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.


Putting Safety First

Aqua Group have successfully renewed their accreditation of the Contractors’ Health and Safety Scheme (CHAS).

CHAS was initially developed by health and safety professionals in 1997 as part of a drive to improve health and safety standards within the UK. The aim was to simplify contractor assessment by standardising health & safety requirements across the board.

To achieve accreditation an IOSH (Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) qualified CHAS representative evaluates all areas of a company’s health and safety procedures. This includes analysing risk assessments and method statements, inspection plans, site visits and relevant COSHH documentation (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health).

For Quality, Health & Safety Manager, Shaun Tribbeck, the continued CHAS accreditation is part of Aqua’s ongoing commitment to health and safety. Shaun explains, “CHAS demonstrates our compliance and commitment to health and safety legislation within our industry. Not only does it give reassurance to clients and potential customers but also ensures the safety of our engineers and project managers when they’re working onsite.”

In addition, Aqua Group’s team of project managers and sales engineers have undergone CDM (Construction & Design Management) training. The CDM programme originated from the Construction, Design & Management Regulations legislation in 2015 and ensures contractors understand their legal requirements and duties when working on construction projects.

“Health and safety is just something that can’t be compromised”, comments Shaun. “We have an obligation to ourselves, our staff and customer base to adhere to any changes in legislation and to make sure our procedures are as rigorous and robust as possible. CHAS and CDM all work towards this end and their principles are at the forefront of our internal processes and procedures.”


Aqua Goes Nuts for Endurance Challenge

This spring, more than 20 hardy Aqua employees turned out to take on the Nuts Challenge, a gruelling mud run featuring 100 obstacles that’s set in seven kilometres of the Surrey countryside.

Our 23-strong team, the Aqua Cooling Coolconuts, conquered mud and fatigue to complete one lap of the ‘More Nuts’ challenge on Saturday 4 March organised at the Action Days Out military assault course near Dorking, Surrey. They faced a muddy course littered with daunting wayside obstacles including the ‘bunker’, the ‘wall’, ‘commando assault’, ‘apocalypse now’, and ‘kamikase’.

In preparation for the ultra-tough challenge, Aqua’s committed team members endured weekly 50-minute workouts at a corporate fitness boot-camp training course. Their instructor, Dan from fitness consultancy Get Focused, comes highly recommended – Aqua’s hire specialist, James Fry, achieved an excellent result with a lap-time of 1:40.

Fitness is a key part of Aqua’s company culture and our competitive Coolconuts are excited to get involved again: despite numerous bruises and even a few injuries the team had so much fun taking on this challenge that they’re already looking towards the next run, set for September.

Sue Davis, Aqua’s Marketing Manager, said: “Personally, it was one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever faced on a physical, mental and emotional level. I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, with the bruises to prove it!”

“The team were amazing. Everyone demonstrated real character and tenacity, and there were some fantastic examples of teamwork – from pulling people up muddy banks to talking them down from really high obstacles.”

If you fancy a challenge you can follow in Aqua’s footsteps by registering for the next Nuts event!

acr awards

Finalists For ACR News Awards 2017

Aqua Group have reached the finals of this year’s ACR News Awards.

Shortlisted for Refrigeration Product of the Year, Aqua have been recognised for supplying a highly efficient, bespoke refrigeration system to one of the UK’s leading food industry suppliers.

The installation for Anson Packaging Ltd, part of the Danish-based Faerch Plast Group, focused on achieving ultra high levels of energy efficiency.

Aqua supplied glycol-free free cooling, Turbocor compressor chillers and took the project through from initial design right through to installation and commissioning.

Simon Davis, Aqua Cooling co-founder and Director said:“We’re delighted that one of our systems has made it through to the final stage of these awards, it’s always very special to be recognised within your industry. However credit really goes to all those involved in the project, which includes our designers, sales & projects engineers and service & commissioning engineers.”

Established for over twenty years ago, The ACR News Awards celebrate success within the air conditioning and refrigeration industry. For 2017 entries are still being judged by an independent expert panel, although for the first time the industry are being asked to get involved and vote for some categories.

Winners will be announced at a gala awards dinner on 23rd March at London’s Chelsea Harbour Hotel. Hosting the dinner will be Ed Byrne, one of the UK’s leading performers and a popular face on shows such as Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You.


Cool Apprenticeships On Offer At Jobs Fair

Aqua was delighted to sponsor this year’s Fareham Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair, organised by local Member of Parliament Suella Fernandes and held at the town’s Ferneham Hall.

Suella said:“There is so much talent right here in Fareham, with innovating and ambitious businesses like Aqua based locally. It’s great that they’re giving something back to local people, equipping them with vital skills for work through their apprenticeship programmes, and I’m proud to be involved.”

Aqua is expanding rapidly. The company opened a second Segensworth office at the end of last year and is looking to recruit apprentices to fill engineering, sales and administrative roles.

Simon Davis, Aqua Director, said:“We are proud of our continued growth and success and pleased to be investing in the future through these apprenticeships. An apprenticeship with Aqua is more than a training scheme and we hope that the successful candidates will view their roles as stepping stones to life-long careers with us.”

Aqua has previously recruited apprentices who have been offered full time permanent design and sales positions at the end of their training.

Natalee Hunt, a full-time accounts assistant at Aqua, said:“It is an honour to represent Aqua at this event, which is a great opportunity for students and job-seekers to meet a variety of potential employers. Aqua is a great place to work.”

Natalee received sponsorship and support from Aqua whilst attending evening courses at Fareham College to complete her Level 4 Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) examinations. She attained her diploma in accounting and bookkeeping last year and has earned membership of the AAT.

Aqua spoke to more than 40 hopeful candidates at the event, the second of its kind run by the Fareham MP. Last year’s event was held at Fareham College.

This year Aqua joined companies such as SAAB and BAE Systems to meet educational institutions including Fareham College, Highbury College and Southampton Solent University.

uni build

An Intern’s Reflections On Time Spent In Industry

“Finding a job after graduation can be difficult in today’s competitive graduate employment market and for many students this is reason enough to undertake summer work placements. So, when I was lucky enough to be offered a month’s work experience here at Aqua Group, I jumped at the chance.

My name is Toby and I am a current university student, in the second year of a BSc physics degree. My education so far has been relatively academic so, when the opportunity arose at Aqua to apply some of my theoretical scientific knowledge in the real world — physics in action, if you like — it seemed like the perfect work-placement for me. I was not disappointed.

Working at Aqua’s Segensworth head office was great fun and very much opened my eyes. Not only was it one of my first experiences of an office environment but, thanks to my new colleagues’ strong team spirit and the buzz of enthusiasm that pervades the company, I was immediately made to feel welcome and valued.

Being surrounded by experienced engineers was inspiring — they were approachable and down-to-earth, and happy to help when I needed input and advice with the research and prototype testing tasks I’d been set. I especially enjoyed applying the knowledge of theoretical physics that I’ve gained so far at school and uni to devising and carrying out a variety of tests, and then to interpreting the results in a way that hopefully will be commercially significant. My grounding in scientific basics helped me reach what I hope were useful conclusions that, in turn, may help to inform some of Aqua’s business decisions in the future.

For myself, working as part of such a dynamic team in such a fast-paced sector, the month I spent at Aqua was invaluable. Every day brought a new learning experience and I was able to see at first hand some of the myriad ways in which scientific theory learnt in lectures can be applied to solve real-world challenges, from pipes to pumps, cooling to heating, and in industries as diverse as manufacturing, agriculture, pharmaceutical, packaging, power generation, food/beverage, and education as well as, of course, IT and computer data storage.

I’m now in the middle of preparing for my winter exams, fired with renewed enthusiasm for my subject and its relevance outside pure academia. I am enduringly grateful for the support I was given during my time as part of the Aqua family, and hope that in some measure I have paved the way for more student interns to contribute to this exciting business and, in doing so, benefit from their own Aqua experience.”

iop awards

Aqua Cooling Pick Up International Science Award

Aqua Group have been recognised by the international Institute of Physics (IOP) for its pioneering Leak Prevention System (LPS).

The company was presented with an IOP Commended Innovation award during a celebratory evening at the Lancaster Hotel in London. The event follows a parliamentary reception during which the winning companies were invited to showcase their innovations alongside leaders in business, politics and academia.

The IOP’s Business Innovation Awards are the only awards to recognise companies in the UK and Ireland that have built success on the innovative application of physics.

Aqua Group’s patented LPS is the first commercial product of its kind to use a basic suction principle – the Venturi effect. It works on the scientific premise that water under negative pressure cannot escape through a hole or breach in a pipe, hose, or joint. The application of this basic scientific principle represents a cooling breakthrough for data centres and other facilities, allowing them to benefit from all the advantages of water-based cooling systems with none of the risk.

By incorporating the LPS into its range of water-based cooling systems, Aqua can guarantee optimum efficiency and continuous 100 per cent leak-free performance, making its products ideal for installation and operation in sensitive environments.

The ground-breaking technology has already won the Hampshire-based cooling specialist industry recognition in the form of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation), which it received in 2015.

Aqua Group Directors Simon Davis and Kevin Lancaster received the Commended Innovation award from IOP President Roy Sambles.

Simon said: “We’re thrilled to have been recognised as being at the cutting edge of engineering innovation in the UK. Our team’s mission has always been to use our expertise to meet the unique needs of our customers.”

“We know from the success of our products and the ongoing relationships we have built with clients that we are achieving this. To receive this award and have the opportunity to introduce our technology to policy-makers and the wider scientific community has been an honour.”

This year’s IOP winners included Ikon Science, Jaguar Land Rover, Kromek Group, The Technology Partnerships and Ultra Electronics. Other companies to receive the Commended award alongside Aqua were Airbus Defence and Space, e2v technologies, Endomagentics and Tesla Engineering.


Aqua Cooling Receives Recognition in Parliament

Hampshire-based specialist cooling engineers, Aqua Group, has been praised by Government ministers in the House of Commons following its recent success at the Institute of Physics awards.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes used a Treasury Question Time opportunity to ask Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, to join her in congratulating Aqua and its directors Kevin Lancaster and Simon Davis following their recent Commended Innovation Award from the Institute of Physics.

Ms Fernandes said: “Kevin Lancaster and Simon Davis started their business, Aqua Cooling, from scratch in Fareham in 2000, and it now generates £1.7m in profit and is a leading industrial cooling firm. Last week, the Institute of Physics awarded Aqua Cooling its business innovation award for its innovative application of physics to generate jobs and profit. Will the Chancellor join me in congratulating Aqua Cooling and outline what the Government are doing to support research and development, so that other self-starters like Kevin and Simon can grow their businesses?”

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jane Ellison responded on behalf of the Chancellor and said: “I think that all Treasury Ministers would be delighted to congratulate Aqua Cooling on the innovation award it has won.”

Aqua was presented with a Commended Innovation award for its patented Leak Prevention System (LPS) that puts a basic scientific principle to work in a commercial application for the first time.

Aqua Cooling Sales Director Simon Davis said: “We are delighted to have received valuable recognition from the scientific community and now in Parliament too. It further highlights the enormous potential of our LPS within the data centre industry and the difference our work is making.”

Aqua’s LPS uses the Venturi effect and the basic scientific premise that water under negative pressure cannot escape through a hole or breach in a pipe, hose, or joint.

The unique system has previously been recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2015.