27 July 2023
The Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) explores the impact of rising ambient temperatures and extreme heat events in the UK in a new podcast.
Part of the IOR podcast series, The Tip of the Iceberg looks at critical environmental issues facing the cooling industry. In the latest episode issued this week, environment committee members members Rob Lamb, Chris Green and Brian Churchyard discussed the implications of rising ambient and extreme heat events in an episode inspired by the IMechE report, Adapting Industry to Withstand Rising Temperatures and Future Heatwaves.
This is a topical issue with headlines currently highlighting the impact of high temperatures across Europe, while the UK experienced unprecedented extreme heat events last summer. The IOR says it is clear that designers and end-users need to start having discussions now about how they are going to manage their future cooling needs.
The panellists agreed that there is also a need for a change to design standards to ensure they take into account likely future conditions, rather than looking backwards at previous operational averages. Just a few decades ago, designers were typically designing for ambients of around 30°C , whereas customers today are looking at around 40°C.
Whilst this approach might help businesses address concerns about system reliability during future temperature increases, contributors to the podcast also highlighted that this could lead to increases in energy use and therefore there is an equally pressing need to achieve improvements in energy efficiency.
One of the things this will require is a more collaborative approach with building designers. During the discussion, the panellists emphasised that businesses have to consider their refrigeration needs at a much earlier stage in building planning and construction.
They also highlighted the contribution that improved planned maintenance and changes to operation can make such as reducing door openings, access for condenser cleaning and better insulation.
There is an opportunity now for the industry to make its views on adaptations known with a Call for Evidence issued by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee into Heat Resilience and Sustainable Cooling that is open until 17 August.
To listen to the new podcast episode, subscribe to The Tip of the Iceberg