Retrofits for chillers placed in space-saving basement or sub-basement plant rooms can be particularly challenging as access is often limited, especially when buildings have been erected since original installation
Temperature control specialist, ICS Cool Energy, has designed a flat pack chiller solution which enables facilities managers to upgrade units with minimum disruption to the building. Malcolm Edwards, Technical Manager at ICS Cool Energy, explains the benefits of flat pack chillers.
“Many of our customers find themselves managing roof mounted or sub-basement located chiller plants to save space. When it comes to replacing aging units, it’s not often possible to close roads for cranes to lift out incumbent equipment because access is too limited as the original equipment would have been installed as the building was constructed. To support customers with these challenges, we are regularly asked to complete flat pack projects in big cities, especially London, where the surrounding roads are constantly busy.
“Our engineers replace existing aging chillers in buildings where easy access to equipment is denied, by initially consulting with facilities managers on site. How we operate really comes down to the physical size restraints that we come up against, as we can only use the space that we are given. Sometimes this can be in spaces as tight as a standard 800mm doorway to manoeuvre chiller parts.
“Our product range is quite large, so we are in the fortunate position of being able to select the right sized product to fit the space available. We are able to specify a unit to fit accurately within the dimensions given, or tailor a solution to ensure that it is accessible for the facilities manager. Without these capabilities, a chiller unit would need to be re-wired so that the control panel would be accessible for those who needed it.
Replacing old with new
“Once the unit is selected, our engineers dismantle the old unit, removing it from site before beginning the process of managing access to install a new unit in its place. Such considerations may be tight corners, stair access, restricted walkways and even narrow streets. Other times we have even used a cantilevered crane to lift the chiller up the building.
“It can take around a week to strip down and build up a flat pack unit in its place, but it all depends on the space that there is available, the access restrictions, and how far the units need to be moved, for example down one floor or three.
“All units are fully assembled at our factory and tested to ensure the equipment is working without any problems, before we then dismantle it to take to site where it is then manoeuvred into place and rebuilt again.”