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.”

northern office

Aqua Makes a Move to New Northern Office

Aqua Cooling Solutions have just completed a move into new office space at Thorpe Park business park in Leeds as part of an ongoing expansion strategy.

Aqua launched in the UK in 2000 and opened their first North of England office in York in 2012. The business has grown and diversified over recent years and has recently recruited four new members of staff, making now an opportune time to move.

Mike West who heads up Aqua’s Northern sales division explains; “Thorpe Park is the ideal base for us as it’s so accessible and well connected geographically. As the team’s grown it’s become more and more important that we have a central base where our sales, service and project management teams can meet up face to face and clients can easily visit.”

Thorpe Park business park is close to the main motorway links as well as very near to Leeds Bradford International Airport. The new office will act as a base for Aqua’s regional sales and service engineers as well as their project management resource.

network computing awards

Network Computing Awards 2018

Aqua Group’s unique Leak Prevention System (LPS) has been shortlisted as a finalist for Data Centre Product of the Year at the 2018 Network Computing Awards.

The Leak Prevention System has already won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation and an Innovation commendation from The Institute of Physics (IOP).

Simon Davis, Director and Founder of Aqua Cooling Solutions designed the LPS technology which is based on a simple principle of physics. Simon explains; “At the heart of our LPS is a Venturi tube which turns water pressure from positive to negative. This simple change in pressure prevents water escaping from any damaged pipework, hoses or connection. Unlike competitor products, this isn’t a leak detection system but gives guaranteed leak free operation. Energy savings of up to 98% have been proven when compared with traditional data centre cooling set ups.”

The LPS enables clients to gain all the benefits that a water-cooled solution can offer the data centre environment but with complete peace of mind. It can also be fully integrated with the majority of data centre cooling products in the marketplace, whether that be rear doors, in rows or CRAC units.

Winners will be announced during an awards dinner in London in March. The dinner will take place at The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel on the evening of 22nd March.

To vote go to

New Appointment Boosts Aqua’s Northern Offering For 2018

Aqua Group are pleased to confirm that Senior Design & Projects Manager, Mike West, will be heading up their Northern division with immediate effect.

Since opening their first Northern office in 2012, Aqua have built up a strong client base across the UK as well as overseas. With plans to develop the business even further during 2018, Mike will support and mentor the area sales team. He’ll also work alongside the service team, led by Regional Service Manager Pete Dewsbury and with Ian Clynes on project management.

Born just outside Leeds, Mike spent his childhood in the area, only leaving his hometown to pursue engineering qualifications at Southampton Solent University. Mike then took a graduate sales position within the Aqua team, being quickly promoted to a fully-fledged Sales Engineer within the first year.

Mike brings with him a decade of sales and applications experience, working on cooling projects with clients across the world, including the USA, Middle East and most of Europe. In addition, Mike has played a key role in product development for Aqua as well as developing new business opportunities.

Mike design managed Aqua’s award winning Leak Prevention System (LPS), bringing unique cooling technology to data centres and other close control applications. He oversaw the LPS from conceptual stage right through to patent and production. The LPS won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation in 2015 as well as finalist accreditation in the 2016 DCS Awards for Data Centre Cooling Product of the Year.

Despite years of travelling across the globe, Mike very much sees the North of England as his home; “The area holds a special place in my heart, not only because it’s home to close family and friends, but it’s also somewhere that holds very fond memories from my childhood. I’m delighted to be starting 2018 leading the Northern team for Aqua and am really looking forward to working with new clients as well as catching up with existing customers over the next few months. It’s going to be an exciting year for Aqua and I’m thrilled to be part of that.”


Top Safety Accreditation For Aqua Cooling

Aqua Group are delighted to have been awarded accreditation from Alcumus SafeContractor for achieving excellence in health and safety in the workplace.

Alcumus SafeContractor is a leading third-party accreditation scheme which recognises extremely rigorous standards in health and safety management amongst contractors. It is used by thousands of organisations in the UK including SMEs and FTSE 100 companies.

Aqua’s SafeContractor accreditation shows that a uniform standard is achieved across the business and further demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to safety. Aqua Cooling are already accredited to CHAS (Contractors’ Health and Safety Scheme) and employees undergo CDM (Construction & Design Management) training.

“The Safe Contractor accreditation gives the stamp of approval that our operations are running smoothly and safely throughout the organisation. It is only given to businesses that pass their audit on health and safety, risk management and property safety” explains Aqua Cooling Quality, Health & Safety Manager, Shaun Tribbeck.

The new accreditation also gives peace of mind to clients of how important safety is regarded when engineers are visiting and working on their sites and with their own employees and other contractors. Kevin Lancaster, company Managing Director, explains: “Health and safety is something we take very seriously here, and we’re pleased to be able to show our customers that they can put their trust in us and the way that we operate.”


Refrigerant Phase Out And The Rise Of HFOs

2015 heralded a new era for refrigerants as R22, the last of the hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), was finally banned within Europe and a legislative phase down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) got underway.

Updated legislation addressed these man-made fluorinated gases and their use across industrial applications. In an attempt to control and limit their production over a 15-year period, manufacturers now require an EU quota to supply and distribute them. By 2030 the EU have set out to reduce the availability of HFCs by 79%.

HFC refrigerants have been commonly used as replacements to HCFCs over recent years but their global warming potential is still very high. For example, R134a has a GWP of 1430.

From 2020 the legislation will no longer allow commercial refrigeration equipment to be serviced with new refrigerant if it’s GWP is over 2500, meaning the use of R404A will be obsolete.

Introducing R1234ze

With an extremely low GWP figure, R1234ze has already been identified within the cooling industry as an ideal replacement to R134a. This refrigerant is from the hydrofluroolefin family, put simply it’s an unsaturated hydrocarbon (HFO). With a reported GWP figure of <10 it’s easy to see how it could be a worthy successor.

A number of Aqua Group’s chiller units are already available with R1234ze as an option, including our popular EET and EEF ranges and chillers with centrifugal Turbocor compressor chillers.

A Natural Alternative?

Aqua also offer chiller units with R290 or propane refrigerant which is completely natural, as opposed to man made, and has a GWP of just 3. This has been popular previously with clients looking for an alternative to an ammonia based cooling system.

System Design Is Key

When looking at alternative refrigerants the overall design of the system is key to ensure desirable levels of energy efficiency and cooling power are achieved. Our design engineers are always on hand to offer free technical advice to help you choose the correct chiller for your requirement and to help you design the best cooling solution possible.

F-Gas Regulations

Our engineers are up to date with all the latest legislation and developments within the refrigerant market place. All are F-Gas trained meaning they’re familiar with all legislative requirements when it comes to handling refrigerants, detecting leaks, recovering refrigerant from legacy equipment and the necessary documentation and label that’s needed. To work on, or service equipment containing F-gases, it is a legal requirement to be F-gas trained. A service/maintenance contract from Aqua Cooling will ensure your legal obligations are always met.