The Client –

Plastics Blow Moulder

The Challenge –

Energy Efficient Upgrade

The Solution –

Complete Cooling System Design

For a client with a legacy cooling system, a full system upgrade gave them the opportunity to benefit from the latest in energy efficient cooling technology.

Our client, an end user, specialises in plastics blow moulding and initially asked Aqua to carry out an energy evaluation on their existing factory set up. Our engineering team then designed an upgraded system with estimated annual costs savings from reducing overall energy consumption. When it comes to energy calculations, we are completely transparent and pride ourselves on living up to our predicted savings.
The suggested upgrade centred around utilising highly efficient free cooling technology, alongside inverter driven pumps. New chiller units were added to two production lines – on the injection moulding side and the blow moulding. Based on our client’s annual production schedule, energy cost savings were forecast at over £70,000. The free cooling also reduces the run hours on the chiller units, increasing their overall life expectancy.

An additional advantage for our client from moving to the new system was the warranty, giving them peace of mind for the years ahead.
The full solution included:

  • Energy efficient design review with energy calculations
  • Free cooling chillers
  • Inverter driven pumps
  • Mechanical installation & final commissioning
  • Warranty
  • Aftersales support

“Our client had become exasperated with their old system, experiencing long lead-times from the manufacturer when they needed to source replacement parts and then discovering some spares had become obsolete. That said, I think the prospect of a full system upgrade initially made them nervous because of the anticipated costs involved. However, our energy review quickly established that upgrading their equipment would bring them so many advantages. As well as a very quick payback – less than 2 years – they will make significant energy and cost savings every year” explains Aqua Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster.

Specialist engineers at Hampshire-based Aqua Group have transformed the floor panel manufacturing process for a leading flooring company after routine maintenance sparked the bespoke design of an innovative, energy-saving cooling solution.

Leading manufacturer of commercial floor coverings Polyflor, part of the James Halstead group, has installed Aqua’s new air-blast pre-cooler in its Stockton-on-Tees plant.

According to Aqua’s engineer Joe Konarski, Aqua’s new ground-breaking chiller system is likely to save Polyflor a minimum of £11,000 a year in reduced operating costs and energy savings and will bring added environmental benefits, not least by making the most of the free cooling capacities inherent in the new system.

Joe Konarski said:“Polyflor’s previous cooling process was under-performing because of damage caused by contaminated water particles in the old system’s evaporator so, when considering this problem, we realised we could devise an entirely new tailor-made cooling system for Polyflor that would be altogether more efficient and reliable.”

“Rather than simply being satisfied with a quick-fix or a temporary solution, we wanted to create a new solution altogether, one that would both benefit the client financially and provide an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendlier alternative.”

“The new system we designed for Polyflor currently cools the manufacturing process for one of the company’s flooring ranges — now we are adapting the new Aqua technology for use across Polyflor’s product range, effectively future-proofing our system for the benefit of this client and, potentially, other manufacturers employing similar process techniques,” added Joe.

Aqua’s design features an automatic ambient air pre-cooling system which massively reduces the refrigerated chiller compressor load in low ambient air temperatures. Over a year this reduces chiller electrical usage by approximately 65 per cent. When ambient temperatures are less than 8°C, the chiller compressors are de-activated, allowing Polyflor to benefit from complete free cooling.

The system design not only saves compressor energy but also reduces the mechanical load on the chillers, reducing on-going maintenance costs and enhancing the life-span of the equipment.

In addition, high-efficiency plate heat exchangers were also installed to allow the chillers and air-blast system to work on an independent ‘clean’ circuit. This is instrumental in avoiding a recurrence of the original operational problems affecting Polyflor’s Stockton-on-Tees cooling process where damage was caused by contaminated water particles in the system’s evaporators.