Hospital emergency prompts contingency plan


18 October 2023
Two temperature-controlled containers provided a temporary solution when a chiller system failed


A hospital in North-West England faced a critical situation when its chiller system malfunctioned over a weekend. The circumstances emphasised the importance of having an efficient contingency plan in place, prompting the hospital to turn to ICS Cool Energy.

Initial challenge

As the summer heat soared, the hospital's chiller in a cooling plant servicing the kitchen and other vital parts of the building broke down. This posed an immediate threat to temperature-sensitive food storage. ICS Cool Energy was brought on board and provided two cold store units – in other words temperature-controlled containers - as a temporary solution to address the kitchen’s pressing temperature control needs. 

Broadening scope

After the initial problem was addressed, further issues with the cooling system, exacerbated by the heat, necessitated emergency cooling solutions. ICS Cool Energy supplied its i-Chillers to support the hospital's cooling plant and augment its capacity.

Developing a comprehensive contingency plan

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Recognising the lack of a comprehensive backup plan, the hospital engaged the ICS Cool Energy engineering team to prepare a robust contingency plan. The goal was to find ways to help the hospital continue to operate in a crisis with their cooling and heating systems. This started with conducting an overall site and operations audit to understand where the risks lie within the essential components of the cooling and heating systems. Based on that the teams agreed on what contingency equipment is required and aligned on a 24/7 activation plan.

This strategy encompassed:

  1. A plan for a plug-and-play emergency installation of cold stores for the hospital’s kitchen.
  2. Backup plan for immediate installation of fully packaged process chillers for the existing cooling systems to mitigate against the potential risk of malfunction. This includes preparing on-site infrastructure for quick chiller installation.
  3. Backup plan to support the hospital's existing boilers in case of failure.

Infrastructure upgrades

During the initial engagement, it was noted that there was not adequate electricity infrastructure in place for emergency equipment. This oversight necessitated calling in electricians and running cables around the hospital. To eliminate such delays in the future, the ICS Cool Energy team allocated a dedicated socket for emergency cold stores, ensuring power readiness for any additional equipment.


What began as a response to a cold storage need in the kitchen expanded into a comprehensive engagement, with ICS Cool Energy now altering the infrastructure for the emergency installations of chillers and boilers.