Panasonic scores at Oval cricket ground


11 April 2023

A legendary cricket ground in London is benefitting from an upgraded heating and cooling system from Panasonic.

Home to Surrey County Cricket Club since 1845 and a historic Test match ground, The Kia Oval is also one of the leading conference venues in London, hosting over 2,000 events each year.

The refurbishment project upgraded 15 boxes, plus several of the venue’s function rooms. The new Panasonic system was installed throughout the JM Finn Stand by Vince Sharma and Thomas Hall of Peach Maintenance, with Oceanair supplying the ECOi units and helping with the design and schematics of the new system.

Surrey CCC needed to upgrade its existing heating and cooling system with a more sustainable and cost-effective solution, aligned with the organisation’s net zero goals. The new solution consists of two Panasonic ECOi 3-pipe and 12 ECOi 2-pipe units to replace the existing 28 Sanyo units installed in 2006. 

As the hospitality and function suites operate all year round, the works were to be completed before the cricket season's start and the installation schedule was tight. As the existing indoor fan coil units were all still working efficiently, the most cost-effective solution was to keep these units and find a compatible solution for new outdoor condensing units to allow minimal downtime and the event bookings to not be affected. 

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Vince Sharma of Peach Maintenance said: “We have been working with Panasonic and Oceanair for a number of years and knew the system was reliable and could deliver the energy efficiency required for the space. It was therefore a logical decision to specify the Panasonic units to help minimise any disruption to the hospitality and function suites as the majority of the work needed would be on the roof or in the plant room.”

Another challenge was that since the original installation, an additional roof section had been added to the plant room making it more challenging to access the area by crane.  However, Oceanair and Panasonic provided technical support throughout the installation process to ensure everything went smoothly.

Panasonic outdoor units at the ground

Matt Williams of Surrey CCC said: “The install was straightforward and a cost-effective solution for us with almost no downtime and zero issues throughout the install – we are very pleased with the end result and it aligns nicely with our sustainability goals.”

Tony Holland, southern area account manager for Oceanair, said: “As Oceanair had supplied the original Sanyo units for this project, we knew the history and had the original schematics and were able to identify and mirror any of the concealed pipework. It was great to see that the original units had served the venue well over the last 17 years.  We could now replace the system with fewer but more compact and highly energy efficient Panasonic units, resulting in a smaller footprint. The existing indoor fan coils and cassette units can also be easily updated as and when required from Panasonic’s wide range.”