Ecostar performance boosts UK athletes

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Published: 05 June 2017


Bitzer Ecostar systems are at the heart of major investment aimed at improving the performance of UK athletes.

Around a dozen high-tech sports laboratories have been equipped with temperature-controlled training facilities, enabling athletes to train in controlled conditions that can mimic those experienced anywhere in the world.
Refrigeration contractor Cold Control recently installed a system at the University of Kent, enabling sports scientists to control temperature, humidity and oxygen levels for athletes in training.

Working with Tiss Environmental, Cold Control designed the refrigeration system around a Bitzer Ecostar LHV6 packaged unit, which comes equipped with a built-in inverter. It is designed to maintain conditions between -25C and 50C, with varying levels of relative humidity and atmospheric oxygen within the chamber.

The 4m x 4m x 3.1m controlled space has a fully insulated envelope, designed to freezer store standards, with a heated floor and cool-running LED lighting. Conditions in the test chamber are controlled by bespoke software, developed by Tiss Environmental, which integrates with the Ecostar control system, and enables researchers to control conditions to very tight tolerances.

Laurie Fisk, Cold Control Services’ technical director, who headed up the temperature control side of the project, said: “Ecostar has one of the best on-board inverter systems on the market, giving a huge range and permitting integration with external software. We worked closely with Tiss and Bitzer to develop and implement the system.”

He added: “Other benefits are Ecostar’s compact footprint and proven reliability, which is essential to maintain steady performance across a wide range of conditions. Ecostar is rock solid, and we can confidently install and commission it in the knowledge that it will continue delivering for the customer, day in, day out.”

As a result of the successful formula, Cold Control and Tiss Environmental have partnered on several similar projects at universities and sports research institutes, recently including Medway University and the University of Chichester. There are further projects in the pipeline.

Bitzer says the key to the Ecostar’s efficiency is its built-in inverter and the intelligent control system, enabling cooling output to be precisely matched to current demand, resulting in substantial energy savings. Condensers are also cooled by EC fans, providing additional savings compared with conventional equipment.

In addition to its close control capabilities, the Ecostar-based system is estimated to save end users around 30% in energy running costs, with savings continuing to accrue over the lifetime of equipment.