Winners of the 2023 National ACR & Heat Pump Awards


03 July 2023

Winners of the 2023 National ACR & Heat Pump Awards

RACHP Woman of the Year

Lisa-Jayne Cooke is an incredible source of support and encouragement for a huge range of people within her sector, including mentoring numerous women from across the UK.

In addition to her day job, which is in a highly competitive sector of the industry, and having teenage children, Lisa somehow manages to find time to dedicate herself to the betterment of the industry and environment in a variety of voluntary roles which include:

  • The Board of Trustees for the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR)
  • Director of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB)
  • International Women in Cooling Network
  • UK delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women

She has also recently taken on the mantle of leading a team on a Royal Academy of Engineering Inclusive Leadership project. Lisa is also an active STEM Ambassador, giving talks to school children of all ages to educate them in the practical side of STEM subjects and the diversity of careers they can lead to.


Juliet Loiselle, Managing Editor of ACR Journal, Heat Pumps Today and MBS at Warners Group Publications, said: “Lisa has a passion for making a difference and this is clear to anyone who she meets. She has a no-nonsense and straight-talking approach and is someone who gets things done.

“I have the great pleasure of working alongside Lisa as one of our awards judges, on the IOR Board, Women in RACHP Group and as Directors of ACRIB.

“She is one of the kindest ladies I know and a well-deserved winner of this award.”



ACR Contractor of the year 


SURE Solutions were incorporated in August 2016 and have now grown to a team of 39 with plans for further expansion to ensure they continue to exceed the needs of their customers. Since procuring their 8,100 sq.ft premises in August 2018, they have invested in the site facilities to ensure it is a safe and comfortable place of work for their employees. The fabulous building will be their home for many years to come and enables them to expand further in the near future. This will provide SURE with a strong platform to maintain their position in the market. Over the past 12 months, SURE have expanded their service team to add PLC and programming works, allowing them to bring more work in-house.
At SURE the key to success is the close attention they give to customers and their extremely proactive approach. They have three monthly contract reviews with all clients regardless of value and during weekly management meetings, these form part of the agenda. In addition to this robust approach, the sales team is in constant contact with clients. They feel this level of focus enables them to zero in on issues and create bespoke maintenance packages and solutions. In looking to develop this further, SURE have implemented a service management software that enables their customers to view all aspects of the service they have provided to them online. All work reports, maintenance sheets, F-Gas Register etc go on the online system as it is completed by the engineering team, as well as their company certifications, accreditations and engineer qualifications. SURE’s vision is that the customer can access everything instantly in case they need to respond to an onsite audit etc. As part of this offering, they have been able to build a service tracker so that the customer has improved service and maintenance visibility.

Sure are growing with their customers just as much as they are onboarding new clients. They have also become the main preferred supplier for a major UK food production company. The MD sits on the steering group for that customer, advising on key carbon and energy reduction initiatives, a true example of becoming a trusted advisor to that business. They feel building and maintaining their reputation is key and this focus has helped them to build to a turnover of over £12.9m in their most recent accounts. As part of expanding the offering to customers in the North East, an office branch will be opened in Hull this year.

They pride themselves on their award winning apprenticeship scheme, which they actively recruit into each year. Internally they have created a structure (accessible to all at any time via our staff microsite) allowing everybody to feel like they belong, while allowing them to see where their journey at JD may take them and how they can get there. They offer essential and continuous development training opportunities across the breadth of the company and encourage and welcome everybody to discuss any training requests they may have.

Since May 2022, JD have a dedicated training fund specifically for the training and development of their team. They also have a number of focus skills across the company, which allows for other skills to be developed, aside from those required to do their day-to-day role. At JD they understand the invaluable concept of supporting and developing the whole person.


Air Conditioning Product 

SHRM Advance VRF is the latest generation of Toshiba’s heat recovery VRF system, and the industry’s first full-scale VRF to operate on lower GWP R32 refrigerant. The combination of lower GWP and reduced refrigerant charge enables Advance to deliver a reduction of up to 80% in equivalent carbon emissions, compared with similarly sized R410A systems. The precise percentage depends on the design for each installation. In addition to the environmental benefits, as the price of R410A (the refrigerant traditionally used in VRF systems) rises and availability falls, R32 offers an attractive alternative, with significantly lower GWP, improved efficiency, lower carbon footprint and reduced running costs.

Advance incorporates several technical innovations that help enhance efficiency and comfort performance including a new twin-rotary compressor with liquid injection, developed in-house by Toshiba, that is even more efficient than Toshiba's previous twin-rotary a completely new DX refrigerant circuit design. It also includes a reduced holding charge 50% less than competitors, which delivers a significant reduction in overall system refrigerant volume, a new split heat exchanger that optimises cooling throughout the thermodynamic cycle, and in varying ambient and load conditions. The ability to select either three-pipe heat recovery or two-pipe heat pump operation for a project, using the same system, use of a sub-cooling plate heat exchanger for enhanced efficiency and performance and also a new high performance fan motor for lower energy consumption and reduced running costs. Together, these innovations contribute to SEER up to 8.9 and SCOP up to 4.67, reducing carbon footprint and driving down running costs throughout equipment lifetime.

To assist installers, the new compact chassis height of just 1.69m helps integration on site, and simplifies logistics in terms of lifting and positioning. Up to 69 indoor units per system are possible, with a full range of 13 different types of indoor unit available, from 0.3 to 10HP, enabling Advance to meet the requirements of virtually any project. Advance outdoor units are available in 8 to 24HP capacity systems, giving the flexibility to meet diverse site requirements.

CIAT Vectios R454B is a range of efficient compact air-to-air rooftop units. The range includes the Vectios R-454B and VectiosPower.  

Both models are compact, lightweight, horizontal, and autonomous air-to-air units. The Vectios is available in 14 sizes and features cooling capacities from 23 to 91kW and heating capacities from 22 to 90kW, while VectiosPower extends the range with 12 sizes and cooling capacities from 98 to 273kW and heating capacities from 97 to 300kW. These new units really come into their own when it comes to reducing environmental impact. The Vectios range operates on a R454B refrigerant which is the optimum solution for rooftop systems in terms of total environmental impact, cost, safety, and ease of use. R454B is a non-ozone depleting blend and classed as an A2L refrigerant by ISO 817 with lower flammability and offers a useful efficiency improvement over previous rooftop units operating with R410A. With a GWP of 466, R454B's overall carbon footprint is more than 80% lower than HFC R410A.

The units are space-saving, quiet-running, deliver higher efficiencies and lower operating costs so saving potentially thousands of pounds over the product’s lifetime.

When it comes to installation, the Vectios range is easy to lift and position on-site, and, once in place, simply requires air ducts and electrical connection.

Air Conditioning Project 


The South Lodge Hotel is a luxury 5 star country hotel and spa with 89 bedrooms, set in 93 acres of parkland in Lower Beeding, West Sussex. The property is a complex mix of the original 19th-century country house, with additions being built in 1911, the conversion into a luxury hotel in 1985, further accommodation was added in the Sussex Wing, and then in 2019, the stunning Spa was constructed, with particular attention being given to environmental and sustainability goals.

With the rising summer heat waves, the south-facing bedrooms needed reliable climate control technology to provide their notable guests with the ultimate comfort they expected. The hotel needed the solution to perform to the highest quality, fulfil their environmental goals and ensure indoor air quality for the well-being of their visitors. The internal and external units needed to be discreet enough to be easily disguised throughout the hotel and not disrupt the grand interior/exterior valued by the visitors. The client had no gas connection and no previous ductwork for cooling. This meant the hotel need all new ductwork hidden within the old 3ft thick walls and into the ceilings of the hotel. Without wanting to disturb its paying guests this would demand efficient installation done through well-thought-out phases. Work commenced on a two-room-per-week basis, as to swiftly get the rooms fully equipped without disrupting the bookings or guest experience.

The Panasonic PACi 5kW condensing units were the ideal solution knowing it would meet and exceed the customer’s expectations. It was essential that the new units were quiet in operation and whilst operating efficiently, made no detrimental impact on the fabric of the historic building, nor the luxury feel of the hotel. 19 of the rooms had the newly designed adapted ducted units installed, and one room had the ceiling cassette unit installed. With the building having never had any previous AC system, the solution had to offer easy installation which could help streamline the processes of knocking through the thick walls of the hotel. The Panasonic PACi split system is designed for easy installation, the indoor unit is connected to the outdoor with quick connection without over complicated ductwork. Additionally, the lightweight materials made the entire system much easier to move and install around the vast hotel.
The work was undertaken during 2021 over a six month period with rooms installed and fitted to coincide with occupancy at the hotel to minimise disruption.

Element, located in Birchwood, Warrington, is a multi-tenanted building providing 42,500 sq ft of office space across three floors. A key requirement for the remodelling of the building was that it should be sustainably built as an environmentally conscious workspace. The building needed a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system. Specifically for this client developing a multi-tenanted building, it was a key priority that each system could be individually monitored, and provide the capability to determine the cost per kilowatt hour of each system i.e. tenant billing.

Samsung were selected as partners to provide this sophisticated and energy efficient system, the first installation of the Samsung b.IoT building management system in the UK, alongside the Samsung DVMS2 (VRF air conditioning system). Contracted by AXD Environmental Ltd and Flexible Business Interiors, the building also incorporates other leading Samsung technologies. Ten Digital Variable Multi S2 heat recovery VRF systems, 70 ducted fan coil units, 19 energy recovery ventilation (ERV) units with CO2 sensors throughout and DMS2.5 central control with power integrated modules for energy meter integration. As the project progressed a mezzanine floor with a roof garden was added with a two-pipe VRF system, split system and additional ERV unit which are all linked via the Samsung b.IoT control platform.

Ancillary Product of the year 

When it comes to the separation of impurities within the system, from the very first passage Altecnic Ltd’s Caleffi XF has a combined filter and dirt separator to ensure maximum efficiency. It eliminates magnetite in the closed circuit, preserving the magnetic rotors of the circulators. The magnetic filter has been designed with heat pump installation in mind. So that the heat pump system can remain operational and flow rates can be maintained, the Caleffi XF has been designed to allow maintenance without having to shut-off the system.

No shut-off valves are required for maintenance as the device has a mechanism for cleaning the filter mesh with internal brushes. Turning the knob at the top makes the brushes clean the inside of the filter, and the impurities fall into the bottom of the component. Furthermore, the filter separates impurities in the system to minimise the problem of filter mesh clogging. Its operation is based on the action of three separate elements to continuously protect the generator and devices against any impurities that may form in the hydraulic circuit, both at system start-up and in normal operating conditions. The water in the system first passes through the internal mesh element, which separates the coarse impurities by collision, causing them to precipitate into the large lower collection chamber. A central magnet then captures and retains ferrous impurities down to the smallest sizes. Finally, the water passes through the outlet strainer, which has a large filtration surface and very fine mesh (0,16 mm) to capture all the residual impurities not blocked by the first two elements.

The customer benefits centre around the efficiency that installing the Caleffi XF allows through keeping the system as clean as possible. The design of the filter, with mesh surface with a mesh size of 160 µm makes the device less prone to clogging and thus increases its efficiency through remaining operational.

The self-cleaning function minimises downtime and makes maintenance easy for installers, ensures the heat pump system is kept running, something that is essential, especially in colder months, to maintain the desired temperature output.

The air-e is Panasonic’s first stand-alone nanoe X generator, which can be installed into a suspended ceiling, MF ceiling, or surface mounted (using the surface mount kit) to improve indoor air quality. Suitable for all types of application such as healthcare, leisure, fitness suites, hotels, schools and offices where indoor air quality are a priority, this maintenance and service-free fan unit produces hydroxyl radicals (OH radicals combined with water) which are delivered at a rate of 4.8 trillion per second. Abundant in nature hydroxyl radicals have the capacity to inhibit certain pollutants, viruses and bacteria to clean and deodorise the indoor air.

nanoe X technology has been independently tested and verified with very positive results with many viruses and bacteria being inhibited by 99%. A single device will provide effective cover for an area of approximately 20 m2 (with a ceiling height of up to 3m). The product is virtually silent in operation and has an extremely low power consumption, with recent tests showing a yearly running cost of just £12.08 based on an energy cost of £0.35 per kW hour.

Domestic Air Source Project

The 5-bedroom house was built in 1820s and had a 1970s extension which comprised a conservatory and a double garage. The house was in poor repair after many years of neglect and the customer knew it would need renovation and that they would need to replace the existing oil-fired heating system. They were looking to replace the outdated oil-fired heating system with a modern heating system that would be environmentally friendly, reliable and energy efficient, so it would be as cost effective as possible.

After conducting several site visits to their new home, the best solutions to the various problems they started to encounter were discussed as they started to make the necessary improvements. After completing necessary upgrades on the insulation of the house, including loft insulation and new windows plus floor, wall and roof insulation on the extension to current building standards, this ensured the insulation levels would be suitable to claim the Renewable Heat Incentive. The customer also reconfigured the rooms in the extension part of the house. The house had a space heating requirement of 43,354 kWh per year and the hot water demand is 6,113 kWh per year, giving a total heat requirement of 49,467 kWh per year.

The recommended solution was a cascade system with 2 x NIBE F2040 12 kW air source heat pump, 300L cylinder & a 200L buffer vessel. In addition to this, they supplied and installed 15 new radiators and a new underfloor heating system in the reconfigured extension.

The reduction of CO2 emissions on this project really sets it aside. CO2 savings to be made with the recommended solution delivered an annual saving of 12,833 kgCO2/kWh per annum. Over the 15-year comparison period, this project will save 192,498.30 kg CO2/kWh emissions.

Former heating systems engineer Richard Folkes and his wife purchased an almost 150-year-old stone cottage in the highlands of Perthshire, Scotland. Although the 1500 sq ft property had been modernised to some extent, it was still heated by just a stove and fireplace.

As there was no mains gas they knew they had two viable options; a wet heating circuit of radiators, heated by an oil boiler, or the renewables route. For many reasons they were drawn to the greener option. The customer initially planned to install the system himself but recognised that in order for homeowners to benefit from Government funding, both ground- and air-source heat pumps can only be commissioned by an MCS business.

MCS umbrella scheme, Viessmann Access, was identified by the homeowner. Viessmann specified the system, following a room-by-room heat loss calculation and the customer opted for a 16 kW Vitocal 222-A air source heat pump, which consists of both an indoor and outdoor unit, with water-carrying connection lines running between. Once purchased and installed, Viessmann commissioned the system under its MCS umbrella scheme, to verify that everything was safe and working as it should be, and processed the certification needed to claim funding.

Because of the location, the customer was able to claim £7,500 from the Home Energy Scotland (HES) loan, which currently provides more funding than the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) voucher available in England and Wales.

Ground Source Project

The client, H Timmis Farm, is near Telford and required immense amounts of heat for its poultry farm of 300,000 broilers. The farm installed a ground source heat pump and solar technology in/on farming buildings seven years ago. However, it was not working efficiently and was costing the client far more than it should to run, going against the purpose of a heat pump to be efficient, with multi-heat, chilling and energy-generating opportunities. Unmaintained, lacking upgrades and without the ability to control settings, it was becoming a financial drain rather than the asset it should have been. Poultry needs heat and it is time critical to get the sheds to the right temperature. The energy costs had doubled and were exceeding budget with annual costs being £440,000 and still climbing, meaning that the business was quickly becoming unviable.

Calibrate Energy Engineering developed Calibrate Analytics pre-Covid. This is a controller which will interrogate the pump and site’s energy use and identify ways to save money. It was an ideal solution to optimise the system and significantly save costs. As part of the project it was important that the renewable technology was not obsolete and a different business strategy was required.

Data was gathered from the controller and a series of improvements were  designed to heighten performance by adjusting and engineering a series of modifications, automating the client’s assets, fine-tuning processes and improving mechanical and electrical systems. By reworking multiple inefficient settings, removing the buffer tank system and implementing some re-works to the heating loop, the heat pump’s COP doubled to go above the standards expected by Ofgem, meaning the farm’s RHI rebate was no longer threatened. The farm was also able to drastically cut energy costs and carbon emissions.

From plugging in Calibrate Analytics to interrogate the pump’s efficiency, it took six weeks of engineering to improve the system to achieve instantaneous benefits for the client. Although the ground array and heat pumps were already installed, this project required the bulk tank system removed and a new control system integrated.

Content continues after advertisements

The farmer saved £117,000 p/a on electricity, so 25% kW usage on the past three years, and reduced carbon emissions by 136 tonnes CO2 per year. It was established it would take 1.1 years to receive a return on the investment.

The clients at Willow Garth wanted a holistic heat and power solution that would seamlessly integrate different technologies to achieve their specific environmental and lifestyle goals in their new home: comfort, efficiency and being self-sufficient. They also specified the air to be free of dust and pollen.

Matrix Energy Systems were selected as they have the ability to take a whole-system approach and connect it all together to get the most out of each individual element. Using a software tool called CYMAP a full heat load calculation was conducted. They were able to visualise the building in CAD and apply insulation values to all the fabric elements, to design the optimum heating system and minimise potential heat loss.

A Viessmann Vitocal 222-G 8 kW ground source heat pump with integrated 220-litre hot-water cylinder is at the heart of the new system. Ground source heat pumps offer a year-round, eco-friendly, renewable source of energy for heating and hot water by using geothermal collectors to gather natural heat from the ground. The Vitocal has exceptionally low running costs thanks to its optimised seasonal efficiency and the fact its hot water cylinder sits on top of the pump itself. It has a coefficient of performance of 4.6 and an energy efficiency rating of A+++ / A++.

Heat Pump Installer 

R A Brown Heating Services has been installing ground and air source heat pumps since 2007. Prior to this Richard Brown had a successful plumbing and heating business initially with a more urban customer base in Norwich but moving out to barn conversions and other rural properties by being a specialist in underfloor heating. The decision to install heat pumps came from Richard’s desire to work at the cutting edge of the industry in terms of offering the best technologies to customers. This ethos still continues and has been instilled into the current workforce from senior management down to new apprentices.

In 2012 the business moved into showroom premises having previously been run from a home office and steadily grew from 7 employees to 20 today. Richard felt strongly that prospective customers need to see these technologies and understand how the system will fit into their property. In the showroom they can see from mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) systems, radiators, underfloor heating (UFH) to ground source heat pumps (GSHP) from NIBE and Stiebel Eltron etc. The displays of MVHR, ASHP and UFH allow the customer to experience these products in action and try using the controls. The showroom adds credibility and shows that the business is a professional establishment.

With Richard’s experience, he believes in developing the industry. Before the pandemic he was hosting industry development training and CPD events to other professionals. Along with support from suppliers, CPD sessions have been delivered to CIPHE members, architects and trade mornings enable plumbers to be trained.

Louise Howlett, Commercial Director at R A Brown Heating Services, has been invited by Chloe Smith MP to a local politicians’ roundtable initiative on heat pumps, to discuss green jobs in north Norwich and across the region as it is recognised as one of the most important industries to enable us all to reach net zero. The business aims to support the industry by talking to relevant parties to ensure the industry views and needs are taken into consideration. In 2022, Jerome Mayhew MP, a member of the Environmental Audit Committee, visited the showroom to discuss the renewable heating industry and government incentives. This was welcomed and supported by local MP’s who now invite the views of the business when installer consultation is required.

Established in 2006, Finn Geotherm are ground and air source heat pump specifiers and installers in the East of England.

Finn Geotherm Technical Director David Alston works with Finnish manufacturer Lämpöässä to bring its ground source systems to this country.

They are always happy to emphasise they are not a ‘Jack of all trades’ but are passionate about being a master of what they do. During their 15th anniversary in 2021, Finn Geotherm reached the huge milestone of securing £22million in Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments, which is shared among the domestic and commercial customers for whom they have designed and installed ground and air source heat pump systems.

This is a business with a driven and enthusiastic team that continually strives to help grow and support the uptake of heat pumps in all manner of applications, from commercial premises to domestic properties. Heat pumps aren’t just a job for Finn Geotherm, they are a passion.

Heat Pump Product  

The Ecodan CAHV-R450YA-HPB is a new commercial air source heat pump from Mitsubishi Electric, it requires only water and electrical connections, for ease of installation, and offers designers and specifiers a robust, low carbon system for the provision of sanitary hot water and space heating. The production of the CAHV-R is completely scalable to cope with the growing demand for renewable heating. This will enable HVAC engineers to quickly respond to the growing demand for low-carbon, sustainable heating in the commercial sector, using proven technology, supported by a global brand.

The Ecodan CAHV-R updates and replaces the Ecodan CAHV-P. The CAHV-P has been supplied to hundreds of Salix-funded projects and, once the CAHV-P models have been exhausted, the CAHV-R will continue this trend to offer a powerful, flexible, renewable heat pump but use R454C with a GWP of 146, rather than R407C, which the CAHV-P uses, which has a GWP of 1,774.

There are many benefits for the customers from design flexibility to continuous heating provisions. These include 70 degrees Centigrade outlet temperature down to -20 degrees Centigrade ambient temperature for continuous heating provision, multiple unit cascade control from 7.8kW to 640kW capacity provides design flexibility for a wide range of commercial applications, water flow temperatures from 24°C to 70°C without boost heaters results in cost and energy savings, advanced heat exchange design combined with the properties of R454C refrigerant enables a shorter defrost time, low frequency compressor control improves energy efficiency and product operation to the in-built rotation comes as standard, so that the CAHV-R alternates between different modules to maximise performance and product life.

For installers, they know that corporate social responsibility (CSR) targets are important so the use of the lower GWP R454C refrigerant and reduced embodied carbon helps businesses achieve their targets and demonstrate that they are taking action to limit their carbon footprint.

The NIBE S2125 is NIBE’s most energy efficient air source heat pump (ASHP) yet and is combined with a new design for lower noise levels. It is an intelligent, inverter controlled ASHP that automatically adapts to household heating demand, providing optimised heating and therefore, savings all year round. It is available in two effect sizes, this heat pump is powerful and quiet with a supply temperature of up to 75°C, meaning that even in temperatures of -25°C, the heat pump works efficiently to deliver heating and hot water up to 65°C. Together with the NIBE S-series indoor module with a built-in Wi-Fi connection and the possibility of wireless accessories, it becomes a natural part of a connected home. The smart technology automatically adjusts the indoor climate and gives homeowners complete control of the system from their smartphone or tablet. High comfort and low energy consumption, at the same time as doing nature a favour.

Refrigeration Product

Fundamental to the design of Bora is the incorporation of Aircell, which is a unique and patented airflow management system developed for open front refrigerated multi deck retail cabinets. Aircell segments the cabinet into a series of air flow managed cells with short air curtains. The smaller cells have a shorter air column and independent management of air movement, resulting in less pressure on the air curtain of each cell. This reduces cold air spillage, creating less duty on the refrigeration machinery to maintain holding temperature and significant energy savings. Crucially, Aircell does not require back panel flow to support the air curtain, so it does not over cool food at the rear of the cabinet.

The key feature of Boro is its energy saving characteristics. Critically, these energy savings are achieved without the need to fit glass doors on the cabinet. Some retailers have trialled glass door displays, but whilst they may work in small stores with low volume sales, they are not the answer for high volume grocery retailing and food-to-go operations, where the frequent opening of doors causes chilled air to spill out and the cabinets fail to maintain operating temperature. There is also evidence to suggest that doors provide a barrier to shoppers with a detrimental effect on browsing and impulse purchases. It also ensures a tighter temperature bandwidth with accurate and stable holding temperatures, factors that help maintain perishable merchandise at optimum quality over extended periods.

By including Bora within their product portfolios, contractors will be demonstrating their commitment to new technology, which reduces energy costs, cuts carbon emissions and limits food waste. The protracted hike in electricity tariffs will also make the most energy efficient equipment more attractive to end users. Those companies who can meet the demands of retailers, seeking energy saving technology without compromising the shopping experience, are the suppliers who are likely to succeed in an increasingly competitive market.

Beijer Ref’s SEC (Sustainable Energy Controller) is a heat recovery module that harvests every last watt of energy from a system, converting waste heat that would normally be rejected into the atmosphere into hot water; effectively free heat. SEC merges heating and cooling systems into one heating network, similar to district heating systems, but on a localised scale. It is currently available in two sizes, is an autonomous module that contains all the necessary heat exchangers, pumps, controls and valving in one cabinet. It is easily mounted between the evaporator(s) and condensing unit(s) and, while the fridge system is running, converts waste heat into hot water which is fed to a storage tank, just as most heat recovery systems are designed to do. However, when the fridge system has satisfied the target temperature in the cold/freezer room (or refrigerated cabinet/cellar cooler) it still has residual heat within the system from previous cycles. SEC continues to operate drawing every last watt of heat energy from the system. Once this heat has been harvested, and providing there is still a demand for hot water, SEC starts to work like a VRF system, without the need for a 4 way reversing valve. Using a series of heat exchangers and diverting valves, SEC tricks the condensing unit into thinking there is a demand for cooling and as such provides heat to increase the water temperature within the storage tank using the condensing unit. Effectively changing the fridge system into an air to water heat pump.

Refrigeration Project

Completed in February this year, the University of Salford’s new multi-million-pound energy performance test facility, Energy House 2.0, is the largest test and research facility of its type anywhere in the world.  This unique facility is playing a key role in accelerating the progress towards low carbon and net zero housing design, including many other sectors. The brief was to provide a sustainable and energy efficient simultaneous cooling and heating plant capable of delivering the required temperature range of -20 to +40°C, thus simulating various global weather conditions within two test chambers, including wind, rain, snow and solar radiation. Requiring a tolerance of within 0.1°C across the entire 60°C temperature range, maintaining the specified humidity targets.

At heart of the installation there are variable-speed water cooled screw chillers, which can operate between -20 to +40°C. This uses energy efficient ammonia as the natural refrigerant, 0 GWP. It also uses inverter controls to provide maximum efficiency over the full operating range, coupled with a floating condensing and evaporation temperature. The evaporation target is calculated against the desired air temperature and dewpoint to maximise the system temperature, while the condensing target is modulated against the ambient to provide the lowest possible condensing temperature. Both of these features increase the overall efficiency of the system, whilst still maintaining the optimum fluid conditions and sustaining the desired chamber conditions with the tight operating bands. Each chamber is served by three low temperature  air handling units (AHUs), each with independent humidification controls, re-heat capability, and EC Fans. Each AHU has an independent valve and pump station to provide close control for air temperature delivery. The whole system is controlled by a complex bespoke PLC design providing optimal control to replicate environments from the Antarctic to Shanghai.

The project was delivered on time and on budget despite the challenges of a global pandemic. Other factors that were considered and designed for the sustainability criteria, was the harvesting of heat, either through the cooling process, or via the simulation process during air temperature trials to maximise efficiencies when heating demand is needed. While reviewing the environmental challenges of the refrigeration and controls, rapid climate variances were a huge part of the testing complexity in terms of the harvesting of rain, and defrosting cycles during frost and snow, which meant the requirement to recycle water through filtered means was vitally important to the overall sustainability of the project.

A bespoke refrigeration plant design was required to meet space and noise level restrictions on site in addition to withstanding an intensive cleaning regime of three refrigerated food processing areas.

A rooftop void-mounted condenser was selected for the main refrigeration plant and rated to operate in high ambient temperatures of 47oC with an 8K TD. All evaporators were of stainless-steel construction with specialised fin coatings. They were selected with a 6K TD with off-cycle defrost as an energy-saving benefit and to maintain higher humidity levels to maintain higher product qualities.

The low care, high care and defrost food processing areas are connected to a dual inverter Panasonic scroll compressor mini pack that provides energy-efficient operation through bespoke algorithms for load matching.  Further energy-saving methods include EC fans, EEV control and variable system operating temperatures with load management.  Furthermore, energy monitoring is also connected with Modbus integration for remote connectivity.

The installation took place in three stages and was completed and commissioned within 12 weeks.

Training Provider   

Engineers on the front line are facing new technologies daily and Beijer Ref has a passion to arm them with the knowledge to remove any uncertainties of a change to sustainable solutions.

The first Beijer Ref Academy opened in Wetherby in 2022 with multiple objectives to physically introduce and train engineers on natural refrigerant products with a sustainable future. They are designed to take away the mystique of future refrigeration systems, allowing engineers to confidently and competently install and repair products with a sustainable future. To provide predominantly ‘hands on’ training in courses designed by engineers for engineers and to offer training that will benefit our industry and our planet.

At the start of this journey, it has always been their objective to listen to customers and design a ‘hands on’ training environment for engineers.

Traditional training through PowerPoint or similar media within a classroom environment is what they wanted to avoid if possible. The design of the Academy reflects this new effective training style with the majority of space and time dedicated to fully functional equipment and systems, and not a classroom. Beijer Ref is in an enviable position as a manufacturer and wholesaler of natural refrigeration product solutions to offer manufacturer accredited training. Attendees will always be trained on the most up to date state of the art products at any given time. To qualify this statement, they are currently installing the new SEC unit (manufactured in-house by SCM Frigo in Italy) to enable engineers to be fully conversant with this new generation heat recovery system. There is also a fully functioning CO2 pack from SCM Frigo connected to two multideck cabinets and various evaporator types, the latest A2L systems from Bitzer and Danfoss and MHI’s CO2 based Q-ton hot water heat pump system. The Academy in Wetherby is fitted with 17 fully functioning systems. The Beijer Ref Academy employs seven qualified engineers who are manufacturer-accredited trainers with in-depth knowledge in specialist areas. This wealth of knowledge covers commercial, retail, industrial and marine sectors. It is believed that this is unique and reflects their continued investment in supporting our industry. The investment continues with the next academy due to open in Glasgow this summer, followed by Sheffield, Walthamstow and Belfast.

After each course, every attendee is invited to provide feedback covering how they rank the training provided as a score out of 10 together with any positive, or negative, feedback. The majority of training provided since opening covers the 5 day F-Gas course and the Introduction to CO2, which each earn a rating of 9.5/10 & 9.9/10 respectively.

The main focus at the Grimsby Institute of further and higher education has been Apprenticeship Standard 6090-50 level 3, also offering 6090-20 leading onto 6090-30.  It also has also provided clients’ bespoke training to suit their business needs, F-Gas 2079-11 cat 1-2-3 & 4 level 2; mobile air conditioning refrigerant handling; hydrocarbon handling & ammonia handling; air conditioning installation and commission and decommission training; basics in electrical fault-finding.

The Institute is innovative and amongst other things has introduced inclusive learning via Microsoft Office, allowing the students to customise their learning experience to suit individual needs. Now paperless with the introduction of class notebook which allows both the Institute and the employer to keep track of the student’s progress remotely, it also allows the student and tutor remote access to go through anything that they require further assistance with, outside of block attendance.


HVAC supplier Exi-tite Ltd pride themselves on honesty and integrity. Their business model is built on three main pillars: Design, Supply and Support, and they believe that supporting customers and the suppliers working with them in these three areas is the key to their success. 

Formed in 2013, Exi-tite has expanded from its initial home in Balleygawley, Northern Ireland, with UK and ROI coverage and regional headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland, and Carlow, Ireland, in addition to other offices in Belfast.

The team consists of 35 people, of which the majority have HVAC industry experience before joining the company. Their experience ranges from system design to in-field technical assistance and repairs across all our product sectors and allows the business to confidently offer a concept of aftercare service.

Working across the air conditioning, ventilation, heat pump (commercial and domestic) and chiller sectors Exi-tite offers a comprehensive range of solutions to meet the most challenging specifications. They interact with customers via email, Microsoft Teams, phone and face to face along with site visits.

The design takes place in-house with both manufacturer's software and specific programs such as CAD and Revit. They issue technical submittals for each project, with clear guidance for controls integration and adhering to building certifications such as BREEAM and LEED where required with appropriate energy or carbon data.  Adding depth and additional capabilities to their services, they can supply projects with Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling.

More regular items are stocked locally but Exi-tite insist on arranging collection of project-specific items with their own logistical arrangements, including collection from regions across Europe, to negate delays at ports caused by others and further causes that may cause an issue.  Most products are then delivered to their warehouses first, where products can be checked. Then, a more localised specific arrangement for delivery can be arranged, removing potential hiccups such as restricted access or physical space.

As a business, they recognise that the most important component of Exi-tite is its people and are proud that most of the senior positions are filled with team members whose capabilities have been recognised, nurtured with training, and progressed through the business. 

CDL offer a wide range of services which start in the classroom with essential air conditioning training and go on to include air conditioning design and air conditioning health checks. A comprehensive range of courses is offered covering all levels of technical ability, from introductory courses to advanced, enabling customers to progress and build the skills of staff.

There are three branches, at Gateshead, Warrington and Glasgow. These are open for normal hours of business, while an out-of-hours service for pre- and post-sale technical support is available 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday.   

CDL’s approach from the start was to be customer-led. For them, this means listening to what contractors actually want, and not trying a force a solution on them that doesn't meet requirements, just because it's the easy option. It also means protecting the customers as they always position themselves on their side of the table.

A comprehensive resource for design and product specification is supplied, including air conditioning splits, VRF, chillers, air handling units, heat pumps, plus a full range of DX and hydronic indoor units, for use in industrial, commercial and domestic applications, sourced from their ranges of Toshiba, Carrier, CIAT and Fujitsu equipment.

Products can be bought via telephone, email, text and website (message) and delivered next day across the UK as standard, or same day by arrangement.