apprenticeship

Aqua Takes Up Transfer to Transform Initiative

Joe Barnes is the latest new addition to the Aqua Group team, joining as an Apprentice Service Engineer through the Government’s Transfer to Transform scheme.

Based in Crewe, Joe will work alongside Aqua Engineer Alan Carter, visiting sites, meeting & supporting customers and gaining a hands-on understanding of the day to day world of a refrigeration engineer. In addition, Joe will study for his Level 3 Refrigeration & Air Conditioning (RAC) qualification at Dudley College. The course will cover theoretical and practical training on different applications and the principles and practices behind them.

Aqua worked with The Solent Apprenticeship Hub to recruit Joe as part of the Transfer to Transform initiative. The scheme uses unspent levy from large companies to support SME businesses to train and upskill apprenticeships. Jodi Fair, Manager, Solent Apprenticeship Hub Manager, explains, “Transfer to Transform offers the perfect opportunity to cut the cost of apprenticeship training entirely for SME’s in the region – we are so pleased that businesses such as Aqua have seized the opportunity. Many of the businesses we have worked with said that introducing an apprentice into the business gives the workforce a fresh perspective, motivates the rest of the team and improves the overall productivity of the staff. Utilising apprenticeships can be revolutionary for businesses.”

Rebecca Ogburn, Aqua Group’s HR Manager adds, “We’re delighted to have Joe on board. Apprenticeships are such an important factor in developing talent and nurturing a skilled and qualified workforce and I’m so pleased that Aqua have been able to participate in the TTT initiative with fantastic support from the Solent Apprenticeship Hub.”

dcs innovision

DCS InnoVision – Immersion Technology

Our Technical Manager – and all round data centre guru – Mike West, was invited by Data Centre Solutions to give his thoughts on the future of energy optimisation within the industry. Mike’s article appears in their recently launched digital publication “InnoVision”.

The article centres on deploying immersion technology and the opportunities it offers for large scale energy savings. It outlines the impact this has on data centre infrastructure design theory and how it allows facilities to embrace water based process cooling options as an alternative to chillers.

For more information you can read Mike’s article in full here – or call our Data Centre team today for more information and technical advice.

chillers

Chillers – Available From Stock

Need a chiller fast? Aqua deliver in just one week

Aqua Group have a range of process chillers in stock, ready to be shipped across the UK in as little as a week. Models available include those from our best-selling ENR chiller and SBS chiller ranges. Both are air cooled, scroll compressor design chillers and units up to 300kW capacity are available for immediate despatch.

In addition, we can supply larger capacity chillers to very short lead times compared to most manufacturers within the marketplace. Aqua can turn around up to 1.2MW of cooling in 4-5 weeks – just half the current lead time of most of our competitors! All units are factory built to standard configuration, but there is the opportunity to add optional extras prior to shipment if required. Currently this is having minimal impact on delivery and normally most options can be added within a week.

In addition, our nationwide network of Service Engineers are on hand to support you with installation and commissioning once your unit arrives to site. We can also help with mechanical & electrical site works if required or can work on a supply only basis. Aqua Engineers are F-Gas trained refrigeration specialists and have all undergone mandatory iHasco COVID-19 training.

asset finance

Is COVID-19 Impacting Your Plans to Invest? We Can Help with Asset Funding

For many businesses, the advent of COVID-19 has negatively impacted their plans to invest in their temperature control system, whether that’s investing in new equipment, an energy efficiency upgrade or enhancing a facility to future proof it for the long term. But, before you put a project on hold, why not discover how Aqua could help you with asset funding?

Via our finance partner, and in conjunction with the British Business Bank, we are now able to support customers to apply for Asset Funding via the Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). The CIBLS was introduced to help small & medium sized UK businesses who are feeling the impact on their cash flow from deferred or lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Asset Funding in particular is designed to support SMEs with their investment in new and used assets through tools like lease purchase.

The scheme offers asset finance from £50,000 to £250,000 over a 1 to 5-year period. The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any additional fees. This means smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

So, rather than push projects back, with asset funding you get to proceed with improving and future proofing your business for the years ahead, whilst protecting your capital expenditure and with no upfront investment. Plus, you’ll gain all the advantages – and efficiencies – of having the latest temperature control equipment on site. We can give you examples of energy upgrades we have undertaken where clients’ energy costs have reduced so dramatically that they’ve recouped the costs of their investment within just a few years. In additional you’ll have fixed monthly payments, helping cashflow and budgeting.

coronavirus

A Message From Aqua Group About Covid-19

It’s become very clear in recent days that COVID-19 is leading us into unprecedented territory, both as a nation and as a business community. The situation we are all facing is unique and rapidly changing. So, at Aqua, we just wanted to let you know that we’re doing everything we can to keep our people, customers and suppliers safe and supported during these challenging times.

As a Company we’re closely following advice and guidance from the Government and World Health Organization. For several weeks now our employees have been adhering to a self-declaration policy on travel plans and visits to our Italian manufacturers ceased as soon as news of their initial emerged.

For us it’s very much business as normal and we’re dedicated to helping our customers’ businesses continue in the same way.

Our Service Engineers have all completed mandatory iHasco training on COVID-19 and are still on call, 24/7, providing Planned Preventative Maintenance and emergency breakdown support to our customers nationally. We are also working with key members of our UK supply chain to ensure that we can still supply spare parts and consumables to our customers for many of the assets on our customers sites.

For anyone looking to ramp up production in the short term, or perhaps avoid the need for CapEx investment whilst this period of uncertainty reigns, our Hire team are on hand to help with temporary temperature control requirements.

Lastly, but by no means least, our Sales team are ready on the end of the telephone to help with all your permanent, fixed cooling requirements. Perhaps your corporate policy doesn’t allow for site visits at the moment? Not a problem! Our Engineers will happily arrange a virtual meeting to discuss options and ensure you get the help and advice you need.

Click here for more information about how we can help.

Keep safe, keep well, keep in touch – we’re here to help – The team at Aqua Group

service

F-Gas Phase Out – The Next Step

As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, not only will it herald the start of a new decade, but it will also mark a significant step in the legislative phase out of F-Gases. From 1st January 2020, refrigerants with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of over 2,500 will be banned within the commercial refrigeration and air conditioning sectors. This affects not only new equipment but the servicing of existing equipment.

The EU set out updated regulations in 2015, with the aim of reducing the use of Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) by 80% by 2030 through a phase-down process. In the same year Hydrocholoroflorocarbons (HCFCs), such as R22 refrigerant, were banned.

Over the last 5 years we’ve worked closely with clients, helping them understand the new regulations and their impact on both existing and new equipment.

From an equipment supply perspective, we have a range of highly energy efficient chillers available with low GWP refrigerants, for example R1234ze and R513A which have GWP figures of 7 and 631 respectively. We also offer units with R290 propane, a natural rather than man made refrigerant, which has a GWP of just 3 and can be a great alternative to an ammonia-based system.

When looking at alternative refrigerants, system design is key. It’s important to ensure the correct levels of energy efficiency and cooling power are achieved and that this is balanced with budgetary requirements. Our Sales Engineers are on hand to give you technical advice and to help with product selection every step of the way.

In addition, we have a nationwide network of Service Engineers, all F-Gas trained, giving you peace of mind in respect of all the legislative requirements when it comes to handling refrigerants, detecting leaks, recovering refrigerant from legacy equipment and the necessary documentation and labelling that’s needed. The team can also help with converting existing equipment to lower GWP refrigerants as well as carrying out energy audits, ensuring your site is F-Gas compliant and running as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.

gwp testing

Aqua Wins Data Centre Accolade

Aqua Group has been recognised at the 2019 Data Centre Solutions Awards for their commitment to energy efficient data centre design.

The DCS Awards, now in their 9th year, recognise providers, product designers, suppliers and manufacturers working within the data centre arena. Entries are validated by a specialist panel and then a short list is put to a vote.

Aqua won the “Data Centre Energy Efficiency Project of the Year” category, for a project undertaken for their client 4D. 4D is a UK based colocation provider, providing ultra-fast connectivity and
business focused cloud services around the world. When 4D took on a legacy data centre facility at Gatwick, Aqua were selected to upgrade the existing chiller-based cooling system.

The project had energy efficiency at its heart, and Aqua improved the energy saving of the cooling system by 90%, deploying a bespoke cooling solution based on a “chiller-less” design. Cooling tower technology was used alongside pumps, heat exchangers, dosing equipment, filtration, inverters and remote monitoring.

“We were absolutely delighted to win a DCS Award”, explains Mike West, Data Centre Projects Manager for Aqua Group. “Being a finalist was an achievement but to win really was the icing on the cake. It’s great recognition for everyone involved in the project and showcases our commitment to improving our environment by reducing energy consumption and substantially reducing CO2 emissions which impact global warming. Not only with large scale projects like this one, but every time we install energy efficient chillers, free coolers, pump inverters, and so on, we’re doing something positive and so important for our future.” 

The ceremony was held at the Leonardo Royal St Paul’s Hotel and featured entertainment from stand-up comedian Zoe Lyons.

dcs awards

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.

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.

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.”

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