Airedale has invested in a state of the art chiller test center at it’s manufacturing plant in Virginia, strategically located to serve the North American data center market
This facility is integral to our development process and ensures guaranteed accuracy of our data and performance. It can also be used for witness tests to provide our customers with complete peace of mind prior to installation.
Capable of testing up to 125°F
Airedale already leads the industry with one of the biggest HVAC R&D centers in Europe, and has now expanded its global testing capabilities with this new US facility. The capability to perform in-house performance testing on data center chillers is integral to Airedale’s R&D and production processes and ensures accuracy of data when proving chiller performance for North American data center clients, for whom precision and reliability is critical.
The new facility features a test chamber, control room and a dedicated observation area to facilitate quality witness tests for clients wishing to validate chiller performance in-person, providing them with complete peace of mind prior to installation. As well delivering final performance statistics, the test data can be monitored and managed live throughout the test process, using test data acquisition technology and an automated building management system.
Designed to exceed stringent international standards, the lab is capable of testing a complete range of air conditioning equipment and can cater for air-cooled chillers up to 2.1MW and eventually water-cooled chillers up to 5MW. The current process water flow has a capability of up to 1,900 GPM, with future expansion capability up to 3,800 GPM. The chamber has physical capacity for chillers up to 55 feet in length and can test up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Crucially for data center applications, the ambient temperature inside the chamber can also be reduced to prove chiller free cooling / economizer performance, an area in which Airedale have placed huge R&D emphasis in order to meet the growing demand for more sustainable solutions. Free cooling is the process of using external ambient temperature to reject heat, rather than using the refrigeration process. If used within an optimized system, free cooling can provide significant energy savings, thereby reducing impact on the environment. Typical Airedale installations in 24/7 data centers with a typical room temperature of 75°F, will spend over 95% of the year with free cooling active.
The big advantage that the Rockbridge facility has over other test centers, in terms of economizer testing, is that it is not reliant on heat reclaim to be able to conduct chiller tests. The Rockbridge lab can handle the total rejected heat from the chiller (without being reliant on heat reclaim), meaning it is possible to conduct representative free-cooling tests without having to resort to a “reverse free-cooling” methodology like other similar labs.
The opening of the testing facilities at Rockbridge cements Airedale’s continuing commitment to the US data center industry and their mission to supply solutions with quality, expertise and sustainability at their core.
"This facility takes us to the next level in terms of being able to serve the data center market here in the US. The ability to put large chillers through their paces right here in Virginia, one of the biggest data center growth regions in the world, gives Airedale a real advantage. Data center chillers need to perform once they're on site and it is natural that clients want to see the equipment perform in-person before delivery to site. Having the ability to host chiller witness tests is a welcome investment and another statement of intent that we are delivering on our global growth strategy"
Refrigeration and air conditioning testing
In addition to tests performed in the new test center, Airedale tests all chillers as part of an End Of Line Test (EOLT) procedure, prior to despatch to our customers. This rigorous testing procedure involves both on-line safety testing for leaks, as well as post-production testing to ensure conformance to strict guidelines.
Airedale re-invests a significant percentage of revenues into global research and development programs, aimed at developing next-gen cooling products, software and systems. This characteristically requires rigorous and complex development testing carried out in advanced insulated chambers with the capability to sustain a specific combination of ambient temperature conditions. The Airedale test laboratory ensures that Airedale cooling solutions consistently deliver some of the industry’s leading proven environmental and cost performance figures, combined with the highest quality, reliability and service.
Innovative product development is key to Airedale’s success, setting air conditioning industry standards when it comes to manufacturing expertise and addressing industry, economic and environmental challenges.