Case Studies

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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 – 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.

cse chiller

Lack Of Outside Space Pays Dividends For Plastics Client

The Client –

Plastic Injection Moulding Client On The South Coast

The Challenge –

No Outside Space To Site Process Chiller

The Solution –

Pipework Upgrade With Minimal Downtime

Whilst initially a lack of outside space to might seem problematic, our design team managed to turn it into a huge positive for a client running an injection moulding plant on the South Coast.

Their production factory is part of an industrial estate, but local restrictions prohibited them using their external space to site a chiller. Their failing legacy chiller had been installed at height within their factory. This had made access for servicing and maintenance challenging over the years and the unit was now failing and becoming costly to repair.

Aqua’s design team suggested replacing the existing chiller with a new air-cooled chiller unit from our CSE range. These chillers are specifically designed for indoor installations and have variable speed centrifugal fans which allow air to be ducted externally or internally. This effectively allows the chiller to provide process cooling, but the resulting warm air can then be ducted into the factory during the colder months to provide comfort heating. In the warmer summer months, the air is simply directed outside to keep the ambient temperature comfortable.

The full solution included:

  • CSE 160 air cooled chiller with shell & tube evaporator
  • Design service
  • Installation & commissioning

“Our design team did a great job of turning a negative into a positive with this installation”, explains Shaun Lancaster, Aqua’s Sales Manager. “Our client knew they needed to find a new location for their chiller for it to work effectively for the long term but were so restricted with their options. The fact that we could provide a highly energy efficient unit as well as repurposing the waste heat for space heating was a complete win win. They’ll not just make energy savings from the new chiller but they’ll also dramatically cut their heating bills!”


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

pump skid

Custom Design Skill Set Keeps Glycol Pumping

The Client –

UK Based Chemical Client

The Challenge –

Glycol Pump For Overseas Site

The Solution –

Custom Self-contained Packaged Skid

Clients working within sensitive and critical industries such as the chemical sector tend to work within very strict and specific parameters and for these customers it’s Aqua’s ability to custom build a solution that puts them head and shoulders above the competition.

For a client looking to circulate 30% glycol fluid around their cooling plant, Aqua’s design team put together a closed-circuit pump skid which was designed and built on a completely bespoke basis. The end result was a self-contained packaged solution ready to be shipped overseas to its final destination.

The full solution included:

  • 2 x circulating pumps; 1 active and 1 standby with auto switch over
  • Pump in-line Y strainer, suction and discharge pressure indicators, discharge temperature indicator
  • Sealed Process tank in 304L stainless steel, high/low level switches and level gauge
  • Valves and piping
  • Control panel and control system
  • Local instruments
  • Steel base frame
  • Electrical and instrument wiring
  • Vacuum packaging for onward transportation overseas

“It’s often easy to think of process or industrial cooling equipment in terms of off the shelf chillers and box units” explains Aqua Group’s Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster. “But, for Aqua, there’s so much more to achieving the best solution for a customer. Our bespoke design & build ability is something we’re really proud of and it helps our customer get exactly what they need, without the restraints of trying to fix their requirements to a set product or range of products.”



Cooling Tower System With Zero Capital Investment

The Client –

Rubber Processor, South Of England

The Challenge –

Failing Cooling System

The Solution –

Energy Saving Analysis & Cooling Tower Replacement

It can often be confusing for clients looking to install, upgrade or replace cooling equipment because of the wide range of products available to choose from and their respective advantages or disadvantages depending on the application.

For one client trying to choose between a cooling tower and an adiabatic cooler, Aqua carried out a cost analysis based on their facility and operating conditions, to illustrate the true lifetime cost of both options.

Based on the South Coast, the client specialises in cabling for energy and telecom applications. Their large factory facility had a cooling tower-based cooling system on site. However, after serving them well for 30 years, the aging towers were starting to raise health & safety concerns within the business. However, a question remained over whether they replaced the equipment with similar cooling towers or moved to adiabatic cooling.

“Often customers look to move away from cooling towers because of the associated risks of legionella and the ongoing water treatment costs and H&S implications but in reality, the key is good regular maintenance” explains Aqua Group Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster.

“For our client we analysed the true costs of both systems – considering capital costs, energy costs and running costs (including maintenance) – and cooling towers came out on top. Where we like to feel we’re different as a business, is we give transparent energy & related cost savings. We look at the complete picture, considering capital and operational costs, our savings aren’t just on the supply of the equipment but on the lifetime operation and all the variables that brings.”

“We also considered how we could introduce glycol into the adiabatic cooling option without adding it to the main factory water. The answer was relatively straightforward – just add heat exchangers and additional pump skids – but the impact of this would have been an increase in the temperature of the supply water.”

Aqua supplied a replacement Marley NC tower unit, factory assembled, single cell, crossflow design. The cooling tower’s casing, structure, collection & distribution basin were constructed in galvanised steel to give additional corrosion protection. Aqua engineers erected, installed and commissioned the tower.

“The icing on the cake, so to speak, was that Aqua supplied the new tower based system for the buy- back cost of some redundant adiabatic units that the client had on site, so the project was completed with zero CAPEX investment.”


Low Temperature Solution for M&E Consultancy

The Client –

UK Based M&E Contractor

The Challenge –

Cooling System Requirement For An Automotive Client

The Solution –

Low Temp Chillers – Supply Only + Technical Overview

A recent project for an automotive industry client highlighted the flexibility and versatility of the service offering Aqua Group can provide, not just to direct end user customers but also to mechanical contractors and consultants.

In this example, the end user appointed a design consultancy and an M&E contractor to deliver a cooling system for their automotive process. Aqua Group were approached by the specified contractor to provide the equipment required on a supply only basis.

The end client’s process was working on temperatures down as low as -25°C so Aqua provided 3 x air cooled chillers specifically designed for low temperature applications. The units, each 152kW, included screw compressor, shell & tube evaporator, cooper tubed condenser, aluminium finned core and axial fans. The chillers were designed with several extras, including low noise option on each compressor.

However, whilst working on a supply only basis, Aqua’s engineering team were still on hand to give technical oversight and advice. Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster, explained; “Our engineers have the ability to work with clients in many different ways, depending on their individual situations and requirements.”

“One member of the team could be working on a project that involves a full turnkey solution – from site visit and energy analysis through project management to installation and commissioning. Equally, at the same time one of the team could be working on a supply only project. The Aqua difference however is that even in a supply only scenario, our engineers will still be on hand to give technical advice and guidance at the design stage to ensure the final system will do what it needs to do. We work with our clients for the long term, regardless of whether they are OEMs, end users, trade customers or consultants and M&E contractors.”


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