pvd modular

Aqua Secures Nordic Deal

Aqua Group has been selected as a strategic partner to PVD Modular in a deal which will see at least seven off-the-grid data centres being built across Norway (three) and Finland (four) over the coming years.
Aqua will join the engineering team of teams designing the full heat transfer process of each facility. Each data centre will be minimum 250MW in capacity, will use a combination of alternative energy sources and offer thermal energy to local communities without constricting local grid power resources at industry leading efficiency ratings.

PVD Modular is parcel to two joint ventures appointed by The Silent Partner Group of Companies, a consortium of power and digital infrastructure businesses – Power Systems Group Norway AS (PSGN) and Asgard Development Group Norway AS (ADGN), both based in Fredrikstad, Norway.

“This is an incredible project to be involved with and is really ground breaking. The initial plans involve up to 1.5GW+ of initial power capacity and heat capture and easily has the potential to be one of the largest data centre portfolios in the world” comments Aqua Group’s Mike West.

“For Aqua it’s real recognition of our temperature control expertise and our application knowledge within the data centre arena.”

Each facility will be state-of-the-art, technically advanced and highly-efficient. Features will include the highest levels of emission control, carbon capture, CO2 reduction, and thermal energy reuse by both the data centre facility and the surrounding municipality and/or District heating/cooling systems as needed.

blow moulding

Free Cooling Upgrade Saves £70K Annually

The Client –

Plastics Blow Moulder


The Challenge –

Energy Efficient Upgrade


The Solution –

Complete Cooling System Design

For a client with a legacy cooling system, a full system upgrade gave them the opportunity to benefit from the latest in energy efficient cooling technology.

Our client, an end user, specialises in plastics blow moulding and initially asked Aqua to carry out an energy evaluation on their existing factory set up. Our engineering team then designed an upgraded system with estimated annual costs savings from reducing overall energy consumption. When it comes to energy calculations, we are completely transparent and pride ourselves on living up to our predicted savings.
The suggested upgrade centred around utilising highly efficient free cooling technology, alongside inverter driven pumps. New chiller units were added to two production lines – on the injection moulding side and the blow moulding. Based on our client’s annual production schedule, energy cost savings were forecast at over £70,000. The free cooling also reduces the run hours on the chiller units, increasing their overall life expectancy.

An additional advantage for our client from moving to the new system was the warranty, giving them peace of mind for the years ahead.
The full solution included:

  • Energy efficient design review with energy calculations
  • Free cooling chillers
  • Inverter driven pumps
  • Mechanical installation & final commissioning
  • Warranty
  • Aftersales support

“Our client had become exasperated with their old system, experiencing long lead-times from the manufacturer when they needed to source replacement parts and then discovering some spares had become obsolete. That said, I think the prospect of a full system upgrade initially made them nervous because of the anticipated costs involved. However, our energy review quickly established that upgrading their equipment would bring them so many advantages. As well as a very quick payback – less than 2 years – they will make significant energy and cost savings every year” explains Aqua Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster.

pia awards

Aqua Shortlisted As Finalist In Plastics Industry Awards

Aqua Group, has reached the shortlist of the Plastics Industry Awards 2019.

Aqua are a finalist for “Best Environmental or Energy Efficiency Initiative of the Year” for a process cooling system they designed and installed for a plastics recycling client.

The client has been recycling plastics for over 50 years and use state of the art machinery to repurpose scrap polythene waste into membrane for the construction industry. This damp proof membrane or damp-proof course is then installed in new buildings, meaning the plastic is “locked in” to the fabric of that building for its lifetime. The plastic is not just recycled, it’s taken out of circulation for the long term, minimising any potential risk to the planet. In addition, customers save money on land fill and skip costs as well as meeting their environmental targets.

Aqua designed an innovative cooling system for the recycling machinery, using adiabatic cooling rather than the more traditional option of mechanical cooling. The adiabatic system dramatically reduces carbon emissions, reducing the client’s dependency on refrigerant by 90+% and minimising their energy consumption.

“We’re delighted to have reached the finals of the Plastics Awards which are regarded highly within our industry” explains Shaun Lancaster, Sales Manager, Aqua Group. “This cooling project reduced our client’s energy consumption by 82%, saving them up around £80,000 every year. They’ve also massively reduced their refrigerant use and their overall carbon footprint. It’s a great feeling knowing that by helping this customer we’re also part of a bigger initiative which directly impacts on the environment in a really positive way.”

Now in its 19th year, the Plastics Industry Awards recognise and reward excellence within the market. The awards comprise of 15 categories and are judged by a panel of industry experts. The lucky winners will be announced at the “Greatest Show” themed awards dinner on 27th September at London Hilton on Park Lane.

wc brewery

Aqua Comes Up Trumps for Wild Card Brewery

The Client –

Wild Card Brewery, London


The Challenge –

Relocation And Production Expansion


The Solution –

Cooling System Design, Supply & Install

For an award-winning London based brewery, a move to new premises gave them the opportunity to install a brand-new process cooling system, complete with built-in heat reclaim.

Wild Card Brewery, based in Walthamstow, East London, was founded in 2012. Within just 5 years Wild Card had 2 award winning beers to their name and currently supply supermarkets, pubs, bars and restaurants throughout the UK. They quickly realised that demand for their products was totally outstripping production and moved to new premises, giving them the potential to double their capacity.

Aqua designed and installed an energy efficient temperature control system for the new facility. The system chills the brewing tanks to sub 10°C once the fermentation stage of the process is complete. The chiller unit was designed with built in waste heat recovery, which is achieved by means of a desuperheater. The waste heat created during fermentation is subsequently reclaimed and used at the earlier “mashing” stage which requires water at 70-75°C. The heat reclaim process can achieve 50-55°C which means only a small amount of energy is then needed to top up the temperature to the required 70-75°C.

The new system’s energy credentials enabled Wild Card to successfully secure a £5,000 capital contribution from the Carbon Trust’s Green Business Fund. In addition to this, Aqua’s system is expected to save the brewery £3,000 each year in energy savings.

The full solution included:

  • Chiller with desuperheater for built in heat recovery
  • Glycol tank
  • Pumps
  • Individual temperature control systems for each tank – 12 in total
  • Bespoke design service
  • Support with a Carbon Trust Green Business Fund capital contribution application
  • Full installation – including electrical and mechanical works

For Wild Card the system has proved a real success. Head Brewer, Jaega Wise, explains “We’re really pleased with the new system at Lockwood Way, and after starting a crowdfunding campaign to facilitate our move, the annual savings are invaluable to us as an SME. The fact that Aqua are an approved supplier to The Carbon Trust and could help us secure an additional £5,000 funding was invaluable. We’re now looking forward to producing lots more Wild Card beer for everyone!”

carbon trust

edible oils

Tactical Hire Completes The Solution

The Client –

Food Processor


The Challenge –

Bottling Process & Seasonal Cooling


The Solution –

Capital Chiller Sale & Hire Solution

With sales, hire and service divisions, Aqua Group is a total solution provider, offering an array of products and services, depending on a customer’s specific temperature control requirements.

For a food industry client, their relationship with Aqua has spanned a decade, with the supply of both permanent and temporary solutions, along with maintenance support.

The client specialises in processing and packaging oils for the food sector, including market leading brands of olive oil, seed oils and baking fats. Aqua were initially commissioned to supply a chiller—based cooling solution for their Sidel liquid packaging system. This was designed, supplied and installed onto their blow moulding line.

For most of the year, the raw oil product can be taken straight from holding tanks into the bottling plant and packaged as appropriate. However, in the warmer summer months, the oil must be cooled prior to bottling. It’s vital to ensure the oil is processed in the correct way, otherwise the overall quality of the oil and its integrity can be compromised which can also affect its shelf life.

Over time our client became concerned that, should temperatures rise significantly during the summer, their production could be disrupted. So Aqua subsequently designed a tactical chiller hire strategy to ensure production could continue, regardless of the ambient temperature. The strategy involved supplying two 50kW rental chiller units, which are situated close to the holding tanks, and can be called on as and when required. The chillers cool the oil within the tanks until it’s achieved the optimum temperature for transferring to the bottling plant. Once temperatures drop again, the units are simply taken off hire and the bottling process carries on as before.

“For me this is a fantastic example of how Aqua builds long term strategic relationships with clients” explains Shaun Lancaster, Aqua Sales Manager. “For Aqua It’s not just about the one-off initial sale, but it’s supporting and working in partnership with our customers over the years as their business develops and changes. As a total solution provider, we can support our customers in so many ways, whether they need a system upgrade, a temporary fix or ongoing maintenance and service support.”

edible oils

Stainless Steel Marley Solution Drives Production Forward

The Client –

Automotive Component Manufacturer


The Challenge –

Legacy Cooling Tower System


The Solution –

Centralised Cooling Plant

As an automotive component manufacturer, our client had historically relied on cooling towers to provide cooling to their hydraulic oil and spot-welding process. However, internal health & safety checks were frequently highlighting potential problems with their aging cooling towers, leading them to consider replacing the equipment.

Aqua designed a complete centralised cooling plant, which could feed the different stages of their manufacturing process. The system incorporated a cooling tower from the SPX Marley range which was constructed from 304 stainless steel. The anti-corrosive properties of 304 stainless are renowned – giving reliability and longevity to the product as well as overall peace of mind for the client.

Our design team selected a crossflow configured tower, giving energy saving benefits within a small footprint but with a relatively low maintenance requirement. Inspection, servicing and maintenance is made easier by large access doors. The tower’s plenum region is generous, which means it’s quick to carry out a visual inspection of the tower’s basin, as well as the internal structure and mechanical equipment.

The cooling tower was also designed with a quiet fan operation, but again with aluminium fan blades.

In addition, we built a pump set that could offer run and standby, using Danfoss inverters to ensure automatic change over and eliminating the need for manual intervention. Our client had already successfully trialled an inverter on their existing pump, so they were only too aware of the energy savings this offers. Now, as well as gaining efficiency, they were also adding reliability to the system.

Full solution included:

  • Design and project management service
  • Cooling tower, inverters and pump
  • Delivery, installation and commissioning

“Our client now has a central cooling plant which can provide capacity for all of their different production phases. As well as immediate energy savings from the newer technology, our client now has reliability and longevity built within their system, future proofing their business for the years ahead”, explained Aqua Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster.

cooling tower

dairy plant

Propane Chillers Future Proof Dairy

The Client –

Dairy Processor, North Of England


The Challenge –

Future Proofed Cooling System


The Solution –

Propane Chiller System Install

Propane chiller technology has ensured a dairy plant in the North of England is not only highly energy efficient but also extremely environmentally friendly.

Our client provides goats’ milk to supermarkets across the UK as well as processing the raw milk into a range of products, including yoghurt, cheese, butter and cream.

When Aqua were commissioned to design a replacement cooling system for their dairy processing facility, future proofing the dairy for the years ahead was a key driver in the decision-making process. This, coupled with the current phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), led to R290 propane being their refrigerant of choice.

New F-Gas regulations came into effect initially in 2015, designed to control emissions from fluorinated greenhouse gasses (F-gases), including HFCs. The EU’s overall aim is to cut F-gas emissions by two-thirds by 2030, when compared with 2014 levels. By 2020 the use of virgin HFC refrigerants with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of above 2500 will be banned. This includes previously mainstream refrigerants such as R-404A and R-434A.

Aqua can supply a range of chillers that run on the refrigerant grade propane, R290. Propane refrigerant is 100% natural, has excellent thermodynamic performance, is non-toxic, has a GWP of just 3 and a zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP).

The new dairy system looks after the cooling for the entire facility, from the raw milk being offloaded from tankers, through to the processing and bottling stages. Aqua also designed a bespoke galvanised steel gantry frame and staircase, allowing the new equipment to be sited at high level with the area below still accessible. As well as achieving an extremely efficient and high performing system, our client has dramatically reduced their overall carbon footprint as a business.

The full solution includes:

  • 2 x R290 propane chillers
  • Process tank with hot & cold section
  • Inverter driven process pumps
  • Full design, mechanical installation & commissioning
  • Preventive maintenance contract

“R290 refrigerant is becoming increasingly high profile, especially with clients within the food & beverage sector” explains Aqua Group’s Mike West. “With all the regulatory changes over the last few years, choosing the most suitable refrigerant can be a minefield for both clients and potential customers. It’s our job to make that more straightforward and transparent for customers, helping them to achieve the most efficient and energy effective solution for their specific needs.”

propane chiller

cloud monitoring

Sky’s The Limit For Our Cloud-Based Monitoring System

Aqua’s latest remote monitoring system allows you to have complete visibility of the performance of your cooling equipment via state-of-the-art cloud-based technology. You’ll have the reassurance everything’s running at 100%, even if you’re not there in person!

The premise is simple, a small box is installed on site capable of communicating with up to 8 industrial chillers (or other equipment). You then simply need a mobile link – or hardwired internet connection – to link to the cloud to retrieve and download the information. The system also interfaces with other types of equipment, and from different manufacturers, essentially anything that has a controller able to communicate with a Building Management System (BMS).

The technology can manage key performance indicators, you simply set those required and the system monitors real time performance. Should your equipment start operating outside of those parameters, you’ll receive an email alert meaning you’re aware of a potential problem before it even happens.

Should a full-blown fault ever occur, you’ll be instantly notified, wherever you are, giving you time to react quickly and put contingency planning into full effect as early as possible. As well as forewarning you of any issue, the system gives you peace of mind – you don’t need to be physically on site to know that everything is operating as required.

Sometimes fault diagnostics can be tricky. Even when you’re certain the equipment hasn’t been performing optimally, proving it is another matter. Add to this the many variables involved with a cooling system and it can be difficult even for a specialist engineer, to replicate a fault. The Aqua system logs & graphs the data enabling an engineer to easily analyse past performance, resulting in a quicker diagnosis, saving time and labour costs.

The cloud-based technology works on an independent communications network which allows only single-phase traffic, eliminating any concerns over information security.

“In a world where information is key, and more and more people are using remote systems within their domestic environment, taking this technology into manufacturing and other environments makes perfect sense” explains Mike West, Senior Technical Engineer at Aqua Group.

“Historically, customers have had no visibility of the performance of their cooling equipment unless they’re physically stood in front of them. Our technology gives them total remote monitoring capability and has a number of exciting possibilities longer term.”

salmon

Bespoke System Helps Scottish Salmon Industry

The Client –

Scottish Salmon Producer


The Challenge –

Expansion Of Production Facility


The Solution –

Custom Designed Cooling System

When a seafood company looked to expand their salmon production across Scotland, Aqua were commissioned to design a fully bespoke cooling system to upgrade their existing facility.

The client, one of the worlds’ leading producers of farmed salmon, was looking to upgrade their salmon hatchery in a drive towards longer term sustainability and efficiency. The new hatchery would not only dramatically increase the number of employees on site but also improve their ability to grow out smolts which would then supply their network of Scottish sea farms.

A smolt is a young salmon and refers to the development stage before full adulthood. The salmon start their life in hatcheries or loch farms before moving on to sea farms where they grow to full adulthood.
Aqua supplied a 1,550 kW custom designed system which worked on the principle of water being taken from a local river, into a large buffer tank. This water is circulated through two chillers which are specially designed with cupro-nickel water cooled condensers so they can operate on river water. The chillers then supply four plate heat exchangers to separate the salt water from the chilled water and to protect the livestock. Each of these heat exchangers is associated with an independent tank which either houses the very small salmon fry or the larger smolts.

As well as keeping the tank temperature at the optimum for the well-being and development of the salmon, the system is designed for maximum energy efficiency. Each chiller has 6 highly efficient multiple scroll compressors which are installed in 3 fully independent circuits with 2 compressors – giving 6 separate capacity stages. They each also have triple circuit shell & tube evaporators as well as shell and tube condensers. Each chiller unit has a COP (Coefficient of Performance) value of just 5.11 under full load conditions.

The full solution included:

  • 2 x 770kW water cooled chillers
  • 8,000 litre polypropylene buffer vessel
  • IE3 motor, run and standby pump system
  • Energy efficient design – including R410a refrigerant
    and COP value of 5.11 for compressor under full load conditions
  • Reduced noise specification – including
    acoustic jackets on chiller compressors
  • Centralised control system
  • Full design service plus electrical and mechanical installation

The versatile design of the cooling system means that during the warmer months when the ambient temperature is higher both chiller units can be fully operational. But, during the cooler Spring & Autumn months the system can simply reduce to medium/low load. In this scenario just one chiller needs to operate – massively increasing operating costs and efficiency, by turning the pump motors off – yet the control system will rotate between both units at start up so that they are both used equally.

Ian Clynes, Aqua’s Northern Project Manager, explains; “Scottish salmon has a great reputation around the world and the aquaculture process is vital to the country’s economy, so this was a great project to be involved with. The unique system design is a fantastic example of Aqua’s ability to engineer energy efficient solutions that can really make a difference to clients’ businesses.”

marine

washing machine

Adiabatic Cooling Puts A Spin On Things For Home Appliance Manufacturer

The Client –

Home Appliance Manufacturer, UK


The Challenge –

Hydraulic Cooling Upgrade


The Solution –

Adiabatic Cooling System

Built in redundancy and energy efficiency are often key factors for clients when they’re considering upgrading their cooling equipment. This was exactly the case for a client who wanted to replace an aging air-cooled chiller system which provided hydraulic oil cooling to their manufacturing process.

Our customer is a market leading manufacturer of home appliances, including a range of washing machines and tumble dryers. In addition to being old, their existing chillers ran on R407C refrigerant, which limited their energy efficiency potential.

During the manufacturing process, our client uses a cold press to produce component parts. In very basic terms, a sheet of metal is inserted between two metal plates. A hydraulic system then creates a sheer force which presses the required shape into the metal sheet.

Our in-house design team removed 3 chiller units from the existing cooling system, replacing them with a single adiabatic cooler. One larger chiller unit was retained as a back up option. Moving to an adiabatic system meant the required cooling capacity could be achieved without the need for a refrigeration system. As well as decreasing electrical power consumption, this has the added benefit of removing moving mechanical parts, so reducing running cost and future maintenance costs.

A shell and tube heat exchanger was also included, taking the hydraulic oil one side and cooling fluid on the other.

The adiabatic cooler supplied had 5 fans, so if 1 should ever fail, the cooling function would continue unaffected. The fans can also be replaced whilst the unit is operational, so you gain built in redundancy.

The full solution included:

  • 250kW adiabatic cooler with EC fans
  • Shell & tube heat exchanger
  • Process pumps, inverters and pressurisation unit
  • Mechanical installation, pipework and commissioning

“This project is a great example of how a relatively simple system upgrade can achieve a multitude of benefits for clients. For this customer their total cost of ownership really reduced, and they gained peace of mind that their process now incorporated redundancy on the cooling side” explains Aqua Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster.

adiabatic

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