainless steel cleaner, and a condenser cleaning brush. Also included is a guide packed with useful tips on looking after your fridge.
Not only that, but the brand new loveyourfridge.co.uk website is bursting with hints, tips and other exclusive content, including a complete guide to choosing the right fridge, and more chances to receive goodies.
“Whether you’re showing off a new purchase, celebrating years of hard work, or you just want to let others know your top tips for a happy fridge, #loveyourfridge and celebrate all things refrigeration”
UK: Following the arrival of new Heating Technical Engineer, Andy Henson, earlier this year, Hitachi has completely overhauled the training programme for its Yutaki range of air source heat pumps.
The original single-day course has been updated and expanded to meet the needs of today’s heating installers and will be replaced by two one-day courses covering the Monobloc and Split Yutaki heat pump products on alternate weeks or consecutive days, depending on customer requirements.
Hitachi is officially launching the new courses during the Heating and Renewables Roadshow which kicks off on 10th September in Coventry, with further dates in Exeter, Farnborough, Edinburgh and Manchester.
Commenting on the timing of the launch, Heating Sales Manager, Andy Hooper said, “The new Yutaki training courses have been designed specifically for plumbers and heating professionals who are interested in the possibilities presented by renewable heating technology, specifically air source heat pumps, so the Heating and Renewables Roadshow is a great opportunity for us to reach exactly the right audience.”
The courses will run from Hitachi’s training aircademies in Maidenhead and Dublin, and from distributor Solfex Ltd’s headquarters in Preston, Lancashire.
Hitachi Heating has grown its team throughout 2015 to meet increased demand for its innovative range of air source heat pump products, including award-winning monobloc Yutaki-M and Yutaki-S, Yutaki-S80 and Yutaki-SCombi splits.
“Feedback from the initial courses we’ve run has been really positive so we’re confident that the new format and content will ensure that any heating contractors attending either Yutaki-M or the Yutaki Splits courses will come away with the skills and knowledge they need to correctly specify and install Hitachi’s Yutaki products,” concluded Andy Henson.
About Hitachi Air Conditioning in Europe
Hitachi Air Conditioning Europe SAS incorporates all activities for air conditioning products, including sales, manufacture and service operations across the European market. For more information visit: www.hitachiaircon.com.
EUROPE: The European association of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump contractors (AREA) has today published a paper on the European strategy on heating and cooling which is due to be published by the end of the year. Stating that heating and cooling should be addressed in its own right and in a comprehensive way rather than scattered as part of other policies.
In the paper AREA re-affirms its general commitment to the objectives of the EU energy and resource efficiency policy. They do however say that as refrigeration and air conditioning technologies are responsible for a significant share of the global energy consumption, other aspects should be duly considered in the upcoming strategy, notably the role of refrigerant and the necessity to maintain contractors’ skills and knowledge.
The following are key points taken from AREA’s paper. The full text can be viewed here.
RACHP Contractors are technology providers at every scale
AREA say the Commission’s working document (issue paper III on technologies) rightly points out the key role of installers, who are the “intermediaries bringing together the technology and the user”.
However, AREA strongly opposes further descriptions of installers in this Commission’s working document. Installers are indirectly referred to as “bottlenecks” due to an alleged lack of training and supposed dislike of ‘non-conventional products’. Such an assumption is generic, simplistic and unsubstantiated.
Contractors are neutral toward technologies
RACHP contractors use every available solution with complete technology neutrality and with the sole aim of ensuring the highest level of reliability, energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness. They provide tailor-made solutions based on users’ specific needs. They work at all scales, from household air conditioning equipment to industrial refrigeration installations.
AREA strongly believes there is a place for all types of cooling technologies, simply because there is no ‘miracle technology’ that provides a one-size-fits-all solution. In this regard, the Commission’s working documents seem to put too much emphasis on district heating and cooling, which raises our concerns since it is not always the most suitable option. Instead, the upcoming heating and cooling strategy should be neutral towards technologies, promoting both large-scale and small-scale solutions depending on the situation.
Contractors have a key role to play
AREA acknowledges that the Ecodesign and Energy labelling Directives will improve efficiency of ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigerating equipment as well as heat pumps, which we support. However, without proper design of the cooling system, energy savings of efficient equipment can be totally negated.
Therefore proper system design, effective installation, as well as regular maintenance and servicing are of the utmost importance to ensure that expected energy savings turn into reality.
The role of refrigerant should also be considered
The Commission’s working documents tend to focus on technologies only, without considering other aspects, such as refrigerants. In the cooling sector, however, refrigerants directly impact on the energy efficiency of RACHP systems.
This is why energy efficiency remains a key issue in refrigerant policy at EU regulatory level, especially the Regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases (517/2014/EU). The so-called F-gas Regulation ensures that installation, maintenance, service, leakage checking, commissioning and disassembly of RACHP systems are undertaken by fully competent professionals.
This results in better containment of refrigerants and greater energy efficiency of the systems.
Maintaining contractors’ skills and knowledge is vital
The Commission working document mentions an alleged lack of awareness and knowledge of new technologies, and too few trained installers bringing these solutions to customers. AREA would like to provide some information on the state of training and competence of RACHP installers in order to avoid unwanted generalisations.
Refrigeration and air conditioning is a very innovative and constantly evolving industry. The high level of technicality of RACHP systems makes it necessary to have a corresponding level of competence from installers. Since 2006, this is ensured through compulsory minimum training & certification requirements embedded in the F-gas Regulation. These are largely based on the work undertaken by our industry in the context of the REAL Alternatives project.
AREA is fully supportive of harmonised initiatives fulfilling the same objective, as long as they are proportionate and coordinated. An EU Heating and Cooling Strategy should ensure such a coordination, taking existing schemes into consideration and avoiding duplicate or divergent requirements.
AREA (www.area-eur.be) is the European organisation of refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) contractors. AREA members are key stakeholders in the cooling sector since they are the architects of RACHP systems, which they design, install and maintain.
AREA members represent more than 9,000 companies across Europe, a workforce of 125,000 with a turnover approaching € 20 billion.