Case Studies

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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.

vinyl presents

Vinyl Presents Aims To Turn The Table On Overseas Vinyl Market

The Client –

Vinyl Record Manufacturer

The Challenge –

Highly Technical Temperature Control System For New Factory

The Solution –

Bespoke Cooling System, Full Design & Install

Portsmouth based Vinyl Presents are aiming to shake up the vinyl record market with their new state of the art manufacturing facility and an Aqua temperature control system is at the heart of the pressing process.

Aqua Cooling designed and installed their bespoke cooling system, as well as installing a steam heating system designed by others which works in-conjunction with the pressing machinery.

The process starts with the raw vinyl material being melted before being passed to the pressing plates that have metal stampers containing the music installed on each plate. The pressing plates are then heated with steam and squeeze the vinyl into shape and press the music onto the vinyl, chilled water quickly cools the plates so that the vinyl retains the required “record” shape. The excess vinyl is trimmed off and the records are automatically transported to cooling spindles ready for a night on the shelf before being hand sleeved and distributed to eagerly awaiting customers.

The full solution includes:

  • Bespoke cooling system – air cooled chiller, plate heat exchanger,
    inverter, pump and tank
  • Full install & commissioning of the cooling system
  • Steam boiler
  • Installation of the steam system equipment and piping as well
    as the compressed air pipework
  • Full design & installation service
  • Ongoing technical support

In 2016 market demand for vinyl in the UK was over 1,700,000 records per month, with the majority of pressing plants situated abroad. Vinyl Presents’ production facility in Victory Trading Estate, Portsmouth went into operation at the end of August and their order books are already filling up fast.

“Our plan is to bring record manufacture home to the UK” explains Daren Fudge, Vinyl Presents’ Director & CEO. “A huge percentage of vinyl is currently pressed overseas which is a trend we want to reverse. Our philosophy is pretty simple – we believe we can put the UK back on the map as a leading vinyl producer by manufacturing a high-quality product backed up with great customer care.”

Record manufacture is a highly technical process and one in which quality is key. Vinyl Presents’ factory uses cutting edge pressing technology and an innovative temperature control system to maximise efficiency and quality, enabling each machine to produce 2 records every minute.

Daren Fudge, comments “From the moment our engineer at Vinyl Presents first spoke to Aqua Cooling they filled us with confidence that they would be the right company to help complete our bespoke project. Their experienced team ensured the project was designed with efficiency and future expansion in mind, the installation was executed on time, on budget and the construction and commissioning activities were completed to an exceptionally high standard. We are delighted with the system performance and will continue to call upon their services to provide technical support and to help us with our future expansion.”

From initially identifying a gap in the market place, Vinyl Presents were up and running within a year and their rapid growth shows no sign of slowing. Aqua Cooling have designed the system pipework alongside Vinyl Presents’ own Process Design Engineer with future expansion in mind. The factory can triple the size of their current production when desired simply by adding additional presses and cooling equipment.

The vinyl market itself shows no sign of slowing either, in fact quite the opposite. BPI (British Phonographic Industry) statistics show that the vinyl market has grown again this year, for the ninth year in succession. After the growth in CDs, digital downloads and streaming it seems that audiences are now embracing the more tangible and physical form of the retro vinyl record – although perhaps its days of being retro are numbered!


farm cooling

New Cooling Plant Helps Farming Business Harvest Energy Benefits

The Client –

Farming & Food Processing Client In The East Of England

The Challenge –

Design A Reliable, Energy Efficient Cooling System

The Solution –

Complete System Design

When a fresh produce company was looking to replace their ageing chiller equipment, energy efficiency, reliability and ease of maintenance were at the forefront of their mind when it came to selecting their replacement cooling system.

Based in the East of England, our client has been growing, harvesting, and processing potatoes and root vegetables such as onions, carrots and parsnips, for over 100 years. They pack their own produce daily for distribution across the UK and further afield, as well as packing for other retailers.

Their factory had expanded over the 15 years so much it left the chiller on the roof with the only access being a man-way or 25 metre reach crane. Good news for the company but bad news for the chiller unit!

Aqua’s design team proposed an entirely new cooling plant for the factory which would provide cooling for all areas of the process – from the initial washing and cleaning of the vegetables right through to keeping the packed produce stored at exactly the right temperature before despatch to the retailers.

Our solution provided run and standby capacity by incorporating two chillers into the system, rather than just one. This gives built in redundancy with every component (including the evaporators) – in the rare event that a component should ever fail. It also focused on energy saving, utilising our range of SBS scroll compressor fluid chillers which are extremely efficient.

The system feeds chilled water at -5°C and operates on 30% monoproperlyne (food safe) glycol. The units were also positioned on site to ensure ease of accessibility for routine maintenance.

Full specification included:

  • 2 x SBS chiller units
  • Duplex pump skid
  • Inverter controls
  • Monoproperlyne (food safe) glycol
  • Full system design
  • Weir tank
  • BMS System

With maintenance issues resolved and a system harnessing state of the art cooling technology, our client will be harvesting the benefits for years to come!


ice cream

Aqua Keeps Ice Cream Churning

The Client –

Ice Cream Manufacturer, Marshfield Farm

The Challenge –

Existing System Upgrade

The Solution –

Adiabatic & Chiller System

Aqua Cooling have installed innovative technology to an expanding ice cream manufacturer.

Marshfield Farm had an existing cooling system from Aqua but wanted to expand the existing set up to cope with increased product demand.

The organic dairy and arable farm, based north of Bath, has more than doubled its ice cream production over the past 10 years. It produces over 30 flavours of award-winning premium ice cream and sorbet, all made with the farm’s own organic milk and all-natural ingredients.

Aqua supplied and installed a 200kW Adiabatic Cooling system and 75kW of chillers to supplement Marshfield’s existing set up. The state-of-the-art Cooling technology not only helps increase production capacity as demand for the farm’s ice cream reaches new heights, but also optimises energy efficiency.

Innovative design resulted in a system with a regeneration capacity, meaning the need for expensive refrigerated water is reduced by around 90%. The heat that is created when the product is pasteurized is recovered and recycled and then chilled water is just used to cool the product to 4°C for packaging. Full cooling capacity is only needed for the first and last cycle of the day.

Aqua Cooling’s Adiabatic products are engineered to maximise energy savings. They incorporate ultra efficient EC fans and have a variable adiabatic spray system which dramatically reduces water consumption.
Aqua Sales Director, Simon Davis, said: “Marshfield Farm has been a client for more than a decade, so it’s great to have seen the family-run business grow alongside Aqua and our new system will help the farm’s continual expansion programme.”

“We worked on the project alongside trusted dairy experts which enabled us to create a bespoke cooling system that recycles many of the required elements and works more efficiently overall.”



Innovative Adiabatic Cooling System Keeps Wheel Production On Track

The Client –

Alloy Wheels Supplier

The Challenge –

Re-specify Cooling Equipment

The Solution –

Adiabatic Cooling Solution

A state of the art Adiabatic Cooling system has helped to expand and transform alloy wheel production for one of the UK’s largest alloy wheel suppliers.

Based in the Midlands, our client designs and manufactures the wheels which are then supplied to the automotive market worldwide. They have worked with several the market leading vehicle brands and supply the motorsport sector.

Aqua supplied two Adiabatic Cooling systems, one of the key design benefits of the system was the ability to precisely control the exact amount of Adiabatic spray required by the process, reducing water loss and making subsequent savings on water consumption. Energy savings and overall efficiency are a real focus of the system, which is further enhanced by incorporating inverter pumps and EC fans.

One Adiabatic unit has been installed on the factory’s hydraulic press line and provides cooling for the quench tank. The second is on the diecasting line, cooling the process after the raw material has been injected into a mould under high temperature. Previously the line operated with air cooled tooling, but this was upgraded to a water-cooled system as part of the ongoing expansion programme.

Sales Director, Simon Davis, explains; “Aqua were initially approached because the client’s original supplier had miscalculated the cooling requirement of the production process, resulting in the wrong equipment arriving at site. We were asked to visit site, re-specify the equipment and supplied and installed the complete system. Since the initial installation Aqua have won a second contract for further work which I hope is testament not only to our product offering but also our customer service.”

The solution included:

  • 400kW and 700kW adiabatic coolers
  • Inverter pumps
  • DC driven adiabatic spray pumps
  • EC fans
  • Energy saving system design

With their new Cooling system in full operation, our client is now well placed to continue their ongoing strategy to be the major driving force in alloy wheel production across the globe.



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.”


Serving Up A Slice Of Green Cooling Tech

The Client –

Milk Processor, Dairy Partners

The Challenge –

System Upgrade

The Solution –

Energy Efficient System Install

Aqua Cooling has installed its state-of-the-art, energy-efficient cooling technology at a leading dairy product manufacturer’s West Wales production plant on the edge of Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire in a deal worth more than half a million pounds.

Aqua were called in by Dairy Partners to supply energy-saving technology to cool its pasteurisation and mozzarella process and to upgrade its previous system.

Dairy Partners is a privately owned, milk processor that produces and exports a variety of pizza cheeses from milk supplied by contracted farmers. Products include the Danscorella brand mozzarella and pizza cheeses.
Previously, the cooling system at its West Wales cheese making plant comprised of two conventional refrigeration systems and one ammonia chiller unit. Aqua replaced these systems with inverter-driven screw compressor technology, enabling the chillers to operate at part-load with high efficiency and ensuring that the minimum-required energy is used at all times.

Aqua also installed a water-to-water heat pump to reclaim heat from the plant and re use it for pre boiler feed for the steam plant and heating wash down water to enhance efficiency. By using waste heat from the process it is able to save considerable amounts of energy and money and with the governments RHI scheme (renewable heat initiative) helped bring the payback for the system into a commercially viable option.

The full solution included:

  • Inverter driven screw chillers
  • Heat reclaim pump
  • Full system design, including energy calculations and payback figure
  • Installation and commissioning

Simon Davis, Sales Director at Aqua Cooling, said: “We’re extremely pleased that Dairy Partners was eager to invest in long-term renewable energy — energy-efficiency and environmental responsibility are extremely important to the way we work as a business. The company has been a joy to work with and we’re proud that, as a client, Dairy Partners trusts us to provide a high-quality solution focusing on long-term benefits. We have very much enjoyed becoming even more familiar with the food manufacturing industry, especially as this is a business sector that is so important to the UK economy.”

Aqua’s state-of-the-art technology is already bringing rewards for its client. The project, which cost just over £600,000, has enabled Dairy Partners to participate in a number of money-saving and environmentally-friendly ‘green energy’ programmes including the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive grant scheme and the Carbon Trust’s Green Business Fund.

“This is an excellent result for Dairy Partners. At Aqua we are passionate about energy-efficiency and strive to ensure that as many businesses as possible cool their industrial processes in an efficient, effective and environmentally friendly way,” said Simon.

Aqua Cooling has won a number of awards for its innovative technology, including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) for its patented Leak Prevention System (LPS).



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!