Factory cooling: have you considered the total cost of ownership?

Posted by Paul Langford on 29/10/13 11:27

If you are considering a cooling system for your factory, don’t make the mistake of focusing solely on the initial investment: consider the total cost of ownership of the system and what the critical elements which influence this are.

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Topics: Productivity, HVAC, Energy saving, Evaporative cooling

Cooling glass factories: ventilation is a tricky business

Posted by Graeme Clark on 11/09/13 11:50

Natural gravity ventilation is the best cooling solution

The benefits of natural ventilation in large industrial buildings are clear and well accepted: no electricity is needed to operate the system, as it simply uses the energy present in the warm air – and there is plenty of this in a glass factory – and this buoyancy-driven airflow is virtually maintenance free.

You can read more about the benefits of natural ventilation in our previous blog post: Natural ventilation is the solution for most heat intensive industries.

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Topics: Productivity, Natural ventilation, CFD, Energy saving, Industrial ventilation

Are you sure your natural ventilation system is energy efficient?

Posted by Paul Compton on 04/07/13 12:03

You are specifying an energy efficient ventilator: what do you focus on – ventilator U value or air leakage? The simple answer is that both are important and need to be considered together.

Maximum U values and air leakage

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Topics: Natural ventilation, Energy saving, U Value, Air Leakage

The importance of specifying the right weather louvres

Posted by Paul Compton on 25/06/13 13:57

Specifying weather louvres is a complex business. In an earlier blog we explained how the key considerations to make fall into three areas: aerodynamic performance (pressure loss through the louvre panel), resistance to rain entry, and exposure and wind loads. We also published a white paper, available for download here , where we explain the EN13030 test standard and its limitations and set out the critical points to cover when writing an effective specification.

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Topics: Regulations, Energy saving, Louvre

3 more considerations for good design in natural ventilation systems for power generation plants

Posted by Graeme Clark on 12/06/13 11:55

We saw in one of our early blog posts that power generation facilities such as Energy from Waste (Efw), Biomass, CHP, and Anaerobic Digestion plants are ideally suited for natural ventilation systems to dissipate heat, dilute fumes, and clear smoke in the event of a fire. In further articles, we covered the design and product selection of natural ventilation systems:

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Topics: Natural ventilation, Energy saving, Power Plants

Green micro-algae façade becomes reality in Hamburg

Posted by Paul Compton on 27/03/13 12:21

Last September we wrote about a project to develop a bioreactive façade using micro-algae: this is now a reality at the BIQ house, the world’s first pilot project to showcase a bioreactive façade at the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg.

From theory to practice: the micro-algae façade is in place

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Topics: Energy saving, Solar Shading, sustainability

Productivity and efficiency in your factory: Achieveable with the right ventilation system

Posted by Paul Langford on 20/03/13 14:38

The traditional approach to ventilating big production facilities relied on relatively extensive ductwork in a one-size-fits-all type of solution. Nowadays, however, ventilation systems must meet multiple requirements. On the one hand, they must provide a comfortable and productive working environment for production staff, as well as meeting regulatory requirements in terms of internal air quality, temperatures and humidity levels. On the other hand, plant managers demand energy efficiency, low running costs and low environmental impact.

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Topics: Productivity, Energy saving

Data centres can cut their energy bills by 80% - yes, that’s 80% - with evaporative cooling

Posted by Laurence Cockman on 26/02/13 15:51

It is estimated that 1% of the world’s energy is currently used to cool server rooms. And this number is going up fast, as the number of data centres keeps growing, putting increasing pressure on energy supply systems and on the environment because of the consequent rise in CO2 emissions. The ICT industry is responding by moving away from traditional air conditioning systems and looking for environmentally responsible cooling solutions.

Energy efficient and environmentally responsible cooling

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Topics: Energy saving, Evaporative cooling, Data Centre

How to boost your ventilation system’s cooling capacity

Posted by Paul Langford on 30/11/12 09:47

As a factory manager you may find that in spite of having done everything to keep your mechanical ventilation system in perfect condition, the temperature in your plant or in parts of it is getting higher. Over the years, the use of your factory building may have changed: for example, with the introduction of lean manufacturing practices, there may be a higher density of production machinery with consequent higher heat load in some areas of your facility, so that the system as it was originally designed and installed is not as effective as it used to be.

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Topics: Energy saving, sustainability, Climate Control, Evaporative cooling, Industrial ventilation

3 Easy ways to reduce energy use in factories

Posted by Paul Langford on 08/11/12 14:22

Rising energy costs and environmental concerns put factory managers under constant pressure to optimise their facility’s energy performance.  This doesn’t need to be a daunting task.

A good starting point is an analysis of the factory’s energy use graphs based on half-hourly meter readings, which most suppliers of industrial electricity will provide on request. Looking at the patterns in the factory’s energy consumption and analysing how they match the activities being carried out in the plant at the time can reveal easy paths to lower energy use. In most cases some minor changes to operating procedures or staff culture, such as encouraging employees to switch equipment off when leaving, can result in significant savings.

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Topics: Energy saving, sustainability

How micro-algae can help create green buildings

Posted by Paul Compton on 20/09/12 09:56

How long will it be until buildings consume no energy? Judging by a current project in Germany, it won’t be long at all. As part of the development of the BIQ House for the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg, micro-algae are being used to create a so-called bio-adaptive facade. Such a system will provide both solar shading and generate renewable energy using a novel application of an established technology.  

How does the technology work?

The bio-adaptive facade comprises bio-reactors filled with live micro-algae. When the sun shines more strongly, the algae grow at a faster rate, which in turn provides more shading for the building. Thus photosynthesis enables the facade to react dynamically to changes in solar intensity.

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Topics: Energy saving, Solar Shading, sustainability

Are we too afraid of the unknown to design sustainable buildings?

Posted by Paul Compton on 05/09/12 08:36

Do we fully understand sustainability and what is involved? Do we really know the consequences of our actions today on tomorrow?

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Topics: Energy saving, sustainability

Improving energy efficiency in data centres with evaporative cooling

Posted by Paul Langford on 20/06/12 08:43

Data centres tend to be energy guzzlers, using vast amounts of power not only for running the equipment, but also for maintaining the temperature and humidity at the levels required by the servers for them to be able to operate correctly.

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Topics: Energy saving, Climate Control, Evaporative cooling

5 steps to a factory productivity survey (Video)

Posted by Paul Langford on 22/03/12 14:52

Do you think something is holding back your factory’s productivity? The best thing you can do is a survey of your operation to identify where the issue lies and what you can do to address it.

In this video, Colt experts Paul Langford and Bradley Smith describe the process they follow when carrying out a factory productivity survey, explaining the five steps they run through.

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Topics: Productivity, Energy saving

How to improve factory productivity – identify the problems!

Posted by Paul Langford on 05/03/12 08:35

If you are a factory manager you are probably looking for ways to maximise productivity. Getting the right conditions within the working areas could be critical: the right temperature, humidity, air quality and lighting could be the answer to provide a comfortable work environment.

Is there more you could do to improve your factory’s productivity?

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Topics: Productivity, Factory Survey, Energy saving