pipework

Pipework Upgrade With Minimal Downtime, Not Such A Pipe Dream For Plastics Client

The Client –

Midlands Based Plastics Manufacturer


The Challenge –

24/7 Production Facility With Defective Pipework


The Solution –

Pipework Upgrade With Minimal Downtime

Replacing or upgrading outdated or faulty equipment always presents challenges, but for manufacturing sites working to 24/7 production schedules, any interruption or downtime can have a serious financial and operational impact.

Old, leaking pipework was causing a plastics manufacturing client a major issue, which was compounded by their 24/7 operation. The faulty pipework supplied cooling to their hydraulic machinery as well as tool cooling for the factory presses. It was running into a maintenance pit, close to electric cabling, so any leakage presented an immediate H&S risk.

Aqua engineers designed a new pipework layout that could be installed alongside the existing system, allowing the factory to operate as normal throughout the upgrade project.

The replacement pipework was prefabricated off site in stainless-steel. Then, on delivery it could be put together quickly using press fit rather than welded connections. The stainless-steel construction enhances its life span as it’s inert, as well as being lightweight which helps from an installation point of view.

The new design enabled the pipework to be installed higher up, rather than at floor and pit level, making it much more accessible for maintenance and if any leaks should develop at any time in the future they would be easily spotted and at a safe distance from any electrical cabling.

“This project was a great example of how we can help clients get around what often seem like huge obstacles” explains Aqua Sales Engineer Mark Hopper. “Initially our client feared they’d be faced with weeks, possibly months, of interruptions to production, but our solution saw them shut down for just 2 days over a single weekend.”

pipework
pipework
gin

Low Temp Chillers Are Just The Tonic For Gin Distillery

The Client –

Oxley Gin Distillery, Hampshire


The Challenge –

Upscale In Production


The Solution –

Complete Temperature Control System

Launched in 2009, Bacardi owned Oxley Gin is widely recognised as pioneering the cold vacuum distillation technique.

Historically, production at their distillery in Hampshire, was done by hand, one litre at a time. Due to increased product demand, Bacardi tasked a consultant to oversee the upscaling of their production facility.

Aqua were called in during the initial design phase and took on responsibility for the complete design of the temperature control distillery cooling system required.

The cold vacuum distillation process is also referred to as a sub-zero process. Essentially, botanicals are cooled to -5°C with ethanol. The distillation process pulls a vacuum to distil the gin from an initial tank. Due to it being under vacuum, to condense the gin back to liquid, Aqua supplied a specialist condenser serviced by a-30°C glycol system. It is then re-heated to over 0°C and moved to the next stage in the process which is blending.

The full solution included:

  • -30 low temperature glycol chiller
  • Secondary stage heat exchanger – condenser
  • Temperature control solution to maintain parameters

The distillery now has a fully automated process, uniquely designed and able to process 100 litres of primary source gin (ethanol) at a time.

dc cooling

Keeping the World’s Data Cool

The Client –

4D Data Centres Ltd – Gatwick Data Centre Facility


The Challenge –

Cooling System Refresh And Capacity Increase


The Solution –

Eco-friendly Cooling Tower Design, Supply And Install

4D Data Centres is a UK-based colocation provider, providing ultra-fast connectivity, business-focussed cloud and cyber solutions to organisations around the world. Data centres are at the heart of nearly all internet-based technologies, including Facebook, Google, WhatsApp and Amazon. Keeping all this technology online takes a lot of power, not only to run the computers themselves but also to keep them cool, otherwise they would quickly overheat.

When 4D took over an existing data centre building at Gatwick, Aqua was selected for its ability to upgrade the existing chiller-based cooling system, with installation and commissioning taking place whilst the facility was live. Working in direct partnership, Aqua designed and built an intelligent, energy efficient data centre cooling solution that significantly reduced the need for mechanical cooling and provided fresh air free cooling.

The project design focussed on a bespoke solution with energy efficiency, system resilience and reliability at its heart. It was critical that it was completely scalable, future proofing the client’s business model, allowing them to scale up to high density capacity at 40kW per rack when market demand required. Aqua’s ‘water tower’ system uses evaporative cooling to lower the temperature of the computers in the data centre.

Evaporative cooling used in this way is very innovative in the UK but at its heart it’s the same process that we as humans use to cool ourselves down. When we get hot, we sweat and it’s this process of water evaporating off the skin which cools us down. Legacy chillers were replaced with a “chiller-less” solution, using a cooling tower alongside a packaged plant room and full water treatment facility. The design included pumps, heat exchangers, dosing equipment, filtration, inverters and remote monitoring.

Specially designed CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioning) units which operate on a 2°C difference between air and water temperatures, enable the system to run at higher temperatures. This eliminates the need for compressors – or mechanical cooling – allowing the chillers to be replaced with natural source cooling (cooling towers). This also reduces the number of moving parts within the design which increases system reliability.

In addition, using Carel’s CPco Platform, the system’s control strategy was engineered to minimise energy usage. The monitoring technology is aware of the minimal energy requirements for each piece of equipment within the system, ensuring it runs at the optimal needs of the data centre, with zero energy wastage. A bespoke square pipework system was designed with dual – or 2N – redundancy, so there is no single point of failure. If an issue should ever arise, it can be resolved without interruption or downtime in the data centre.

The full solution included:

  • Bespoke design service
  • Full installation and commissioning including turnkey pipework
  • Cooling towers
  • Packaged plant room/water treatment facilities
  • Pumps, heat exchangers, filtration, inverters and Carel CPco monitoring and control system
  • CRAC units

Project Engineers restricted the work carried out within the live facility to a minimum. For example, pipework was all pre-manufactured off site and then bought in for final assembly. Final commissioning had to be carefully phased, to avoid any unnecessary swings in supply temperature. The design of the Gatwick facility also caused some challenges. For example, the existing raised floor with cable trays in situ meant pipework had to be carefully routed and specially designed in areas as there were limited places to cross over.

Energy efficiency and subsequent cost savings were immediately evident, in the autumn months consuming significantly less than the previous system. The annual energy saving compared to the old system is forecast at 90%+, with an annualised part load Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.125. For 4D’s business, they have a facility that they can now scale right up to high density capacity of 40kW per rack.

Benefits achieved included:

  • Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.125 (ratio of total facility power usage divided by
    IT equipment power usage)
  • 90%+ energy saving on legacy cooling system
  • Future-proofed, modular, scalable design – from low density to high density – as
    demand dictates
  • 2N redundancy – zero risk of downtime
  • Constant temperature, humidity and leak detection monitoring
  • Green installation – major statement of intent by 4D to reduce carbon footprint

“The single biggest challenge of the project was installing and commissioning within a live data centre environment. Aqua’s diligent planning ensured zero risk of client downtime and provided us with a fast, reliable, greentech solution with tangible energy savings”Steven Wright, COO, 4D

4d data centres

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.

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

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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