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Energy-saving retrofit

Energy-saving retrofit

Date: 15th September 2015  |   Posted by: Airedale Team  |   Posted in: Blog

Airedale Air Conditioning, Leeds, UK, September 15, 2015

One of the biggest growth areas for Airedale is the retrofit market where it has built up considerable expertise working with clients such as Epson, the National Gallery, Reuters, Vodafone and numerous public sector bodies.

Aftersales Manager, Adrian Trevelyan says the efficiency savings resulting from a retrofit programme can be substantial with surprisingly rapid returns on investment. “Take the latest example of our work with BAE Systems, Warton where we helped them achieve computer room air conditioning energy savings of 70-80%, equivalent to £350,000 per annum. Normally you would expect a payback of 24-30 months on a project of this type but with BAE Systems we achieved this within just 15 months.”

"...the efficiency savings resulting from a retrofit programme can be substantial with surprisingly rapid returns on investment."

“We’re increasingly dealing with very savvy energy managers tasked with achieving challenging energy performance objectives. In many cases, the easy wins have already been made so they need more of a ‘solutions’ partner who can work with them on a long-term basis rather than provide a quick fix.”

A typical retrofit programme would start with an energy survey, following which Airedale would monitor and measure energy consumption over a period of time, usually one day or one week, depending on the client’s requirements.  “After together selecting a suitable area for a trial and making the recommended upgrades, we would continue to monitor and measure performance over the same period of time to ensure like-for-like comparisons” continues Adrian. “In conjunction with our client we would then assess the results and help build a business case as a basis for rolling out an upgrade programme. We will then fully project manage the works which, on a large scale project like BAE Systems, can be complex. Our approach is based on a high level of expertise in the cooling arena and a flexible approach based on the client’s objectives”

"We’re increasingly dealing with very savvy energy managers tasked with achieving challenging energy performance objectives. In many cases, the easy wins have already been made..."

Downtime is generally one day per unit to upgrade to electronically commutated (EC) fans and a further day to implement Electronic Expansion Valves (EEVs). Airedale would ensure that the other units were fully operational during that time so as to maintain the facility’s performance even where hot works such as brazing are involved. Airedale engineers are highly trained air conditioning professionals who understand and can adapt systems to ensure they operate as a whole. They have the necessary skills and knowledge to commission and optimise each system to the specific conditions of each individual room and of course ensure compliance with F-Gas standards where refrigerant changes are made.


Airedale's aftersales team

Often Airedale controls experts will be called in to design and implement control logic for example to maximise part-load efficiencies of components, network and integrate units with the site Building Management System (BMS) providing remote temperature and humidity control, and to sequence units which would allow power consumption to be reduced, ensure even wear of components and provide back-up in the case of maintenance. 

At the end of the programme, in addition to significant energy savings sites typically benefit from much better visibility and control over their cooling infrastructure. Adrian adds: “Installations of any size can expect to see quite significant results as a proportion of their total energy consumption.”

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