Natural vs mechanical: ventilation in power plants.

Posted by Paul Langford on 18/11/21 10:00

To achieve the right temperature, humidity and air quality in a power plant whilst keeping costs low, you must understand the differences between natural ventilation systems and mechanical ventilation systems.

In the majority of power plant cases, natural ventilation is the ideal solution. In this blog post, we will explain why this is the case, and highlight cases where mechanical ventilation would be recommended.

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Topics: Climate Control

Using CFD to design effective smoke and ventilation systems in power generation and energy from waste facilities

Posted by Conor Logan on 09/11/21 10:00

Power generation plants and energy from waste facilities, whatever their size, present several design challenges in relation to ventilation and smoke extraction.

With over 85 years in ventilation and smoke control design, manufacture and install, Colt has worked with numerous power generation and energy from waste facilities. To help us navigate the challenges presented by these complex projects, one of the key tools we use to assist with designing effective systems in power generation, is in-house computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Before we explain the benefits of CFD further, let’s take a look at some of the most common problems a designer working on a power generation project might encounter.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

What is SFG20 and why is it beneficial to maintaining my smoke control / AOV system?

Posted by Tom Archer on 25/10/21 10:00

Recently, we have been getting a lot of questions from customers who are either thinking about or who are already using SFG20 to help maintain their smoke control systems. In this blog, we aim to answer some of the most common questions around what SFG20 is, how to use it and why it is beneficial.


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Topics: service

Combining fume extract, smoke clearance and day-to-day ventilation

Posted by Andrew Wright on 20/10/21 10:00

Case Study: Crabtree Manorway, Belvedere

The Crabtree Manorway “Warehouse” in Belvedere is a secure facility that has been purpose-built for the Met Police to undertake fleet maintenance and other official police duties. The project consisted of 4 individual buildings, each with their own requirements and system types, making this quite a unique project, greatly benefitting from Colt’s considerable experience and expertise.

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Topics: Climate Control

The anatomy of a smoke control system

Posted by Conor Logan on 14/10/21 11:00

While it’s often understood that the basic function of a smoke control system is to control the movement of smoke in a fire to help keep buildings and their occupants safe, we also frequently get asked what components go into designing an effective smoke control system.

To answer that question in simple terms, we can compare a well-designed smoke control system to a human body, as all the same basic elements are needed to keep each functioning properly:

  • Decision-making control panel (brain)
  • Sensors and detectors (eyes/ears)
  • Equipment and devices (muscles)
  • Cable Network (nervous system)
  • Power Supplies (cardiovascular system)
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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Why brise soleil maintenance is so important

Posted by Tom Archer on 28/09/21 11:00

Strong winds and storms are becoming a more frequent feature of the autumn and winter weather patterns in the UK. External building features are being exposed to these more unpredictable elements - it is your duty as a building owner or operator to ensure your systems are well maintained.

However, brise soleil systems and typical architectural shading products are generally overlooked when considering inspections for damage after storms. Under BS EN 1991-1-1-4 2005, it is a requirement to carry out inspection works to the fixings of external architecture to prevent wear and tear, check for vibration, divergence, and fluctuations to the system which could cause fatigue and cracking.

The potential for property damage, personal injury and even fatalities could easily become a reality if maintenance is neglected. You must ensure you have a maintenance engineer you can trust. One who will check for galvanic corrosion or wear and tear and who will ensure that the installation hasn’t become loose or damaged from high winds.

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Topics: service, Brise Soleil

Car Park ventilation: dealing with overheating in underground car parks.

Posted by Laurence Cockman on 21/09/21 10:00

It is commonly known that underground car parks need to be ventilated to remove the build-up of exhaust fumes and in some instances for smoke ventilation. However, another common problem that is less discussed is the need for ventilation in underground car parks and basements where overheating occurs due to air conditioning condenser units being installed within them. This is the problem that we helped our clients at “Discovery” solve.

To understand why this issue occurs, let’s start with a basic explanation of how a traditional AC system operates and how it should be installed to get the maximum performance out of it. Typically, traditional air conditioning systems have an internal and external unit that work together to exchange warmth and coolth to achieve the desired internal temperature. In the summertime, the air conditioning system provides cool air by actually removing heat from the indoor air, transferring it to outside through a pipe circuit filled with refrigerant.

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Topics: Climate Control

Smoke and fire curtains. What they are, how they work and the UK regulations surrounding them.

Posted by Conor Logan on 09/09/21 10:00

What are smoke and fire curtains?

Smoke and fire curtains are both components that can form part of a fire safety system, but there are distinct differences in their roles and how they operate.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Industrial fume extract solutions from Colt

Posted by Ginny Williamson on 31/08/21 10:00

Colt was recently commissioned to work on a project at a car parts manufacturing plant that required some creative thinking when it came to fume extract.

This particular facility had large galvanizing tanks used as part of the manufacturing process. The existing extract fans which were located directly above the tanks had been out of service for some time. Their location meant it was extremely difficult to access for maintenance, and repairs. Repairing the existing fans would require extensive scaffolding equipment to be set up and many days of production lost which was impractical and not cost effective.


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Topics: Factory Survey, Climate Control

Specifying, commissioning and testing smoke ventilation systems.

Posted by Conor Logan on 27/08/21 10:00

Smoke control is a ‘wide science’: it requires in-depth knowledge of the building layout, the technical aspects and the bewildering array of building regulations in force. Each type of building has its own peculiarities and some have specific regulations and guidance on smoke ventilation.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Maintaining smoke control systems in car parks.

Posted by Tom Archer on 25/08/21 14:00

Colt has worked on many car park projects that require smoke control systems over the years and our knowledge in designing, installing, commissioning and maintaining them is unrivalled.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, service, smoke control maintenance

Effectively ventilating and cooling manufacturing facilities

Posted by Andrew Wright on 20/07/21 10:00

Case study: Brompton Bicycles

In June 2017 Colt was approached by the iconic British bikes brand, Brompton, to provide a ventilation solution that would help them overcome brazing fume issues and more generally overheating issues in their new manufacturing facility. Having recently moved their manufacturing hub from Kew to Greenford, they required a new ventilation system to deal with brazing fumes and poor air quality, associated overheating issues and also a lack of air movement in the assembly areas and meeting spaces on a mezzanine floor.

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Topics: Climate Control

Smoke Control in buildings with atria

Posted by Conor Logan on 30/06/21 10:00

Many residential and commercial buildings feature atria as a design feature to create a light well or to incorporate lifts or stairs into the design in a visually aesthetic way. However, they also provide a passage whereby smoke and fumes resulting from a fire could easily spread up through the entire building and affect multiple floors. Therefore, having effective smoke control and suppression systems in place in buildings with atria is essential.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

Your smoke control maintenance FAQs answered

Posted by Tom Archer on 23/06/21 10:00

When new customers contact us about setting up their contracts, we frequently get asked a few common questions. If you have just taken over management of a new building and are unsure about where to start with your fire safety systems maintenance schedule, this blog may have some of the answers you are looking for. For anything else you are still unsure of, contact one of our friendly and professional servicing specialists or use our ‘What’s on my roof’ uploader tool to identify what systems you have.

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Topics: Smoke ventilation, service, smoke control maintenance

Fresh, clean indoor air: one of the easiest ways to keep your buildings safe and healthy

Posted by Paul Langford on 18/06/21 10:00

In a recent Economist Magazine (May 29th, 2021), the editor decided to include an article on a topic that Colt has been talking about for a while now, but which is finally receiving the attention it deserves because of the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic. That topic is the important role that fresh, indoor air in schools and workplaces has in contributing to improving the health and wellbeing of a building’s occupants.

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Topics: Climate Control