EcoDesign Directive

EcoDesign Directive Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for Refrigeration Systems - How does the new legislation affect chiller efficiency?

For the last seven years, the European Commission (EC) has been consulting with the industrial refrigeration industry to establish EU-wide rules for minimum energy efficiency and labelling requirements for refrigeration and cooling products.

The EcoDesign Directive, which is part of UK law, sets requirements for minimum efficiency performance standards (MEPS) and forces manufacturer to improve the energy efficiency of their systmes to help reduce this. 

Fundamentally, the new efficiency requirements will allow refrigeration end-users to easily compare chiller efficiency performance by looking at two well-defined and straightforward set of figures based on the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) requirement established by the directive:

a) Seasonal Energy Performance Ratio (SEPR) for industrial process chillers, and

b) Seasonal Space Cooling Energy Efficiency (SSCEE) for comfort cooling chillers.

This set of data required by the EcoDesign Directive is expected to supersede other energy efficiency indices in Europe, such as Eurovent's European Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ESEER), and the Carbon Trust's Energy Technology List (ETL), which have been criticised for relying on ideal laboratory conditions to test energy performance, leading to a lack of real world data.

It is expected that through the use of standardised, reliable and application-based energy performance ratios, users will be able to make better and more informed decisions, which take into account 75% of the total life cycle costs as opposed to focusing on capital costs alone. Energy consumed during refrigeration plant operation normally amounts to 60% of the plant's total life cycle cost. Only a further 15%  is attributed to initial capital investment and the remaining 20-25% is accounted for by maintenance and aftercare.

Chiller equipment produces greenhouse gas emissions via 'Indirect emmisions' which are linked to the chiller's power consumption and therefore the energy efficiency's measures taking by the EU's Ecodesign Directive; and by 'Direct emissions' which are associated with refrigerant leaks and counteracted by the EU's F-Gas Regulation. 

The EcoDesign Directive has the potential to save end-users millions of pounds on energy bills and will have a great impact on cutting carbon emissions to achieve Europe's 80% carbon reduction targets by 2050.

The Directive encompasses all electrical appliances which are going into the market place.

EcoDesign Directive and chiller application ranges

Under the EcoDesign Directive (2009/125/EC), the European Parliament set a framework for development of minimum requirements for the energy and environmental performance of energy-using products (EuP) and energy-related products (ErP) throughout their life-cycle.

In terms of cooling and heating products, the decision to act came after the EC identified the "high potential" for energy savings that refrigeration equipment had due to its high energy consumption and long operating times.

The EcoDesign and Energy Labelling Directives provide end users with clear information that allows them to choose more efficient products; to increase energy efficiency and, therefore, the level of protection of the environment; and finally, to ensure the free movement of energy-related products in the European Union.

The actual minimum-energy and performance requirements of the Directive for EuP and ErP were developed for each specific product group - depending on application - instead of the previous one-size-fits-all approach, which led to buyer's confusion when chiller performance data was used to compare and measure efficiency of refrigeration systems for applications they were not originally built for or for ambient conditions not relevant to their particular location. For example, the regulations now define separate chiller utilisation rates in recognition of the fact that a process chiller is much more likely to operate at higher load in lower ambient conditions than a comfort chiller.

With the introduction of the EcoDesign Directive, the different product categories are separated into groups called LOTs. The key issues and legislation that affect industrial refrigeration end-users are collected in two product groups, referred to as ENTR Lot 1 (Refrigeration and Freezing equipment, in particular Medium Temperature (MT) and Low Temperature (LT) process chillers and condensing units) and ENER Lot 21 (High Temperature (HT) process chillers and comfort cooling (HVAC)).

  • The different product categories are separated into groups called LOTs

A process chiller is defined as a product consisting of at least one compressor and evaporator capable of cooling down and continuously maintaining the temperature of a liquid in order to provide cooling to a refrigerated appliance or system. It may or may not integrate the condenser, coolant circuit hardware and other ancillary equipment. The Directive does not, however, apply to custom made chillers assembled on site and made on a one off basis, or HT chillers exclusively using evaporative condensing.

A low temperature (LT) process chiller is capable of delivering its rated capacity with a process fluid outlet temperature of -25°C. This product falls under Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1095 with minimum energy efficiency requirements which have been in place since July 2016.

A medium temperature (MT) process chiller is capable of delivering its rated capacity with a process fluid outlet temperature of -8°C. This product also falls under Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1095 with minimum energy efficiency requirements which have also been in place since July 2016.

A high temperature (HT) process chiller is capable of delivering its rated capacity with a process fluid outlet temperature of +7°C. The system being cooled by the HT process chiller shall not have the purpose of cooling of a space for the thermal comfort of people. This product falls under the same regulation as comfort chillers, Commission Regulation (EU)2016/2281, which enforces minimum energy efficiency requirements from January 2018.

A comfort chiller is defined as a cooling product which may use a vapour compression or sorption cycle to cool a water based cooling system to a temperature not lower than +2°C. The condenser may reject heat to the ambient air, a water/brine circuit or to the ground. A comfort chiller would typically have the purpose of cooling of a space for the thermal comfort of people.

The directive is not only to establish the MEPS but to further limit the environmental impact of professional refrigeration products; it also states that manufacturers should provide instruction manuals on installation to optimise energy efficiency and information on disassembly, recycling or disposal.

How does the new EcoDesign Directive affect the current chiller market?

The EcoDesign Directive will have a dramatic impact on cutting our carbon emissions and will provide massive savings for Europe's businesses as the less energy efficient products are driven out of the market and substituted for lower energy consuming chillers.

For manufacturers, the EU targets will no doubt present great challenges as all non-compliant chillers will not be allowed to be sold on the European market, but also opportunities, as this will mean going back to the drawing board and redesigning new, more technologically advanced energy efficient chillers.

According to data set published by standards organisation EUROVENT in May 2015, 80% of comfort chillers above 400kW will not make the first cut of the EcoDesign Directive as the proposed minimum energy performance standards are not met, with a further 8% of chillers expected to be withdrawn from the market by 2021 when the proposed minimum energy performance standards for comfort chillers are further tightened. This effectively means that the majority of refrigeration chillers for comfort cooling applications currently being manufactured must be dropped from the market by 2018.

SEER

Eurovent database 05.2015: ESEER translated into SEER NET

Tier - 1 (2018): MEPS are not achieved by ~80%

Tier - 2 (2021): MEPS are not achieved by ~88%

The EcoDesign Directive has set as its ultimate aim to reduce the energy consumption (and therefore reduce CO2 emissions) and other negative environmental impact, particularly at the design stage.

EcoDesign Directive Minimum Energy Performance Standards

The Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) are the minimum energy requirements a chiller must have in order to comply with legislation. Use the figures provided on the tables below to compare different chiller solutions and boost your business' bottom line - the higher the performance figures, the more energy efficient the chiller and the higher the energy and carbon savings.

From now on, the efficiency of refrigeration products will be measured by the Seasonal Energy Performance Ratio (SEPR) for LT, MT and HT processchillers and the Seasonal Space Cooling Energy Efficiency (SSCEE) for comfort chillers, resulting from multiplying the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) by 0.4 with further corrections to account for energy consumption related to temperature control and electricity consumption of ground water pumps where applicable. The final value is expressed as a percentage.

Calculation of the efficiency measures are completed by manufacturers and are in accordance with the methodologies set out in the regulations which also references other recognised methods of calculation e.g. EN14825.

The following tables show the minimum energy efficiency threshold requirements. You can refer to these two MEPS figures, by which refrigeration products sold in the EU are to be declared, to compare the energy efficiency of different solutions.

Lot 1 Tier 1

Lot 1 Tier 2

Lot 21 HT Process Chiller Tier 1

Lot 21 HT Process Chiller Tier 2

 

Lot 21 Comfort Chiller Tier 1

Lot 21 Comfort Chiller Tier 2

Implementation of the EcoDesign Directive

The regulation for each LOT will be implemented in two phases - a more lenient Tier 1 will be upgraded with stricter and final Tier 2 following a scheduled programme of action which started in July 2016 and will conclude on 5th May 2020 for LT and MT chillers, and by 1st January 2022 for HT and Comfort chillers. The regulations make provision for the inclusion of a review at a later date but not later tahn 1st Jan 2022 which may further tighten requirements or extend the scope of existing regulations to incorporate additional products (e.g. process chillers using evaporative condensers may be incorporated at a later date).

The EC Regulation for MT and LT Process Chillers and Condensing Units has become applicable since 1st July 2016. Since then it is mandatory for refrigeration manufacturers of these products to declare performance and other technical details in accordance with the regulations. Some products covered by this regulation also require specific labelling under the Energy Labelling Directive (2010/30/EU), though this does not apply to process chillers or condensing units. Products not meeting the requirements of the regulations in any respect, may no longer be placed on the market in Europe. The directive also introduced an energy efficiency bonus for condensing units and process chillers that use refrigerants with GWP < 150.

Unline the regulation for LT and MT process chillers, which has a 10% bonus for MEPS to encourage use of low GWP (< 150) refrigerants, the new regulations for HT and comfort chillers has no incentive for selection of refrigerant.

More information can be found at 

2009 Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC :     http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32009L0125&from=EN

2015 LT & MT Regulations 2015/1095 :          http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32015R1095&from=EN

2016 HT & Comfort Regulations 2016/2281 :        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32016R2281&from=EN

ENTR Timetables

The regulations also make provision for each Member State to perform market surveillance checks i.e. any chiller placed on the market post-introduction of the regulations may be selected for testing by a body appointed by the Member State to verify that the chiller achieves the stated performance within an agreed tolerance. In the UK, this function is administered by the National Measurement and Regulation Office (NMRO). End users can therefore have confidence that the energy efficiency claimed by a manufacturer is indeed achieved.

How does the EcoDesign regulation affect end-users of cooling equipment?

The Directive has set very high energy efficiency requirements for the future. So much so that during consultations industry stakeholders voiced concerns about the Minimum Energy Performance Standards targets being "overstated." Targets were seen to be "very challenging" and a call to the EU Commission for lowering them was made without success - MEPS will be mandatory across Europe and it will be unlawful to place products within the EU market that fail to achieve the prescribed minimum energy performance standard.

Products covered by the new regulations which were installed before the date the regulations became effective are not affected by these requirements and need not be replaced or upgraded. MEPS will also trigger investment in cost effective solutions, thereby reducing energy use and associated cost and carbon emissions.

With such a stringent legislative environment, it will be essential that industrial refrigeration manufacturers commit to R&D in order to develop solutions that meet the normative and offer customers a better alternative than existing cooling products. This will stimulate market changes to speed up the rate at which energy efficiency upgrades to inefficient industrial cooling and heating systems take place.

Star's Azanechiller 2.0 goes above and beyond even the tightest MEPS of the directive, with efficiency figures that are up to 146% higher than the European EcoDesign Directive requirement for Medium Temperature chillers, up to 100% higher for comfort cooling chillers and up to 74% higher for High Temperature chiller applications.

For refrigeration end-users, these measures mean good news all round. EU targets will positively impact business owners' use of energy, who should be able to see a reduction of the energy bill as soon as chillers that meet the directive are installed at their facilities.

End-user businesses will benefit from:

  • More energy efficient equipment from manufacturers of industrial cooling equipment.
  • More efficient chillers will help organisations manage their Carbon Reduction Commitment compliance and avoid penalties.
  • The Directive will allow end users to use the information provided by manufacturers effectively in order to be able to make informed decisions that directly contribute to business success. The SEPR and Seasonal Space Cooling Energy Efficiency must be declared and technical documentation provided by the manufacturers - however, there is not a set energy rating label.
  • The SEPR and Seasonal Space Cooling Energy Efficiency figures are based on more realistic conditions compared to other currently used ratios and provide the refrigeration end-user with more data to identify the most efficient solution. More efficient solutions will result in higher operating efficiency and reduced customer's energy bills.
  • Energy efficient business can gain a competitive advantage over less efficient companies, leading to a profit increase.
  • Investment in highly efficient, low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigeration technology will reduce the overall CO2 emissions of end user businesses and potentially serve as a significant marketing tool, as public perception of "green" companies takes an increasing role in purchasing decisions.

Azanechiller 2.0 vs EcoDesign Directive MEPS

Star Refrigeration chillers meet even the most stringent 2nd tier targets of the EcoDesign Directive. Star's Azanechiller Seasonal Space Cooling Energy Efficiency for comfort cooling applications reaches 236% and the Seasonal Energy Performance Ratio (SEPR) is as high as 8.01 for process cooling.

At Star we have always placed great emphasis on the chillers' development stages, specifically at the design and manufacturing phases to eliminate sources of energy waste.

Star's chillers have been proven to significantly reduce overall energy consumption and minimise adverse environmental impact throughout their entire life-cycle.

The company's latest development, the Azanechiller 2.0, sets a new benchmark in chiller performance with efficiency figures that are up to 146% higher than the European EcoDesign Directive requirement for Medium Temperature chillers, up to 100% higher for Comfort Cooling chillers and up to 74% higher for High Temperature chillers.

 

Comfort Chillers

For high temperature +7°C chillers used for comfort cooling, typically for building services, the metric used by the EcoDesign Directive is called Seasonal Space Cooling Energy Efficiency (SEER * 0.4) and it is ex­pressed as a percentage. The graph shows cooling capacity across the bottom and Seasonal Space Cooling Energy Efficiency for comfort chillers on the vertical axis.

The minimum energy performance standard is between 149% and 161% for all air cooled chillers. All of the high temperature (HT) Azanechillers 2.0 exceed the benchmark by at least 77%.

Azanechiller 2.0 HT Comfort Cooling

 

High Temperature Process Chillers

For the high temperature (HT) process chillers operating with water temperatures of +7°C off, the metric used is the SEPR. The graph below shows the range of HT process chillers which have a minimum efficiency performance standard of between 4.5 and 5, introduced from January 2018. Star Refrigeration's ammonia chillers exceed this benchmark also by a wide margin, with the best unit being above 8.00, against a standard of 5.00.

Azanechiller 2.0 HT Process Chiller

Low and Medium Temperature Process Chillers

For low temperature (LT) and medium temperature (MT) process chillers with a nominal design glycol off-temperature of -25°C and -8°C respectively, the metric used to measure efficiency is the Seasonal Energy Performance Ratio (SEPR). The minimum efficiency performance standard introduced from July 2016 is between 2.02 and 2.52 for MT process chillers, accounting for the bonus applied where the refrigerant has GWP < 150. The first Star MT process chiller manufactured for 415kW has an SEPR 74% higher than the standard.

Azanechiller 2.0 MT Process Chiller

This article has been certified for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) by CIBSE and The CPD Certification Service. To get your CPD Certificate please email your request to CPDCertificate@star-ref.co.uk

 

 

 

Related Case Studies

  • BSkyB


    Star Refrigeration has completed the installation of its revolutionary Indigochiller cooling system at BSkyB’s headquarters in London.

    BSkyB is a leading broadcaster of sports, movies, entertainment and news. The company operates the UK’s largest digital pay television platform from its headquarters at Grant Way in Isleworth. Cooling solutions specialist Star has installed a range of Indigochillers to provide chilled water for air conditioning and computer server cooling in two studio buildings on the BSkyB site. 

    Three state-of-the-art Indigochillers were installed to replace existing package chillers located in a compound between the Sky Sports and Sky News buildings. Star combined two existing independent chilled water circuits serving both buildings into a common system, boosting operating efficiency. 

    The Indigochillers provide chilled water, which is then pumped through insulated pipework to wall or ceiling mounted air handling units (AHUs). Air is circulated across the chilled water coil in each AHU to provide cooling throughout both BSkyB buildings. Broadcast facilities within the two buildings include TV studios, production suites, general offices and computer server rooms.

    A carefully phased four week installation programme ensured no disruption to broadcast operations. Temporary chillers were installed to provide supplementary cooling whilst the existing chillers were removed to make way for the new Indigochillers. 

    Star’s Indigochiller was developed in direct response to proposed F-Gas regulations. The unit’s unique design aims to eliminate refrigerant leakage and have minimal effect on the global environment. 

    All components are selected to minimise the risk of refrigerant leakage. Each unit features a welded plate and shell heat exchanger, sealed expansion valve and welded steel pipework. Leak detection requirements have been reduced to a few simple checks.

    Each Indigochiller features the revolutionary oil-free Turbocor centrifugal compressor, designed to offer reliable operation and low maintenance. The compressor operates on electromagnetic bearings and uses the synthetic refrigerant R134a. This ensures minimal vibration and noise, even when running at very high speed.

    The high efficiency, low noise Indigochiller range is ideal for medium to large-scale applications, with capacities ranging from 250kW up to 1,500kW. It features a robust PLC control system to monitor running conditions and optimise efficiency. Additional options include remote access and email alerts via a built-in modem, as well as a direct link to Star’s 24/7 call out facility. The air-cooled unit is available in two noise ranges: Standard (57 dB(A) to 61 dB(A) @ 10m) and Residential (50 dB(A) to 53 dB(A) @ 10m).

    Star’s research shows the Indigochiller uses only 60% of the energy required by a standard chiller operating on typical load and ambient profiles. This offers end users a significant saving in energy and running costs.

    Following on from the success at Isleworth, two further IA500 units have been installed at the same site and a further three have been installed at BSkyB’s offices in Dunfermline.  


  • Indigochiller for Air Conditioning


    Forward thinking operators looking for high efficiency, low maintenance air conditioning should only consider a chiller that is built to last, says cooling expert Star Refrigeration.

    Star is renowned for designing cooling solutions that provide over 20 years service. The company is currently seeing a rising number of replacement projects in which standard AC chillers have suffered early component failure or corrosion problems in less than ten years.

    Star believes that environmentally conscious building services operators should consider the chiller’s expected lifespan as a matter of priority, or be faced with a costly problem all too soon.

    Star Refrigeration sales director Rob Lamb says: “We have recently seen a number of high profile operators who have previously invested in chillers that have soon become damaged or corroded. Even if the chiller features high efficiency components, poor build quality can cause early loss of performance or even break down.”

    With growing demand to cut refrigerant leakage to meet F-Gas regulations, Star developed its Indigochiller for medium to large scale air conditioning and process cooling. Engineered to have minimal effect on the global environment, Indigochiller’s robust design aims to eliminate refrigerant leakage and offer over 20 years service.

    Star’s confidence in Indigochiller’s construction and reliability means options are available for extended warranty on both equipment and refrigerant loss.

    Rob Lamb adds: “Indigochiller stands out from the rest of the market thanks to a range of unique design features and leak-tight components. It is manufactured to ensure both long-term reliability and low life-cycle costs. These should be key considerations when selecting a chiller.”

    The low charge, high performance Indigochiller features a revolutionary Turbocor compressor, which is low maintenance by design to ensure lifelong trouble free running. The oil-free compressor operates on electromagnetic bearings and uses the synthetic refrigerant R134a. The system offers reliable performance and requires minimal installation, servicing and maintenance.

    Indigochiller is manufactured from the highest quality components selected to minimise the risk of refrigerant leakage, reduce maintenance costs and enhance operating life. Standard features include ‘leak-free’ bellows seal valves, sealed expansion valves and welded steel pipework. The air-cooled Indigochiller has epoxy coated condenser fins as standard to reduce the risk of corrosion damage.

    Available as an air-cooled or water-cooled unit, Indigochiller has capacity options ranging from 250kW to 1,650kW. A robust PLC control system allows the user to monitor refrigerant charge, running conditions and optimise efficiency.

    Indigochiller is highly energy efficient using only 60% of the energy required by a standard chiller operating on typical load and ambient profiles. This offers end users a significant saving in energy and running costs.

    Star Refrigeration is the UK’s largest independent industrial refrigeration engineering company. Star focuses on the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and aftercare of industrial refrigeration and HVAC systems.

    Star provides total cooling solutions for refrigeration, air conditioning and process cooling. The company offers a turnkey supply and support package to all users of cooling equipment. Star continues to invest in the development of new products to provide energy conscious cooling systems for the benefit of customers and the environment.


  • International Maritime Organisation


    The International Maritime Organisation building in Lambeth is headquarters to a world-renowned institution, and is the venue for many major global conferences. With the phase out of CFCs reaching its conclusion, it was necessary to replace the old R-11 chillers which provided cooling to the offices and conference suite. In making this change the efficiency of the new chillers was a key factor, because R-11 used as a refrigerant makes for an extremely efficient system. In addition, the air handling units on the building were configured to provide free cooling to the chilled water circuit in low ambient conditions. The chiller replacement project was also required to follow the Government’s policy of avoiding fluorocarbon refrigerants unless necessary. As stated in the DETR report Climate Change: The UK Programme: "HFCs should only be used where other safe, technically feasible, cost effective and more environmentally acceptable alternatives do not exist."

    Consequently, a system using ammonia as the refrigerant was specified. After careful analysis of the building and the surroundings, it was concluded that the most suitable solution was to place two chillers in an acoustic housing on the roof of the offices, close-coupled to two evaporative condensers.     

    To keep the ammonia charge to a minimum and to enable the chiller to fit within the reduced headroom space below the condensers, each unit is equipped with a low pressure receiver and plate heat exchanger. The advantages of using a low pressure receiver are:

    • The charge of ammonia is reduced, the receiver vessel normally runs empty. 
    • The full surface of the heat exchanger is used, so it runs efficiently.
    • The refrigerant flow is not dependent on height difference, as it would be in a gravity fed design.

    The two chillers are contained within separate compartments of the housing, with a total footprint of 6.5m x 6.5m and with an overall height of 3.6m. This provides ample space for safe maintenance, while keeping the installation within the roof area previously occupied by the cooling towers.

    Each chiller has a capacity of 1400kW when chilling water from 11°C to 5.5°C, with an evaporating temperature of 3.3°C on full load. To maximize efficiency the chillers are piped in series, giving a CoP on the lead unit of 6.52 and on the lag of 5.88 at design ambient conditions. The units are also configured to make best possible use of floating head pressure – a further advantage of the low pressure receiver system. Despite the series arrangement, the chillers are selected to give low pressure drop on the water side, and the total pressure difference across the units is less than 0.5 Bar. The evaporative condensers use two speed fan motors so that power consumption can be reduced to a quarter of the design load when the duty or the ambient are sufficiently low. With these features the annualised coefficient of performance was expected to be about 10, as a result of the improved efficiency achieved through allowing reduced head pressure operation.

    The amount of time allowed for the site installation was to be kept to a minimum, due to the existing conference commitments booked by the IMO. In particular, a major international conference was due to take place on site in April, so it was imperative that all work was complete and the plant was in first class condition for this date. The units were delivered with as much pre-assembly as possible, and lifted into place on the roof in the first week of January 2002. The condenser support steels and the housings were then constructed around the chillers. The condensers were lifted into place mid February and the piping and wiring were then completed. Ammonia was charged to the units at the end of March and they were handed over, fully tested, on 10 April 2002.

    Since installation, the plant has run reliably and efficiently throughout the summers of 2002 and 2003. Data monitored by the building manager indicates that the power consumption of the ammonia chillers is significantly less than his previous system.

    The apparent risk with this approach is the use of ammonia in a heavily occupied building within a city center. In fact, this risk was minimised:

    • By locating the plant on the roof
    • By minimising the charge
    • By restricting access to the roof area
    • By ensuring that ammonia could only be released to atmosphere in a controlled manner.

    There is no significant volume of liquid outside the housing, as the high-pressure float control system automatically transfers the condensed liquid to the low pressure receiver. This means that in the event of an ammonia liquid leak, the liquid will be contained within the housing and only transferred to atmosphere in a controlled manner over a period of time. The housing is also equipped with ammonia detection equipment, so that, in the event of a leak, an alarm signal can be provided to ensure a quick and appropriate response.

    The hazard analysis conducted for the installation concluded that, with reasonable control measures in place, the only significant hazard for the installation was the risk of injury to bystanders in the event of a leak during maintenance. For this reason, the roof area in the vicinity of the chillers is administered as a "permit to work" zone.

    Although the capital costs of the chillers is high compared with standard chillers, the integrated roof top solution minimised the additional infrastructure cost so the overall project was not significantly more expensive than the building refurbishment would otherwise have been, even if standard chillers had been selected. For this building, the chillers are estimated to be over 30% more efficient than the previous installation. The project has already exceeded the expectations of the project management team who have subsequently applied similar thinking to another London refurbishment for the same client, and would very much like to do more in future.


  • Investment Bank, London


    Star Refrigeration has supplied a bespoke plant for HVAC cooling at the London offices of a global investment bank. 

    The existing refrigeration plant at the firm’s client administration centre in the City’s Square Mile was due for replacement. The plant operated on R22, an ozone-depleting HCFC refrigerant currently being phased out by EU regulations.

    Working alongside a leading building services consultancy, Star designed a new low maintenance cooling plant to improve efficiency, reduce noise and ensure the highest reliability for the building’s heating, air conditioning and ventilation system.

    The challenging aspect to the project was retaining five air handling units (AHUs) which form part of the fabric of the building. The cooling coils in these AHUs were supplied directly with R22 refrigerant.

    A detailed study was carried out into the possible use of chilled water cooling coils to remove the use of direct refrigerant. The investigation concluded that the AHUs would have to be replaced to accommodate chilled water, so a similar solution using a non ozone-depleting refrigerant was necessary.

    A world leader in cooling and heating system innovation, Star determined that a specialist flooded evaporator design was required that enabled the existing AHUs to be retained and ensured no loss of cooling capacity. Star developed a flooded evaporator coil design that could be retrofitted to the existing AHUs. This was achieved using Star’s patented Low Pressure Receiver (LPR) system design.

    Star designed, built, installed and commissioned a bespoke air cooled LPR refrigeration plant comprising four 600kW chillers operating on synthetic refrigerant R134a. The system features revolutionary Turbocor oil-free compressors to provide high efficiency, reliability and low noise operation. 

    Star’s specialist contracting team installed new R134a AHU evaporator coils in a phased installation programme to ensure adequate cooling was maintained within the building. The new cooling plant is located on the roof of the building and was designed to fit within the footprint of the previous refrigeration system.

    The project was completed within six months from order to commissioning. It was vital that there was no adverse affect on the investment bank’s business activity or interruption to HVAC supply during this period, and this was achieved. 

    When it comes to designing energy efficient cooling and heating systems, Star is a natural innovator. Star works with strategic partners across the globe to deliver low carbon, cost saving solutions.


  • John Lewis


    Star Refrigeration has installed a high efficiency cooling system at the flagship John Lewis department store in central London.

    The state-of-the-art Indigochiller system forms part of an ongoing refurbishment by the leading UK retailer at its Oxford Street store. Project Beacon aims to futureproof the 50-year-old building and provide a platform for further development by the John Lewis Partnership. 

    Cooling solutions specialist Star has completed the installation of three Indigochillers on the sixth floor roof, each with a 1,000kW capacity. The air-cooled units circulate chilled water for air conditioning, providing comfort cooling throughout the building.

    The John Lewis Partnership was looking to improve the instore environment for shoppers and staff by installing a larger capacity high efficiency cooling system. It was vital that the comfort cooling system allowed year round temperature control, particularly during summer months. As well as an environmentally conscious design, low starting current, quiet operation and minimal maintenance were key requirements.

    John Lewis Partnership Development Engineer Stuart Watson says: "Star’s new roof-mounted Indigochillers are more efficient and will allow us to increase cooling capacity with no increase in electrical demand. They form part of a heating and cooling efficiency drive that will allow John Lewis to meet energy reduction targets and reduce its carbon footprint."

    Star’s Indigochiller was developed in direct response to proposed F-Gas regulations, which aim to limit fluorinated gas emissions. The unit’s unique design aims to eliminate refrigerant leakage and have minimal effect on the global environment. Star’s research shows the Indigochiller uses only 60% of the energy required by a standard chiller operating on typical load and ambient profiles. This offers end users a significant saving in energy and running costs.

    As well as Star’s new cooling system, additional work on infrastructure at the John Lewis Oxford Street store includes the installation of more efficient boilers, cabling and an electricity substation. Project Beacon also includes new retail departments, restaurant facilities and escalator banks to improve access and open up the building.

    Work on the overall 18-month refurbishment project is due to be completed in Autumn 2007, with trading continuing throughout. It is currently the largest retail project within an operating store in Europe.

    Star’s Indigochiller is a complete refrigeration package housed in one unit. Typical applications include new and retrofit air conditioning systems in the building services and process cooling industries. Ideal for medium to largescale applications, unit capacities range from 250kW up to 1,500kW. 

    Each Indigochiller features the revolutionary oil-free Turbocor centrifugal compressor, designed to offer reliable operation and low maintenance. The compressor operates on electromagnetic bearings and uses the synthetic refrigerant R134a. This ensures minimal vibration and noise, even when running at very high speed. The air-cooled unit is available in two noise ranges: Standard and Residential.

    All Indigochiller components are selected to minimise the risk of refrigerant leakage. Each unit features a welded plate and shell heat exchanger, sealed expansion valve and welded steel pipework. Leak detection requirements have been reduced to a few simple checks.

    The Indigochiller features a robust PLC control system to monitor running conditions and optimise efficiency. Additional options include remote access and email alerts via a built-in modem, as well as a direct link to Star’s 24/7 call out facility.


  • Refrigerant R-1234ze(E)


    Engineers at Star Refrigeration have teamed up with Danfoss Turbocor and Honeywell to develop and test a chiller using HFO 1234ze(E) refrigerant, which has a global warming potential of 7. 

    The chiller is based on Star’s very successful Indigochiller range and uses the new Turbocor TG310 prototype compressor.

    "Working with R-1234ze proved to be quite challenging," said Star’s Group Engineering Director, Dr. Andy Pearson. "We found particularly good performance at part load in lower ambient, where the efficiency was up to 20% better than the original predictions. Across the full range of load and ambient conditions performance was generally better than predicted."

    He added: "The development included some tricky puzzles. Some of the materials used in joints and seals did not perform well so we had to source special o-rings for some of the system components. We also learned that the lower gas density can cause increased pressure losses in some unexpected places, so care needs to be taken when assessing condensers, evaporators and control valves to make sure they are not going to cause excess pressure drop which would negatively affect the chiller efficiency."

    Star worked with Danfoss Turbocor to select R-1234ze(E) as the most promising fluid for this application and then in a three-way development team with Honeywell, who developed Solstice ze (R-1234ze)  for use as a refrigerant, foam-blowing agent and other applications.

    The chiller was comprehensively tested at Star’s chiller factory in Glasgow, including operating in an ambient of 40oC on Star’s 1500kW test rig. Turbocor worked closely with Star during the testing and were able to verify and adjust their control software while the compressor was in operation. This was the first time that Danfoss Turbocor had access to the prototype compressor on a live air-cooled chiller to verify their theoretical calculations and lab tests. The adjustments helped to raise the efficiency of the chiller by a few percentage points.

    Now that the tests are complete, the chiller has gone to its spiritual home – on the Honeywell site at Buffalo, NY where the HFO-1234ze(E) refrigerant was originally developed. The chiller will operate on the base load for the lab air-conditioning system, helping to keep the developers of the next generation of refrigerants comfortable at their work.

    Dr. Rob Lamb, Group Sales Director at Star, said: "This development is part of our long range plan. It allows us to give our customers confidence that we can help them transition to low GWP refrigerants moving forward. As the European F-Gas regulations develop, Star Refrigeration will be prepared to offer our customers a variety of refrigerant solutions."


  • Sky Studios, Isleworth


    BSkyB’s brand new sustainable landmark broadcast facility features a revolutionary air conditioning system from cooling and heating specialist Star Refrigeration.

    BSkyB is a leading broadcaster of sports, movies, entertainment and news. The company operates the UK’s largest digital pay TV platform from its headquarters in Isleworth, London.

    Star has supplied five of its state-of-the-art Indigochiller refrigeration plants to provide cooling within Sky’s new Sky Studios building. The ground-breaking facility will provide TV studios, technical and post production space for Sky.

    Five air-cooled Indigochiller units, each with a 1MW cooling capacity have been installed on the roof of the new building. Each Indigochiller provides chilled water, which is then pumped through insulated pipework to air handling units (AHUs). These AHUs will provide comfort cooling throughout the Sky Studios building, as well as some computer server cooling.

    Star Refrigeration Sales Manager Michael Reeve says: “A ground-breaking building such as Sky Studios required a state-of-the-art chilling system. Our Indigochillers have a strong track record at BSkyB, with the first installed at Isleworth over six years ago. They have proven efficiency benefits, are low maintenance by design and highly durable.”

    Star has worked in partnership with BSkyB on multiple building cooling projects since 2005 and has installed 36 Indigochiller units to date. Indigochillers are providing a total 18.85MW of cooling across fifteen BSkyB buildings, from Southampton to Livingston.

    Star’s energy efficient Indigochillers are just part of BSkyB’s efforts to ensure Sky Studios helps to reduce carbon footprint, minimise environmental impact and assist renewable energy generation at the Isleworth site.

    Designed for large-scale air conditioning and process cooling, Star’s Indigochiller is manufactured to ensure maximum efficiency, longterm reliability and low life-cycle costs. Each Indigochiller now comes with a three-year ‘no quibble’ guarantee covering component reliability, efficient performance and leak-tight operation.

    Engineered to have minimal effect on the global environment, Star’s Indigochiller has a robust design that aims to eliminate refrigerant leakage and offer over 20 years service.

    The low charge, high performance Indigochiller features a revolutionary Turbocor compressor, which is low maintenance by design to ensure lifelong trouble-free running. The oil-free compressor operates on electromagnetic bearings and uses the synthetic refrigerant R134a. The system offers reliable performance and requires minimal installation, servicing and maintenance.

    Indigochiller is manufactured from the highest quality components selected to minimise the risk of refrigerant leakage, reduce maintenance costs and enhance operating life. Standard features include ‘leak-free’ bellows seal valves, sealed expansion valves and welded steel pipework. The air-cooled Indigochiller has epoxy coated condenser fins as standard to reduce the risk of corrosion damage.

    Available as an air-cooled or water-cooled unit, Indigochiller has capacity options ranging from 250kW to 1,650kW. A robust PLC control system allows the user to monitor refrigerant charge, running conditions and optimise efficiency. Indigochiller is highly energy efficient using only 60% of the energy required by a standard chiller operating on typical load and ambient profiles. This offers end users a significant saving in energy and running costs.

    When it comes to designing energy efficient cooling and heating systems, Star is a natural innovator. Star works with strategic partners across the globe to deliver low carbon, cost saving solutions.