AirSource plan for the future

With the imminent industry changes, Air source have been busy developing equipment for the future, moving away high GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants such as R410a to low GWP alternatives. Reducing the GWP will involve working with refrigerants that are flammable.

The current heat pumps (Tempair range) that we manufacture have refrigerant based coils within the airstream, one in the supply air for heating and cooling and one in the exhaust air for renewable energy transfer. This at present is based on a direct expansion system.

When investigating the various possibilities consideration was given to efficiency, lowest GWP, lowest charge and variable capacity control.

The decision was taken develop a range of heat pump chillers with an ultra low GWP refrigerant. The initial range will comprise of water cooled units, combining a reversible heat pump water system with a low GWP refrigerant, high efficiency and variable speed water pumps and compressors. The chillers will provide heating and cooling to Air Handling Unit, water based heating and cooling coils.
Development is continuing and the first chiller is now being tested.

F-gas phase down regulations post Brexit

Brexit

The UK as part of the EU has been committed to the European climate change regulations, which includes targets to phase down the use of Fluorinated gases, promoting the use of lower GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants. The EU is a global leader in promoting strong measures on F-gas reduction. This action is expected to increase demand for climate friendly technologies, creating business opportunities and accelerating innovation and economies of scale for new products. It could also lead to an increase in system design content for the application of new low GWP equipment.

The measurement of the quota is in equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide (ET CO2) and is calculated by multiplying the system charge (kg) by the refrigerant GWP/1000. This favours the use of moderate and low GWP refrigerants and systems with lower charge volumes.

The current regulation EU517/2014, introduced phase down quotas based on the consumption in 2012. There is a big reduction just around the corner starting in 2018, with the quota of supply dropping to 63% of the base figure. This could lead to price increases and shortages in the market if no response to the regulations. The refrigerant producers will be required to reduce their volume of ET CO2. to maintain their current volume of production. They will have to produce more of the moderate, low and ultra- low GWP refrigerants to achieve this.

In general terms, if you are a manufacturer, designer, contractor or distributer currently dependant on R410A systems or other high GWP refrigerants, that proportion of your business may reduce to 63% in volume in 2018, if you don’t take action or advantage of currently available products.

So where do we stand after Brexit? The phase down of high GWP refrigerant is coming up fast and current implementation in the UK will not be effected or reduced by our exit from the EU. Most of our supplies of equipment and refrigerant come from within Europe which also keeps us tied in with the current phase down structure across the EU; they may favour fellow members with their quota aallocation of high GWP refrigerants. The current version of regulation EU517/2014 has already been incorporated into UK law.

Communicating the EU message on the phase down implications to our industry has got off to a slow start and only got as far as the refrigerant producer, the compressor manufacturer and the equipment manufacturer. We have already witnessed the large multi nationals responding by acquiring or partnering manufacturing companies with water based cooling equipment.
The EU has set the standards high, taking a lead in acting on environmental issues and the UK has always played a pivotal role in embracing the policies and the latest technologies. The UK was the first country in the world to install a water chiller operating with an ultra-low GWP refrigerant R1234ze.

It maybe in the UK’s interest to accelerate the phase down process in the UK to demonstrate our commitment to the cause regardless of the Brexit vote outcome, to retain our influence and involvement on future policy at the highest level. This will create opportunities for our own industries to innovate.

We need to formulate a UK plan and direction, with clarity on actions and timescales, increasing the awareness of the phase down and the move towards flammable refrigerants with the associated charge restrictions. There are products presently available on the market operating with refrigerants R32, R1234ze, R290 and CO2, which should be utilised if suitable for your application. Why can’t we be a world leader on our own, demonstrating our commitment to environmental policy helping to accelerate the UK’s innovation and business opportunities?

AirSource named Salford’s SME Business of the Year

We’re absolutely  delighted to be awarded Salford’s SME of the Year.

AirSource scored first place in the SME of the Year category at the Salford Business Awards 2016, also earning a runners-up spot in the Innovation Award.

The Salford Business Awards, now in their ninth year, also recognised AirSource’s innovation in bringing its TempAir range to market, which combines heat recovery and a renewable energy air-to-air heat pump, to provide tempered fresh in an eco-friendly way. It’s an incredibly flexible product which can be built and tested prior to despatch.

Dave Clayton, MD, AirSource said: “The SME of the Year Award is a fantastic achievement! Winning identifies us as a valuable contributor to our local economy and an innovator within our industry, which we will use as a springboard to even more innovation and growth.

“It’s wonderful to be recognised for all the hard work the whole team has put in over the past five years. Congratulations to everyone that contributes to our success, and a huge thank you for their continued hard work!”

 

Salford business awards

MP visits AirSource manufacturing site

During a recent visit, Rebecca Long-Bailey, MP for Salford and Eccles and Shadow Minister (Treasury), was shown round our site in Eccles by AirSource managing director, Dave Clayton and met the 40-strong team.

They discussed the challenges facing UK manufacturing companies and the importance of investment, quality and training for future productivity.

Speaking after the event, Dave Clayton, an expert on the new EU regulations relating to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, said:  “It was good to meet our local MP and talk about our plans for expansion, the proposed move to new premises and the innovation required for manufacturing companies to succeed.”

He continued:  “Skills training and a particular emphasis on Research & Development are fundamental to manufacturing companies like us to build a strong and sustainable economy.  That is why new technology generation is at the top of our agenda.”

Airsource is the fastest growing company in the UK HVAC sector.  The company is committed to expanding UK sales and looks forward to exporting products in the future.

mp-visit

Ecodesign Directive

The compliance with the Energy- related Products directive (ErPD) for the non-residential sector seems to have caught out some manufacturers with existing projects designed prior to its implementation in January 2016, being non-compliant.

Under the directive all ventilation units must be equipped with variable speed fan drives. The main area for concern is the efficiency of the heat recovery device which is to be at least 67% (increasing to 73% in 2018) and 63% for a run around coil. If this has to be accommodated on existing projects, it may require a larger plate heat exchanger or increasing the AHU dimensions to maintain the specific fan power within the Part L2A Building regulations.

Another major concern is the restriction on units with recirculation systems such as retail applications or roof top units. If the units have an outdoor fresh air connection ≥10%, a heat recovery device for the full supply volume and minimum efficiency is required.

Airsource have been proactive in advising clients prior to the date of the implications, thus avoiding problems with site limitations and increased costs.

TempAir Heat pump exemption

Units incorporating a recovery system and a heat pump for recovery, where the main function of the unit is heating or cooling, are exempt from the new ErPD regulations. The Tempair unit as standard is equipped with the latest variable speed EC fans and 75 % efficient recovery, therefore already 2018 compliant. The exemption acknowledges the efficiency benefits of the packaged heat pump for the future. Being exempt will give the Tempair a dimensional advantage over standard Air Handling with plate heat exchangers.
Business as usual for Airsource

 

For some helpful information and to see how the 2016 and upcoming 2018 European ErP regulations affect you, click here.