Keeping your HVAC airways clean

Richard Betts, Managing Director of RABScreen, the external filter specialists, discusses the importance of airflow in heating and cooling systems.

Airflow is the single most critical element in the correct operation of all air heating and cooling systems. Yet most systems do not have the correct airflow.

As a result compressors overheat, fans blow hot air and heat exchangers at their heart cannot provide the capacity and comfort that their manufacturers built and designed into them.

Accurate cooling or heating analysis cannot be performed, system performance cannot be measured, and the servicing or commissioning process will be compromised if airflow is anything but correct, just ask any HVAC manufacturer.

We heat and cool air, humidify it, dehumidify it, clean it, move it, supply it, return it and try to monitor it. All of these processes are jeopardised if the designed airflow to the system is restricted.

The recent economic climate, has caused nationwide cutbacks on staffing and budgets. Fewer staff on site means a reduced capacity for maintenance and servicing. However, the objective of any maintenance team has not changed.

It is very simple:

  • Achieve adequate building cooling or heating.
  • Minimise labour time and maximise efficiencies.
  • Reduce down time breakdowns.
  • Maintain customer satisfaction.

Highly qualified engineers are wasting hours on the environmentally unfriendly, chemical cleaning of coil fins instead of fine tuning and balancing the sensitive air handling systems they are trained to maintain.

Measuring, monitoring and maintaining correct airflow should be the first step when servicing equipment. It is the key component for proper equipment operation. Energy consumption is dramatically increased when compressors and fans have to work harder to maintain design output and this means big money is needlessly vanishing into thin air.

Also if an expensive compressor needs to be changed and the technician has not fully determined why it failed, the new compressor is sure to fail for the same reasons. Indeed compressors installed by service technicians fail at six to seven times the rate of original equipment.

In most regions of the UK, pollen is a major contributor to the fouling of cooling equipment. This, combined with general debris caused by foliage, refuse and other airborne particulates, can have a significant impact upon the day-to-day running of the equipment.

It has always been very difficult to add filtration to cooling equipment (water and dry air cooled), small condensers and cooling towers. Yet products like the RABScreen external filtration now offer the ideal solution to air intake debris, contaminated coils and clogged cooling tower sumps. These screens are easily fitted externally and prevent contaminates in the air entering the system. This saves money by extending the life of disposable filters, saves as much as 30% of input energy on chiller coils and saves labour by reducing cleaning and chemical use.  As a result, the typical return on investment of fitting RABScreen air intake screens is less than six months. These air intake screen are a black engineered mesh, which is heavy duty and high abrasion resistant and incoming debris held in place on the mesh is easily removed by vacuum, brush or washing during regular maintenance.

During the summer months coil cleaning, changing of internal air filters and general HVAC maintenance must be carried out more frequently, consuming much of the engineering team’s routine programmed maintenance schedule.

Similarly, the correct monitoring of airflow through cooling towers will help to minimise the risk of decaying debris such as insects, seeds and pollen forming a nutrient source for the legionella bacteria.

As I have explained it pays dividends to keep HVAC airways clean as by doing so it reduces energy consumption considerably; it reduces the regular maintenance needed on cooling systems; and increases the efficiency of the equipment ensuring its long life well into the future.

Further information on averting HVAC contamination by using RABScreen air intake screens is available from RAB Specialist Engineers on 0800 999 5750 or emailing info@rabscreen.com or by visiting the company’s website at www.rabscreen.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Richard Betts is Managing Director of RAB Specialist Engineers which supplies and installs external filter screens for HVAC equipment. He has more than 40 years’ hands-on experience in the maintenance of HVAC systems and is a member of ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

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Andrews Provides Chilled Out Music

Hire of a 50kW chiller coupled to air handling units enabled Andrews Chiller Hire to achieve and maintain the correct temperature within a temporary music rooms at a South East University whilst the main Music Hall underwent major internal renovation.  Achieving the perfect environment ensured students could actively continue on their music degree courses, uninterrupted.

Fluctuations in temperature ultimately affect humidity, which can be a complicating factor when examining the effect of increases in temperature on musical instruments. Both reed and stringed instruments suffer, not only affecting the actual sound but also minute delays in timing. In stringed instruments such as violins higher temperatures decrease the tension in the string, changing the way the bow pulls on each string. In reed instruments, such as an organ, the dimension of the pipes change, altering the sound.

For degree course students these changes may have an unnerving experience, therefore the University needed to ensure that the new temporary music rooms could maintain a constant environment.

As a leading chiller hire specialist, Andrews Sykes has a broad knowledge and considerable experience in providing solutions that will reduce and stabilise temperatures.  It also operates with one of the large ranges of chillers which ensures it can cope with any situations and with a nation-wide network of depots a solutions is always close at hand..

When contacted by the SE England University a same-day site survey was conducted and it was decided that the Andrews 50kW chiller and a number air handling units would create the perfect temperature controlled environment.  The units were commissioned for use within hours of arrival on site, allowing the University to achieve and maintain the optimum playing conditions inside the temporary music rooms.  As the campus has considerable foot traffic, care was taken to keep the hoses above head height to eliminated trip hazards.

The Andrews 50kW fluid air chiller circulates chilled water to each of the air handling units.  Warm air from the music rooms is drawn into the lower portion of the air handling units, then passes over the ‘cold’ coils resulting in a drop in temperature, the cooler air is then gently blown back into room from the top vents.  Since temperature change will depend on air flow, air temperature and humidity, the Andrews Chiller solutions had to adjust automatically to these variants.

The campus maintenance team and lectures alike where delighted with the results achieved by Andrews Chiller Hire, it created the perfect temporary cooling solution that ran through-out the length of renovation works.  It gave the University effective climate control, enabling all music courses to continue without any disruption. www.andrews-sykes.com

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Tansun’s infrared heaters save church thousands of pounds a year in heating costs

Tansun have replaced the inefficient underfloor heating system at St Michael’s Church in Wolverhampton with highly efficient infrared heaters saving over 75% in energy costs.

The church’s congregation desperately sought a permanent heating solution to keep them warm during their services that didn’t take hours to preheat. Their previous underfloor heating had to be switched on three days before Sunday service. This meant that for the winter months, the heating system had to be turned on at midday on Thursday so that the church would be warm enough for the Sunday service. This proved to be very costly, and was unsustainable for the church.

Tansun’s Apollo infrared space heaters were chosen for the church as they were powerful enough to heat large buildings with high ceilings. Tansun offers a range of bracketry so the space heaters could be mounted at the appropriate angle to warm those below.

Parish priest Reverend Father Stephen Squires said: “We have tried for years to find an effective heating solution for this church and the Tansun heating system is the only one we have found that provides an effective heating solution whilst dramatically reducing our heating costs. We are now saving over 75% per annum.”

The results from the changeover to Tansun’s high quality space heaters are self-evident. The church now only has to turn on the infrared heaters exactly when the heat is required. This has enabled the church to save a staggering 79% per annum on their heating.

The figures below show the heating costs for the church for the same period before and after installing the Tansun Apollo infrared space heaters. All the figures are data provided by Saint Michael’s church.

Sept – March
(Old heating system)
Sept – March
(Tansun heating system installed)
Sept: £29.95 Sept: £6.49
Oct: £388.36 Oct: £44.00
Nov: £168.17 Nov: £92.67
Dec: £1546.15 Dec: £254.77
Jan: £404.69 Jan: £243.23
Feb: £1050.43 Feb: £153.27
Mar: £707.81 Mar: £95.33
Total: £4295.56 Total: £889.76

The Tansun Apollo A3E quartz infrared space heater is one of the largest in the Apollo range. This particular infrared space heater is a popular solution for the heating of large buildings such as factories, warehouses and areas like Saint Michael’s Church with a much larger floor space. As with the other space heaters in the range also used at the church; the A3E is robust, yet lightweight and has integral heat sinks built in to keep the heater’s overall running temperature low. Tansun advised the congregation that each area of the church would require a different heating solution. This led to them installing a variety of different size and output Apollo space heaters to different parts of the church in order to suit the need of each particular area.

The Tansun Apollo space heaters are manufactured in the UK with smooth parabolic reflectors which help direct the heat outwards, giving an effective and instant heating solution. The space heater comes as standard with three phase wiring built into the heater, and is available in power configurations of 6kW, 9kW all the way up to 12kW.

All of Tansun’s products are made in the UK and are designed using premium components. The company has been established for 35 years and pioneered the concept of infrared electric heaters alongside Philips technology. Tansun has the largest range of domestic, commercial and industry infrared heaters in the world, providing maintenance-free, safe and effective heating appliances for customers up and down the country.

Further information is available from Tansun on 0121 580 6200, by emailing sales@tansun.com or by visiting the company’s website at www.tansun.com

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Tansun infrared heaters maximise outside dining at The Lighterman

The Lighterman at Granary Square, Kings Cross is a new contemporary design of public house and a landmark site in the new Kings Cross development. And Tansun infrared heaters are playing their part by enhancing the exterior space for the warmth and comfort of customers.

This new project by Open House Projects, has seen The Lighterman join the group’s two others in London’s Fitzrovia and follows the theme of a modern interpretation of the traditional pub with casual dining, drinking and socialising using modern British menus with European influences.

Inspired by the Victorian Lightermen who worked on the flat bottom barges, known as ‘Lighters,’ The Lighterman has a contemporary design over three floors with stunning views across Granary Square and Regents Canal.

Tansun infrared heaters were selected by Open House Projects for the outside terrace where Tansun’s Bahama single 1.5kW heaters are discreetly integrated under seven parosols with four heaters per parasol.  Hannah Burke, Project Manager for Open House Projects is delighted with the result commenting, “The Tansun heaters really do allow us to take the inside out, making our terrace functional over the cooler months and evenings so generating increased revenue from customers’ outdoor use”.  She continued, “We were delighted to find the Tansun heaters as they are very sleek looking units and can be specified in any RAL colour.  We chose graphite grey to complement the masts of the parasols and so they are not at all intrusive, and at the same time have low glare and look warm.  The heaters have been very successful and we hope to use them on other projects in the future.”

The Bahama infrared heaters from Tansun are a flexible design easily fitted onto awnings and parasols to become part of their structure and are IP rated.  Available in single 1.5kW or double 3kW appliances, the stylish heaters can cover an area of up to 22 sq.metres and their glare-reducing gold reflectors have a smooth, parabolic finish for powerful heat dispersion.  The Bahama heater provides customers with low glare heaters that fit discreetly into many environments in the standard colours of white, grey or black.  The design is also available in any RAL colour with Tansun’s bespoke colour service which allows heaters to be powder coated in a wide range of colours with additional corporate branding if required.  The Bahama heaters can be made to fit awning or parasol profiles or indoor / outdoor venue colour schemes to suit customers’ needs.  The heaters come with a full two year Tansun warranty.

All of Tansun’s products are manufactured in the UK and designed using premium components.  Tansun has been established for thirty-five years and pioneered the concept of infrared electric heaters in collaboration with Philips technology.  The company offers the largest range of domestic, commercial and industrial infrared heaters in the world, providing maintenance-free, safe and healthy heating appliances.

Further information is available from Tansun on 0121 580 6200, by emailing sales@tansun.com or by visiting the company’s website at www.tansun.com .

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Innovative In-Situ Office Server Cooling Solution from British engineers.

Without air-conditioned rooms, keeping servers cool on-site in office and business environments is a challenge. Now a British engineering company has developed an innovative energy-efficient temperature control solution called Maxi-Cool for office-based servers. The compact Maxi-Cool system comprises an attractive floor-standing rack cabinet featuring an integrated intelligent refrigeration module to provide highly effective thermal management for servers mounted within.

The Maxi-Cool product is available in a variety of sizes to accommodate single or small numbers of servers in its rack-mount form factor. Maxi-Cool cabinets can be supplied colour-coded to match an organisation’s corporate branding or office décor. One key advantage on offer to businesses looking to cool their servers to safeguard company data is the ease of installation. Maxi-Cool cabinets are simply wheeled into place, the servers installed in the rack space as usual, and the unit plugged into a 13-amp mains socket. Such cost-effective server cooling, typically delivering temperature reductions of up to 20°C with a thermal power capacity of 4kW, is unachievable in any other way.

“Local server installations are popular among small and medium sized firms, where on-site information storage and direct access is preferred for reasons of data sensitivity and security,” explains Maxi-Cool MD and Chief Designer James Garson. “Even where server performance is mission-critical, few businesses can justify the cost and disruption of building a dedicated air-conditioned server room. That’s why we designed Maxi-Cool – to deliver a straightforward solution to a widespread problem.”

Maxi-Cool units are also finding favour in shared office facilities and among professional firms like lawyers and banks who often occupy listed or heritage buildings. “In such sensitive premises, air conditioning plant cannot be installed,” Garson explains. “Maxi-Cool cabinets can provide these businesses with an immediate and effective thermal management option at a fraction of the cost,” he adds.

Aside from the simplicity of installation and low cost, Maxi-Cool cabinets offer distinct commercial advantages over dedicated server rooms. The low-power units operate from a single 230V mains supply, can be easily repositioned on castors if required, are whisper-quiet at just 65db, take up just one square metre of floorspace – and require no structural changes to walls or buildings. In addition, expansion is simply a case of adding another Maxi-Cool cabinet. Smaller Maxi-Cool cabinet configurations are designed expressly to fit in confined spaces.

Maxi-Cool cabinets meet the technical specifications and thermal gradient guidelines issued by global trade body ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) for server cooling applications.

More information available at www.maxi-cool.co.uk

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Saniflo keeps pace with climate change

As Britain basks in the hottest temperatures in 40 years, the heat is on to keep the nation cool. The sale of air conditioning units in the UK has been growing steadily the past few years, particularly in the commercial sector, and now more house builders include air conditioning as standard and a growing number of private households are turning to air conditioning to stay cool. With temperatures set to continue to rise as scientists predict extreme temperatures as a result of climate change, Saniflo – the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of macerators, pumps and shower cubicles – is predicting a continued upturn in the air conditioning market for commercial and domestic markets, and advises people to ensure efficient condensate removal.

Gravity drain units can be problematic because they must be installed on the nearest outside wall, they require space and they can cause potential water damage to a building’s façade resulting in expensive repairs. In addition, stagnant water can pose a health and safety risk due to potential bacterial and fungal growth.

The Saniflo range of air conditioning pumps comprising the Sanicondens® Clim Pack, the Sanicondens® Clim Mini and the Sanicondens® Clim Deco are specifically designed to expel the condensate from air conditioning units in a quiet and efficient manner without any dripping and with trimmable trunking for a neat finish you’re guaranteed a stylish looking unit every time.

Ann Boardman, Saniflo UK Head of Marketing & Product Management, says: “We encourage industry professionals involved in specifying and fitting commercial and domestic air conditioning units as part of new builds and retrofit projects to not be limited by issues of gravity drainage units. The Saniflo Sanicondens range offers a simple and safe option for air conditioning, whilst increasing the options for unit installation. With Sanicondens you can put the units exactly where you want them without being restricted to outside walls. I would suggest that Sanicondens units are absolutely essential for any type of timber-framed building.”

www.saniflo.co.uk Tel: 020 8842 0033

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BoilerMag Commercial Boiler Filters Save Hotel Heating Systems for County Durham Installers

County Durham based MPUK Mechanical Services Ltd has recently installed several BoilerMag XL commercial boiler filters in 2 large hotels in the UK.

At one hotel in York, the company was faced with two four year old 150 kw boilers, one of which had failed completely, and the other extremely inefficient and due to fail imminently. Both boilers were completely full of black sludge that had built up over a number of years as a result of being connected to the old heating system. Two brand new boilers were fitted, including two BoilerMag XLs.

At another hotel in Edinburgh, MPUK again installed a BoilerMag XL on a new 60KW boiler, housed in a boiler room and connected to a towel radiator circuit heating 40 of the hotel’s en-suite bathrooms.

Again, the heating system was heavily contaminated with black sludge and difficult to flush, but the company is confident that the BoilerMag XL filter will prevent contamination in the future, keeping the system free from sludge and working efficiently.

“When I receive plant room drawings or heating alterations, the BoilerMag XL is my filter of choice,” says MPUK Heating and Gas Director Wayne Peel. They are a very well made, solid unit, and you can feel the quality when unpacking them from the box. They are also very straight forward to install and reasonably priced.”

Plumbing and Renewables Director Alex McAlinden added: “I would 100% recommend this product to other installers and to the M&E consultant we work with. The BoilerMag XLs are easy to maintain and give installers and customers the assurance that their plant room boilers will be running at their full capacity under heavy use. We’ll be returning to the York hotel soon for a follow up, so it will be great to go back and see some positive results.”

 www.boilermag.com

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Reduce your cooling costs by 90% with EcoCooling’s direct evaporative cooling, ventilation and control systems

With over 3500 installations worldwide, UK based EcoCooling are innovators in low energy, direct evaporative cooling and ventilation technologies. They have developed energy efficient cooling solutions to suit all types of buildings including data centers, comms rooms, industrial, retail and commercial.

 EcoCooling’s 1500m² of warehousing provides a manufacturing and R&D facility, as well as a storage base for all spares and coolers. This ensures that short lead times and adequate supply of spares are guaranteed.

 Founded in 2002 EcoCooling provides energy efficient and low carbon alternatives to air conditioning. Developed from one of the oldest and simplest technologies known to man, EcoCooling have taken the concept of direct evaporative cooling and reengineered it to provide a sophisticated cooling and ventilation system that can outperform the alternatives on most counts.

Fresh Air Cooling with EcoCooling can provide a 3m3/s or cool a 30kW load from 1kW of power at a cost of under 14p per hour. Energy use can further be reduced by the use of EC  (Electrically Commutated) fans in IT environments.

Simple ventilation can provide a perfectly satisfactory solution to cooling many industrial and commercial premises, however recent advances in fan technology, controls and evaporative cooling have now taken this principle to a new level of performance, which has proven to be very popular for industrial purposes.

 EcoCoolers can either be used for blanket cooling a building or for spot cooling of workstations and production lines. The solution is perfect for factories, warehouses, and mezzanine floors. Clients include: TKMaxx, Cummins Diesel, Net-a Porter, and Matalan.

The EcoCooler is highly cost effective in comparison to traditional refrigerant air conditioning, and can operate on less than 10% of the running cost.

Cummins Diesel Engines recently invested in 42 EcoCoolers, due to very hot uncomfortable temperatures on their main shop floor. These units introduce fresh, chilled and filtered air to the various workstations throughout their production facility. They are all controlled from two floor mounted centralised control panels. The system reduces summertime temperatures from over 30Co to a far more comfortable 21C.

Many locations can maintain compliant conditions by using only ‘free cooling’ (fresh air).  Multiple EC fans can be connected directly to simple temperature controllers giving the simplest of automated solutions. PLC’s can be used where more stringent conditions have to be met or when heating and cooling systems need to be integrated.

Ventilation coupled with evaporative cooling and modern controls can provide industrial and commercial premises with a sophisticated air handling system that can compare with any air cooling refrigeration system at a fraction of the energy cost and provide a high level of control of the environment.

The EcoCooler is also available in several different configurations, meaning they are suitable for any location and are easy to install and come with minimal maintenance.

Versatile Product ranges:

EXTERNAL PRODUCT RANGE (ECP): Proven Technology and Results

The ECP range of coolers can be installed externally or inside a plant room. The standard unit is down flow, however top and side discharge configurations are also available.

INTERNAL PRODUCT RANGE (ECT): Compact and Flexible Solutions

The ECT range of coolers are designed to be installed internally. They have multiple configuration options to allow for easy installation into rooms with limited space. Worried about getting it into your room? The ECT5400 will fit through a single door! Worried about water in your facility? For complete peace of mind a sophisticated alarm and leak detection system, capable of cutting off the water supply, has been incorporated into all of our internal products

EcoCooling’s R&D Department and Patents

EcoCooling are credited with revolutionising the control systems required to use the equipment in IT and air handling systems. The in-house R&D department works to incorporate the latest energy efficient technologies into all product ranges ensuring our clients have some of the most innovative ventilation and cooling systems in the world. This focus on innovation has also resulted in EcoCooling holding a number of patents for fresh air technologies.

Our complimentary in-house design consultancy service capitalises on our vast industry experience to work closely with consultants and clients to design the most efficient systems possible.

If you are having temperature problems in your factory please contact us on the number below.

More information and case studies are available on our website.

Tel 01284 810586 Email sales@ecocooling.org www.ecocooling.org.

Case Study: http://www.ecocooling.org/casestudy/cummins.php

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Refurbishment project at special needs school funded by the EFA

Abbey Hill Academy, facing risk of a complete boiler breakdown with equipment over 25 years old, was in urgent need to find a replacement. After the completion of a site survey, a system consisting of Hamworthy cast iron condensing boilers and direct-fired water heaters was identified as best solution to be fitted to the existing heating system. Financing was secured by a successful bid from the Condition Improvement Fund provided by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) available for academies and sixth-form colleges.

Abbey Hill Academy is a school for children with learning difficulties based in Stockton-on-Tees. The facility consists of three buildings providing a comfortable learning atmosphere for around 300 students aged 11 to 19 years. Two old cast iron sectional non condensing boilers were supplying heating and hot water for the main Stephenson Building consisting of 18 classrooms for around 160 students. Old atmospheric water heaters installed in the same building, delivered hot water to showers, sinks, basins and the main kitchen.

Philip McHale, Premises & Facilities Manager at Abbey Hill Academy as part of the Horizons Specialist Academy Trust, was looking for a cost-effective solution.

“The priority was to find a boiler that was energy efficient, would reduce costs, could be fitted to the existing system and came with a complete package of supply to commission. I checked a lot of boiler manufacturers and found Hamworthy’s website to be useful with the offer of a free site survey. We were pleased that we got to meet both Steve Johnson, area sales manager and Stuart Turner, the national sales manager. Both had a genuine interest in our project.”

Two Purewell VariHeat cast iron condensing boilers with a combined output of 360kW were chosen to replace the two old non-condensing cast iron sectional boilers. With heat exchangers made from the same robust material, big waterways and an upgrade to condensing models, the boilers offer long-term reliability, compatibility to the existing heating system while profiting from up-to-date technology for best efficiency.

The hot water supply was met by the installation of two Dorchester DR-FC Evo direct fired condensing water heaters to replace old water tanks, delivering a total output of 1,192 litres per hour.

Philip notes “We updated the old tank fed system that delivered poor hot water pressure to mains fed. There has been a vast improvement in hot water pressure and it has also improved our Legionella management. The web based control system enables us to manage the usage of the boilers, saving us energy.”

The water heaters have an anti-legionella safety function, which means water will be heated for a period at a high temperature (e. g. 65°C for one hour) to prevent the risk of legionella bacteria forming in the vessel. Additionally, the recirculation pump can be set to run to ensure the whole system is purged. Built in controls allow this task to be performed on a regular basis, ensuring water stays legionella-free and safe.

Mark Smith, Project Engineer at Leybourne Urwin Ltd, mechanical and electrical engineers who installed the boilers and water heaters, says: “The boilers were very easy to position and install, the installation instructions were clear to follow. Everything was delivered as and when Hamworthy said it would be. We also used the Hamworthy pipe kits, which are great, as they save time on site.”

Abbey Hill Academy was seeking a way to finance the capital-intensive project. For this purpose, the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is offered by the Education Funding Agency (EFA). CIF is an annual bidding round available for academies and sixth-form colleges to fund projects to keep buildings safe and in good working order. This could be e. g. rectifying health and safety issues, problems with building compliance or improving poor buildings condition. Previous CIF rounds have been heavily oversubscribed which is why applicants need to meet the bid criteria and demonstrate the urgency of projects in order to secure the fund. Philip explains

“The bid criteria set by the EFA put the boiler replacement programme in a high priority level. Due to the condition of our existing boilers and the likelihood of complete failure, our bid was successful.”

After the installation, commissioning of the newly installed boilers and water heaters was carried out by a Hamworthy-approved service engineer. This not only ensured that they were set up for optimised performance, but also improved their warranty terms, covering parts plus labour for two years from commissioning.

Mark Smith adds “We chose Hamworthy for commissioning, as they are the manufacturer, know what they’re doing and what they are looking for during commissioning.”

About working with Hamworthy, Philip comments “The customer service was good. We had the free site survey and direct contact with Steve (our local contact). The boilers arrived on time and well packaged and the commission of the system at the end of the job went well. I’m all round happy with the service.”

For advice on making the right choice for your heating and hot water systems, talk to Hamworthy; telephone 01202 662500, email sales@hamworthy-heating.com, or visit www.hamworthy-heating.com.

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Energy bureaus can reduce energy consumption of HVAC systems

Brin Sheridan, Chief Operating Officer at Utilitywise PLC, one of the UK’s largest and leading independent utility cost management companies; comments on how modern day intelligent energy bureaus can reduce energy consumption of HVAC systems.

Historically standard bureaus would review utilities metering data to assess and identify inefficiencies in building and equipment performance and consumption. This data analysis allows the bureau team to deliver insights, allowing businesses to make changes to the way in which they operate or manage their buildings/equipment with the aim of reducing utilities costs and consumption.

This facility identifies and manages inefficiencies such as out of hour’s consumption, high base loads or peaks in consumption. UK businesses are becoming more aware of the ability to map and interpret utilities metering data against building and equipment performance to identify inefficiencies in consumption and wasted costs.

Today’s intelligent energy bureau provides all this and much more. Inefficiencies in equipment and building performance can be identified and delivered as actionable insights to the maintenance teams. The Intelligent bureau, like the one from Utilitywise, brings utilities market intelligence as well as experience around procurement contracts. This additional service enables businesses to reap further savings not only from the improved performance of their buildings but also from their utility bills.

At Utilitywise, we embrace the opportunities for our clients in delivering this intelligent bureau.  We believe bureaus that bring together maintenance efficiencies, consumption monitoring, market intelligence and procurement contract expertise deliver more savings and benefits for business owners.

Our market intelligence teams, data scientists and building optimisation engineer’s work together as part of this intelligent bureau to provide customers with the best solution.

This collaborative approach helps reduce utility costs, while ensuring building and equipment efficiency. The aim of this way of working is to deliver actionable insights to educate and quantify the business benefits through a number of media, from apps and cloud based software platforms. This is particularly advantageous with Smartdash, our analytical Report Builder platform and central engineering portal.

Intelligent energy bureaus:

  • We bring in our extended knowledge of the energy markets and trends as well as procurement contracts to work with our customers to reap greater savings from their utilities bills.
  • We look at utilities data to improve building and equipment performance, feed maintenance teams information to aid in proactive preventative maintenance programmes and provide the case for BeMS/controls.
  • We can identify inefficiencies in consumption, quantify their effect on the utilities bill and validate the improvements achieved through controls and changes in equipment operations.
  • We also consider the make up of the procurement contracts to allow our customers to benefit from time of day tariffs. This is done by shifting and shedding load when utilities consumption per kWh is greatest (known as DUoS and TRiAD avoidance).
  • We can seek out maintenance issues and also respond to any fault alerts, twenty-four hours a day and analyse reasons for the fault and either fix the issue remotely or arrange for an engineer to resolve the issue.
  • We help provide reports and visibility that businesses need for internal presentation and evaluation.
  • We offer an all-encompassing solution that provides services both sides of the meter, from procurement contracts to find the best deal for our customers through to analytics and controls to effectively and proactively reduce consumption costs.

The intelligent bureau should offer building owners and occupiers the ability to reduce inefficiencies in performance, manage out of hours’ consumption but also shift or shed consumption when prices at that time of the day are greatest.  Forward thinking and intelligent energy bureaus like ours, can also control consumption and cost while looking forward to market changes. With our ability to undertake long term forecasting, we can also predict future utilities bills for our customers and when we factor in their controls around time of day tariffs and against TRiAD alerts and the forthcoming changes to capacity markets there is more opportunity for business owners in their efforts to reduce costs. Last year, we saved our customers over 25% off their TRiAD bills thanks to our alerts and automation into our controls devices.

There are a number of drivers for these forward thinking, intelligent modern day bureaus but the most recent and current would be the forthcoming P272 legislation, which comes into force in 2017.  This year businesses with meters in class 05-08 will have their usage settled on a half-hourly basis thereby paying more or less depending on the time of day in which they use energy.

Knowledge of the key components of an energy bill (commodity and non-commodity costs) coupled with knowledge of building and equipment performance and controls is imperative if businesses are going to optimise when they use energy to reduce a growing energy bill.

Intelligent bureau teams, like Utilitywise, work with businesses to move energy consumption when non-commodity costs are higher (DUoS/ TRiAD) and take advantage of lower tariff periods thereby reducing not only kWh consumption each day but valuable £s/pence.

The Climate Change Levy (CCL) further enhances the need for this type of intelligent bureau offering, this tax on energy consumption will be increased from 2019, making the currently higher tariff periods even more costly to businesses.

Incorporating information on procurement, energy markets, legislation and tariff rates, the Intelligent energy bureau team can use its expertise and knowledge to help clients not only use less energy but use less at key times of the day making an average 15-20% reduction in consumption which results in greater savings from the bill.

Intelligent bureaus benefit business three-fold, from cost savings to energy consumption reduction and legislation compliance. The days of energy bureaus not being relevant are over – make way for the intelligent bureaus of the future.

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