2009 November


Building-services specialist Comserve has been issued with an F gas company certificate by certification body Refcom. The certificate permits the company to carry out all refrigerant-handling activities on any size and type of air-conditioning and refrigeration systems containing HFCs and HCFCs.


Apollo’s deckhead mounting box is a robust polycarbonate unit designed to protect bases, sounder bases and sounder beacons from ingress of water or other liquids. It is screwed to the soffit and accepts a variety of Apollo bases.

The Big Foot Systems website has a fresh new look to reflect its ongoing success and development.


Danlers has launched its latest innovation — a 50 by 25mm PIR occupancy module which can be suited into Eurodata plates or built into luminaires.

Titon’s new web site contains full technical details on all its products — from trickle ventilators to whole-house ventilation systems. There are also installation instructions, how-to guides and case studies. There are also links with Titon’s dedicated web site on the Building Regulations (www.partf.co.uk).


J&P Supplies range of Stourflex air and dirt separators have been awarded a further five years’ WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) approval.


Trion has introduced the T-Series Plus automatic wash option for its Air Boss T Series range of electronic air cleaners for commercial kitchens. Units can be cleaned much more easily and quickly, reducing the time and cost of maintenance. The wash option is available as an integral control module with the T2002, T3003, T4004 and T5005 size units.


ITE (UK) has introduced to the UK market a fully automatic, dual-voltage (110 or 230 V) portable system for recovering and recycling refrigerants. The Blue-R95 system is oil free and easy to use. It is suitable for CFC, HCFC and HFC refrigerants, which are liquefied before discharge to the recovery bottle.


Wilo UK has launched a high-efficiency small circulating pump onto the UK market that is said to have an average annual electricity consumption for a typical home of just 46.5 kWh. According to standard Europump Commitment measuring procedures, the Wilo-Stratos Pico pump is the most efficient A-class pump available.


Hattersley now offers differential-pressure control valves (DPCVs) for HVAC systems that rely on variable-speed pumps. These valves can operate at temperatures from -10 to 100°C in sizes from DN15 to DN50 and are PN16 rated. They can be set on installation to a maximum differential pressure from 20 to 100 kPa. Under dynamic balancing conditions they can be adjusted during commissioning as required to maintain the authority of the 2-port control valve.


The Andrews compact FASTflo wall-hung continuous-flow water heater for smaller commercial applications has been redesigned internally to accommodate an additional heat exchanger for condensing operation and a condensate collector (pictured). The size of the case and connection positions have not been changed, so direct replacement is possible. These heaters can deliver a flow of 15 l/min with a temperature rise of 55 K for a gas input of 54 kW.


Schott Solar has added a roof-integration panel to its growing collection of solar-energy products. The InDax V 225 panel provides an efficient photo-voltaic function as well as protection against the elements. These panels can be integrated directly into pitched roofs and have a performance guarantee of 20 years against rain, hail, snow and wind.

The ‘Thinking buildings universe’ web site of Grundfos offers building-services professionals a centralised information point that is a one-stop shop for commercial building-services pump applications. The site has been designed to act as an aide during planning and specification phases, as well as when selections have been made and systems are operational.


Lumicon, the established WEEE compliance scheme for producers of non-household lighting equipment, has produced an information pack to help members prepare for the new battery regulations which come into force on 1 January 2010.

Solar energy

10 November, 2009

Two guides to solar-thermal technology have been published by the Solar Trade Association and the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council.


MK Electric has published the 47th edition of its catalogue. It runs to nearly 700 pages and covers 5300 products. There are fully illustrated details on the company’s products — from wiring devices to circuit protection and cable man­agement. It also includes range highlights for MK’s Ackermann and Friedland sister businesses.


CIBSE has added a guide on solar energy to its Knowledge Series publications. ‘KS15 Capturing solar energy’ covers solar thermal and solar PV for domestic and non-domestic systems. It high­lights the main design and installation issues, commissioning and maintenance requirements, and regulations and cost information.


Hager has launched a free technical guide about Type B distribution boards and how to meet the requirements of the 17th Edition and Part L2 of the Building Regulations for commercial installations. The whole nature of sub- and final distribution has changed over the last few years. There is a greater demand for RCD protection, and sub-metering is now a requirement.

Crane Fluid Handling has updated its Technical Paper No. 410, which explains the flow of fluid through valves, pipes and fittings to help select equipment for piping systems. The paper has been updated several times since it was originally published in 1942. The latest edition marks the introduction of a companion web site containing a site of web-based tool to solve equations in the paper.


Timoleon has published a guide on the integration of underfloor heating and cooling systems into acoustic constructions. The company offers a complete spectrum of systems matched to robust standard details (RSDs) for all types of acoustic construction. Publication TX100 covers all floor-heating techniques and shows how each can be successfully adapted into an acoustic RSD.


SAV Systems is marketing the Aero range of air-to-water heat pumps that are made by the Conergy Group in Germany. They are described as a perfect match for SAV’s LoadTracker CHP concept, which uses a heat pump to ensure that there is always a demand for the electricity generated — so there is no need to export spare electricity to the grid.

Intelligas has developed a system to ensure that gas interlock control systems are working as soon as they are turned on. With the Smartstart system, Intelligas systems check themselves automatically every time they are used. All airflow sensors are checked every time a system is started, overcoming the problem of air pressure switches getting stuck. Smartstart checks that the fans will work and tests that the gas interlock system is functioning properly.

mini VRF

Fujitsu’s J-Series mini VRF air-conditioning units can serve up to eight indoor units from one outdoor unit. There are two types of outdoor units — cooling only and heat pump. Both have a cooling capacity of 15.2 kW, and the heat-pump version can deliver 16.6 kW of heat. Outdoor units are just 900 mm high and weigh 97 kg; they have inverter-driven compressors and use R410A.

Trox has launched a system for facade ventilation and air conditioning based on units that are built into the facade of the building to introduce fresh or conditioned air to the conditioned space.

FGE Fujitsu has introduced an AA-rated cassette split air-conditioning system for cooling and heating with a cooling capacity of 12.5 kW. The slimline cassette is 840 mm square and just 288 mm deep, excluding the grille. These cassettes are designed for easy installation into most types of suspended ceiling. An optional infra-red receiver kit is available as an alternative to the wired remote controller.


The Vort Notus decentralised continuous extract fan from Vortice can be adjusted by the installer to deliver flows from 5 to 10 l/s, with a 15 l/s boost. Constant airflow control ensures the nominal performance in a wide range of applications — with a single fan being suitable for wall, ceiling and in-duct installations. They are particularly suitable for refurbishment projects.

air curtain

Mitsubishi Electric has developed a range of heat-pump air curtains that are compatible with City Multi VRF air-conditioning systems. They can be used with standard heat pumps or heat-recovery systems and achieve COPs greater than 5 when linked to a City Multi heat-recovery system using excess heating or cooling energy from the overall building system.

trickle vent

Greenwood Window Vents’ latest trickle ventilator has an equivalent area of 5000 mm2 — the minimum requirement for habitable rooms. The 5000EA trickle ventilator is just 410 mm long and enables fewer ventilators to be used to comply with Building Regulations. The innovative seal assists with compliance by improving air tightness — especially important in pressure testing for new buildings.


The Condair GS gas-fired humidifier from Walter Meier (Climate UK) has a capacity of up to 240 kg/h of steam and the potential for up to 10 units to be linked together. They can be fuelled with natural gas or propane and have a 360° full-circle burner to achieve a thermal efficiency of over 90%.


Glow-worm now offers whole-house mechanical ventilation with heat-recovery units. Clearly Heat Recovery units are available in two sizes (HRD 275 and HRD 350) for small-to-medium and larger properties. These units extract air from wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms and transfer heat to incoming fresh air, while keeping the two air streams separate.


Grundfos has launched a range of prefabricated pumping stations . These polyethylene pump pits are available with a wide range of accessories, such as piping and valves, controllers and pumps. These pumping stations are made from corrosion-free materials and designed to remove and collect drain water, surface water, domestic and industrial wastewater.


Grundfos’s CUE range of wall-mounted frequency converters with e-pump functionality now appear on the Government’s Energy Technology List, allowing business to claim 100% tax relief on installations using this equipment in the first year.


Pegler Yorkshire has launched a range of commercial valves with push-fit and press-fit connections — as well as screwed-steel and compression connections. The initial launch of products includes commissioning, isolating, venturi (FODR), globe and check valves.


The Lo-Carbon Centra extract fan from Vent-Axia is an extremely quiet solution for continuous mechanical extract ventilation and is claimed to have the lowest specific fan power on SAP Appendix Q for new-build developments. Centra is said to be capable of achieving energy savings of up to 80% compared with traditional AC-powered fans.


JG Speedfit offers a range of manifolds with colour-coded hot and cold knobs to control individual pipe runs. They are available with two, three and four ports and made of high-quality brass with the company’s own push-fit connect.


Perkins Contracts describes its Ductshield system for insulating external ductwork as a totally new concept. Guaranteed for 10 years, the Ductshield system uses Polyslab, a non-fibrous closed-cell panel with almost twice the thermal efficiency of mineral fibre. The panels are used to insulate the top, bottom and sides of ductwork using a patented T bar system with locating dowels.


Lochinvar has added air-to-water heat pumps to its range of renewable-energy packages. Six units are available with outputs from 4 to 16 kW, and all are single phase. They are designed to pre-heat feedwater for Lochinvar gas-fired water heaters. All the refrigerant circuitry is contained in the outdoor unit, with only water connections externally.

Schneider Electric has completed the strategic transformation and brand migration of TAC to Schneider Electric, adding building management and security to its core competencies. Dave Beradi, UK managing director of Schneider Electric’s buildings business, formerly TAC UK, says, ‘Establishing the buildings business as the centre of one of Schneider Electric’s core competencies is a major company-wide initiative. We can now take multiple solutions from our comprehensive portfolio through one seamless customer interface to become a single-source energy-management provider.’

Tower 42

The tallest building in the City of London, Tower 42 (formerly the NatWest tower), is progressively replacing its analogue fire detection and alarm system using the latest MZX digital technology from ADT Fire & Security. Because the MZX system can operate over most cable types, existing cables in Tower 42 are being reused to reduce costs and minimise disruption. It is also not necessary to install the new system alongside the old one and test it before final changeover.


Carlo Gavazzi has introduced a range of sensors for a wide range of environmental variables. These new CGES sensors can measure CO2 levels, humidity, temperature and airflow as part of complete solutions for energy management, HVAC and smart building applications.

City Inn’s flagship hotel in Westminster, London, is working to reduce its electricity consumption with the installation of a monitoring system from t-mac Technologies. City Inn has begun a pilot programme to identify the effect on electricity usage of changing staff operating procedures and adding a new level of sophistication to the hotel’s building-management system.

EnOcean now offers a developer’s kit for its bidirectional Dolphin platform for self-powered wireless technology that ‘harvests’ energy from its surroundings. The EDK300 kit supports the bidirectional TCM300, TCM320 and STM300 modules. Miniaturised transceivers can transmit information and also receive it, enabling, for example, a sensor to indicate if a window is open somewhere so that heating or air conditioning can be turned down.


Jung KNX intelligent controls are being used to control lighting on new practice pitches at Gateshead International Stadium. The pitches are some 300 m from the main arena, and the lighting is controlled via a single 2-core KNX communications cable from the reception to the 14 lighting pillars around the pitches. The system was installed by systems integrator Durable Technologies.

KeTech 2As, one of the UK’s largest independent control-system integrators, has been appointed to the Priva Partner Network. KeTech 2AS has offices in Bristol and Preston and offers the full range of control services associated with mechanical heating, ventilation and air conditioning and process-control/energy-management installations.


Sontay has introduced two wall-mounted sensors to improve the control of lighting in commercial and public buildings. One is a light-level transmitter, and the other is a passive infra-red detector to monitor room occupancy as part of an integrated building-control system. Key improvements include extended range and field of view to increase the area coverage of each sensor.

The latest version of Philips Dynalite’s lighting-control software and operator interface simplifies the management of lighting-control systems. Called MapView, it enables operators to program complex tasks into advanced macros. They can also make manual changes quickly and easily and implement timed or scheduled events. Other capabilities include accessing a wide range of data on the performance and condition of devices. Finally, tests of lighting systems can be automated.


Joe Douglas explains how easier access to BEMS data and the development of software tools to analyse it are helping to prevent energy waste


Why stop at controlling a building’s services when you can control the building itself? Charlotte Townend explains.

John Nicholls

I want to break free

10 November, 2009

John Nichols share his ideas on how end users can benefit from open control protocols such as BACnet.


Designing for change

10 November, 2009

A flexible approach to the design of lighting control systems is key to achieving performance and maximum energy-saving benefits, now and in the future, says Stephen Woodnutt.

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Manufacturer helps equip skills centre

Ideal Heating has helped to equip a new £500,000 green energy centre in Merseyside which is seeking to attract fresh talent into the heating industry.

Acoustic solutions suite with easy access to services at University of Birmingham

A suite of ceiling and wall acoustic solutions have been specified for The University of Birmingham’s new landmark Molecular Sciences building, which will provide a hub for research and academic work.