Winners of the 2019 ​National ACR & Heat Pump Awards


01 June 2019

ACR Woman of the Year

Winner: Jacinta Caden

Jacinta Caden entered the refrigeration and air conditioning industry as an apprentice with a contractor in Dublin in 2003.

She spent close to 10 years as a technical sales engineer with Dean & Wood and, following a spell as area manager for Tecnair, joined the Specialist Industrial Refrigeration Division of Integral, initially as business development manager and, since November last year, as spiral freezers operations manager.

She retains a huge enthusiasm for refrigeration in all its forms and, in an interview with the ACR Journal, said: “I am always intrigued and sometimes surprised about where I see refrigeration utilised and it makes me proud to be part of an industry that will never die, an industry that everyone needs.’’

2018 proved to be quite a year for Jacinta, as she was elected to the council of the respected Women’s Engineering Society, a charity and professional network of women engineers, scientists and technologists who offer inspiration, support and professional development. Then, in November, she was elected to the Institute of Refrigeration Board of Trustees.

She is also a member of the steering committee of the Women in RACHP network and is a vocal supporter of efforts to attract more women engineers into the industry.

ACR Contractor

Winner: Garry Shaw and Sure Solutions

Since it was established in 2016, SURE Solutions has made impressive progress and now employs 14 full-time staff, operating from a new 8,100 sq ft building.

The company provide environmentally friendly solutions to the meat processing, dairy, food and beverage, cold storage and distribution, blast freezing, HVAC and comfort cooling industries.

Managing director Garry Shaw is a firm believer in upskilling staff to allow progression from within. This is emphasised in the case of mature apprentice, John McHale, with SURE putting him through SMSTS and enrolling him at City of Liverpool College for his NVQ Level 3, with the aim of allowing progression to site manager.

SURE recognises the value of the apprenticeship scheme and recently recruited its first school-leaver, Aarron Thwaites. Garry strongly believes this will enhance the growth of the business and also give something back to the industry. 

The winner of last year’s ACR Project category, SURE has recently been involved in three large industrial refrigeration projects and has secured service and maintenance contracts with blue-chip customers. 

It undertakes contract reviews with all clients, regardless of value, and the sales manager is in constant contact with customers, enabling the company to focus on key issues and create bespoke maintenance packages and solutions.

Phil Creaney's ACR Champion

Winner: John Austin-Davies

John Austin-Davies has been at the cutting edge of many significant developments in refrigeration technology over the last four decades.

And despite his official retirement from the Epta Group in September last year, he seems unlikely to sever his links with the industry any time soon…

During his days at George Barker, he developed a number of innovative pack systems and also recognised the need to use HFCs with the lowest GWP at a time when there was little or no understanding of this key measure.

John is a Chartered Engineer and has served as president of the British Refrigeration Association and chairman of FETA. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Refrigeration, and a Trustee.

In the future, his work to help create the Trailblazer Apprenticeship programme may be viewed as one of his greatest single contributions to the RACHP sector. This is part of an initiative to give the industry the technical support it needs for the future.

IOR immediate past president Steve Gill said: “John’s dedication is driven by his conviction that this will be one of the most important training developments in our industry and will have significant long-term impact and benefits.’’

Refrigeration Project

Sponsored by Hitachi

Winner: Star Refrigeration, Snozone

Snozone provides the UK’s leading snow centres for indoor skiing and snowboarding on real snow. The indoor centres, in Milton Keynes and Castleford, offer an authentic slope experience and have taught nearly 2 million guests since opening in 2000.

The Milton Keynes site was operating an R407C chiller system that was unreliable, expensive to run, and difficult to maintain. Snozone could not afford a significant shutdown as this risked melting the ice floor and flooding the inside of the building.

Due to the positive experience of using ammonia at its Castleford facility, it was agreed that this would again provide a future proof, energy efficient solution. Star offered a packaged Azanechiller 2.0 “plug and play” solution that could be installed outside the existing plantroom.

Consultants Hulley & Kirkwood engaged Star Technical Solutions to carry out an Ammonia Hazard Assessment and the customer was able to continue operation as normal throughout the installation.

Energy consumption was a major driver since the existing plant had become so unreliable that hire chillers needed to be brought in for the summer. They were unable to hold temperature and were very expensive to operate. In the first four months of operation, the power associated with refrigeration reduced by 56% compared to the same period in the previous year.

Highly Commended: Aldi


Refrigeration Product

Sponsored by LG

Winner: SCM Frigo CUBO2 Smart Condensing Unit/Beijer Ref

CUBO2 Smart is a range of transcritical R744 condensing units manufactured by SCM Frigo. The range provides an option for small commercial HT and LT systems which traditionally use high GWP HFCs, but where flammable refrigerants are not an easy alternative. 

Up to three evaporators/cabinets can be connected to one unit, making it ideal for convenience stores and small/medium cold rooms. Sites installed to date Heron Foods, Morrisons, Co-op, Sainsbury’s, a cake factory and a boutique hotel.

The unit is simple to install, requiring only suction and liquid interconnecting pipework between the unit and evaporator/cabinet. It incorporates a liquid line filter drier, a suction accumulator, oil return system, over pressure protection and the additional valves required for transcritical operation. The controller is pre set.

The units build on SCM’s experience in the design and manufacture of R744 transcritical packs typically used in large retail applications. This technology has been “downsized” and this allows R744 to be used in convenience store sized systems. In addition, Carel smart control technology ensures high efficiency operation utilising:
  • Inverter driven compressor
  • EC variable speed condenser / gas cooler fan motor
  • Floating suction pressure and head pressure control
  • Electronic expansion valve with variable superheat control
  • Management of the high pressure valve and the receiver pressure regulating valve.

Highly Commended: Star Refrigeration, Azanechiller 2.0


Domestic ASHP Project

Sponsored by BITZER UK

Winner: Viessmann and Matrix Energy Systems

The winning installation is part of a prize-winning self-build ‘eco home’ project to be featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs in 2019.

The client wanted the property – a three-bedroom, detached, two-storey house – to eventually be off-grid, with a flexible heating and hot water system tailored to his family’s needs.

Matrix Energy Systems discussed numerous options with the client. A ground source system was considered but there was insufficient space to lay a horizontal collector and local geological conditions and lack of room for a drilling rig meant a borehole was not an option.

An exceptionally efficient air source solution from Viessmann was eventually chosen because of the ability to integrate controls across photovoltaic (PV) and mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) systems and to link in a battery at a later stage if energy monitoring showed it to be beneficial.

The installation is unique because it integrates an air source heat pump with a solar thermal system, a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system and an underfloor heating system.

​All parts are operated with Viessmann controls to provide heating and hot water comfort for the end user at great efficiency, without the need for a complex building management system.

Highly Commended: Panasonic, Primrose Development


ACR Product

Sponsored by 3DPlus

Winner: Toshiba, Super Digital Inverter Smart Cassette

Toshiba’s new Super Digital Inverter “Smart Cassette” claims a new global standard for energy efficiency, low running costs and occupant comfort. It is the highest efficiency product in its class, as measured by Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) for cooling performance and Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP) for heating. 

A combination of energy-saving technologies and design features contribute to its performance to enable a SEER value in excess of 9 when connected to a Super Digital Inverter outdoor unit: 
  • Improved coil technology
  • A self-cleaning mechanism maintains open airways and surface cleanliness to ensure the energy efficiency of heat exchange is maintained 
  • Air flow across the exchanger is constantly mixed to ensure improved heat transfer rate
  • It uses the latest high efficiency DC fan motor
  • The vent in the cassette has an enlarged opening to allow easier air flow and reduce resistance
  • An automatic occupancy sensor detects when no one is present in the conditioned space, and switches the unit to standby mode or stop, further reducing energy waste

It is suitable for use in retail sites, offices and leisure applications and despite improving airflow by utilising an enhanced air path, noise levels are lower compared with standard cassette systems.

Highly Commended: YORK, Amichi chiller


Non-Domestic GSHP Project

Sponsored by ACR Journal

Winner: GS Renewable, Manor Farms R&D

Customer Manor Farms commissioned GS Renewable to measure and investigate heat loss through the concrete floors of its poultry houses and harvest and recycle the heat without causing any litter damage.

Harvested heat would then be stored in a buffer tank and upgraded by heat pumps. When a new batch of day -old chicks arrived, heat would be drawn from the buffer tank and used as a heat source for the heat pumps, which in turn would heat the base slab underfloor heating.

The first stage of the project saw the installation of the UFH in the base pad floor of the new building, creating the different conditions for monitoring. This allowed GS Renewable to simulate the different conditions of existing buildings and see the benefits of insulating the floors. The portable plant room was built off site and transported to the site location in Northern Ireland. 

There was no disruption to the customer because plantroom construction was off site. All monitoring and systems controls were carried out in conjunction with the farmer and to coincide with the batches of birds, and cycles of production.

The customer is amazed by the performance of the system, saying: “The simplicity of operation is amazing considering the complexity of the installation.”

Highly Commended: Calibrate Energy, plant room


ACR Project

Sponsored by IOR

Winner: Aermec UK, data centre rooftop chiller installation

When one of the of the UK’s top banking and financial companies decided to replace all the chillers at one of its mission critical sites, the key requirements included resilience, energy efficiencies, reduced emissions and lower PUEs (Power Usage Effectiveness).

The cooling system also had to meet the company’s own stringent environmental and sustainable policies.

Five highly efficient 1.366MW Aermec NSM free cooling chillers with screw compressors were specified to provide a robust mechanical cooling solution. The free cooling route offered a greener and more eco-responsible route that would also help boost the data centre’s green credentials. An ice chiller with no free cooling was also included in the specifications.

Each chiller took 12 weeks to design, build and factory test. Each unit measures 13 metres and weighs 11 tonnes. Three chillers are required to run the data centre, but running four is more economical and maximises the benefits of free cooling. The CHW temperature is 13⁰C/19⁰C in normal mode and 17⁰C/23⁰C in high temperature mode to maximise free cooling.

The chillers have saved £50,000 per month – 1,124,028.90 kWh (data collected from September 2016-January 2017). During the three months of November 2016 – January 2017, 100% free cooling was achieved, with no compressors running at all.

Highly Commended: Aldi


Heat Pump Installer

Sponsored by PACAIR

Winner: RA Brown Heating Services

R A Brown Heating Services has been installing ground and air source heat pumps since 2007. It now employs 22 people, including six fully qualified installers and five apprentices.

Originally a successful plumbing and heating company, heat pump installations have become its main source of business. In the last year it has completed 52 individual heat pump individual installations which have been a combination of ground and air source, an increase of 73% on the previous year.

In the last 11 years it has completed 164 air source and 77 ground source installations in Norfolk and North Suffolk. These projects cover retrofit, new-build (concentrating on bespoke or self-build), conversions, estates, social housing, commercial properties and listed buildings.
As a company, R A Brown stopped offering new oil installations some years ago as it followed its belief of renewables being the better environmental option.

Its reputation has been built on high standards of work and to maintain this R A Brown ensure that staff are fully trained both in terms of apprenticeships, manufacturer product training and health and safety training.

Its showroom base allows potential customers to see mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) systems, radiators, underfloor heating (UFH), wall heating, ground source heat pumps (GSHP) from Vaillant & NIBE and air source heat pumps (ASHP) from Vaillant, NIBE & Mitsubishi.

Highly Commended: Finn Geotherm


ACR Training Provider

Sponsored by Samsung

Winner: Cool Concerns

Cool Concerns has been providing specialist training and consultancy for the commercial refrigeration and air conditioning sector since 1991. It provides a wide range of short courses and designs and develops training to meet the needs of engineers and others effectively and efficiently.

The company has been providing R744 training for around 10 years and was asked by Beijer Ref to develop a session specifically for its new range of SCM CUBO2 Smart R744 condensing units. The training needed to encompass the basics of R744 and safe handling with product specific information about the range of transcritical units, including installation and commissioning.
Cool Concerns installed HT and LT units at its training HQ – the first working installation in the UK and amongst the first in Europe – and this has enabled them to provide feedback to Dean & Wood and HRP to be included in their technical documentation. The company also provides technical back-up by phone and on site if required.

Approximately 150 engineers and Dean & Wood and HRP sales/technical personnel have attended the one-day course to date. All feedback has been very positive.

Highly Commended: ChillAir Training Academy


Domestic GSHP Project

Sponsored by ACR Journal

Winner: Viessmann and Matrix Energy Systems, Ludford Mill

Ludford Mill is a grade II listed 17th century working water mill on the River Teme at Ludlow, Shropshire. Some of the machinery has been preserved inside the building and it also houses a modern Archimedes’ screw which provides energy for the local community. 

The old gas boiler, which provided heating and hot water, was coming to the end of its useful life and customer wanted a replacement solution that would take advantage of the electricity generated by the Archimedes’ screw in order to reduce environmental impact and save money. 

Matrix Energy Systems chose a Viessmann ground source heat pump to deliver all the heat and hot water required, covering peak heat loss and hot water demand. The Viessmann Vitocal 350-G 27 kW ground source heat pump can operate at up to 70OC and still be more efficient than a gas boiler thanks to its enhanced vapour injection (EVI) refrigerant circuit.

​As Ludlow Mill only requires a flow temperature of 60OC, coupled with the fact that the system’s output is boosted to 34.7kW due to high input temperatures from the river water, it can operate with a seasonal efficiency as high as 5.5. The pump never consumes more than 7 kW of electrical power, therefore ensuring this is a truly carbon negative site.
Highly Commended: Kensa Contracting & Engie, Enfield tower blocks

Highly Commended: Kensa Contracting & Engie, Enfield tower blocks


ACR Ancillary Product

Sponsored by Dean & Wood

Winner: Klima-Therm, Althermo DMR-H

The Althermo DMR-H is a new type of hybrid adiabatic dry cooler, designed in the form of a compact cylindrical module. It delivers a new level of energy efficiency and application flexibility thanks to several innovations in components, design and control. 

Due to its cylindrical shape, the exchange surface of the microchannel heat exchanger is 50% greater than units with a traditional configuration and the same footprint. In addition, due to its design, it draws air from all sides with a 360deg catchment. This enables it to be installed very close to walls and other permanent fixtures, reducing the overall installation surface by up to 75%.

It can be used as a single module or multi-plexed to create a compact array, providing high performance, high efficiency cooling up to 2.3MW. It can also be deployed in a closed-circuit, through installation of another plate heat exchanger with a recirculating pump for even greater efficiency.

It is ideal for providing additional cooling in existing data centres, due to its compact footprint and flexible configuration. It can also be used in all commercial and industrial applications where space is limited or obstacles, such as walls or other plant, are an issue for conventional systems.

Roberto Malozzi, managing director of Klima-Therm, said: "We are delighted and honoured to have won this prestigious award against tough competition. It is testament to our staff and supply partners'  hard work, passion and commitment to achieving excellent customer service coupled with our strong focus on innovation and technology.

"The Althermo DMR-H is an exceptional product that really stands out from the crowd. It packs a huge amount of cooling into a very compact space which, combined with its flexibility and modularity, opens up opportunities that would be impossible with conventional cooling plant.

"The future looks bright for Klima-Therm with great opportunities for our technology around the built environment as awareness grows about our systems, which not only keep people comfortable, but also offer outstanding environmental and cost benefits."

Highly Commended: Toshiba, online training portal



Sponsored by Toshiba

Winner: HRP

Trading since 1945, HRP is one of the longest established refrigeration and air conditioning wholesalers in the UK. Since acquiring HRP in 2016, Beijer Ref has invested heavily to allow it to thrive once again, with customer satisfaction at the heart of the business.

HRP has long been recognised as a ‘go-to’ destination for specialist and hand tools, and the roll-out of the ToolHUB initiative during 2018 has taken that service to another level, with a wider choice than ever before. Importantly, branch teams have been trained to give advice on tool choice.

The company always aims to stock products that are selected by engineers for engineers and can be delivered when needed at a value for money price. Core brands include Tecumseh, Marstair, Danfoss, MHI, LU-VE Embraco and CUBO2 Smart.

Its commitment to being more than simply a “box-shifter” is highlighted by its complete support package for the CUBO2 Smart condensing units, including in-house technical expertise and hands-on training via Cool Concerns.

Training is another key area of investment for HRP, ensuring that the internal teams have in-depth knowledge of their customers’ needs and offering extensive training support for external customers. 

Highly Commended: Hawco

Heat Pump Product

Sponsored by Blygold

Winner: Daikin UK, Altherma 3

Daikin’s Bluevolution technology combines highly efficient compressors with the energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigerant R32, ensuring the Altherma 3 delivers exceptional performance. 

The Daikin Altherma 3 is available in 4, 6 and 8kW versions. The split wall mounted unit is a flexible system and includes an optional connection to deliver domestic hot water. It can be combined with a separate domestic hot water tank of up to 500 litres, with or without solar support. 

The integrated controller includes the “Daikin Eye’, which constantly displays the status of the unit. Performance of the single fan, low-height outdoor units has been enhanced by increasing the heat exchanger surface area by 9% and by incorporating a new-design fan motor and a hermetically sealed swing compressor. The units also have additional corrosion protection. 

The outdoor units can extract heat from the outside air even when the temperature is -25°C. Systems can deliver temperatures up to 65°C, which means water is stored at 60°C, reducing dependence on direct acting immersion heaters and thus reducing energy costs.

The range is A+++ rated, with a heating efficiency of 5.1 COP at 7 - 35ºC and a DHW efficiency up to COP 3.3 (EN16147. Its weather-dependent set-point controls and inverter compressors maximise the system’s efficiency, ensuring consistent room temperatures.

Highly Commended: Mitsubishi Electric, Ultra-Quiet Ecodan

Environmental Initiative

Sponsored by Advanced Engineering

Winner: JGR Building Services

JGR Building Services chose two HT R744 CUBO2 Smart transcritical condensing units from SCM to trial a non HFC alternative system for convenience/petrol forecourt applications with Lincolnshire Co-op.

The units provide cooling for five 5 Pastor Frigor HT cabinets with MPXPRO controllers and one HT cold room with an 85 bar g LU-VE evaporator on an UltraCella controller.

The cabinets and cold room are fully networked to the units. An RDM controller monitors the cold room and cabinet temperatures and plant fail inputs and is connected to an RDM data manager for local and remote access. 

This is an R744 transcritical solution utilising advanced, complex software which is as simple to install as the traditional HFC units it replaces. The result is a high efficiency, reliable installation.

The potential for leakage for is minimised by rated pressure of 80 bar g on the intermediate and low pressure parts of the system, virtually eliminating the venting of R744 if the system is shut down for any reason, all brazed joints in the construction of the condensing unit (apart from machine-made mechanical joints for transducer connections), and K65 tube and brazed joints for interconnecting.

Energy efficiency is maximised using a Carel control system which accurately matches the unit capacity to the load.

Highly Commended: Chemours, ASDA & WAVE

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