Epson co-operates with Airedale to exploit free cooling for clean rooms
These three Airedale Ultima FreeCool chillers have the potential to reduce the energy required for cooling at Epson Telford by 35% compared with conventional air-cooled liquid chillers.
To reduce the electrical energy required for cooling clean rooms in Epson’s 42 000 m2 facility at Telford, two existing Airedale chillers have been replaced with three Airedale Ultima 750 kW FreeCool chillers. The facility carries out plastic injection moulding and ink-cartridge assembly in clean rooms where continuous operation requires reliable and efficient precise cooling capability 24 hours a day. Computers and machinery in these clean rooms have to be kept at 22°C for optimum working. Two standard Airedale chillers previously served all indoor units, including 21 close-control units in two clean rooms and ceiling cassettes for staff comfort. Paul Lovegrove, general-affairs assistant manager at Epson, says, ‘Free cooling makes sense. Gone are the days when we built a room and the air conditioning cost £x. Now we are prepared to pay more for the unit to recoup energy savings over time. Our target is to reduce building energy costs by 7% annually, which we have achieved over the past two years. Airedale’s free-cooling chillers are already contributing to 3% of this annual saving.’ During the coldest parts of the year, free cooling can totally satisfy the cooling load. The Ultima FreeCool chiller can also operate on partial free cooling for up to 50% the year and only needs to operate completely on mechanical cooling for about 38% of the year. The saving compared with a conventional air-cooled liquid chiller is typically 35%. The on-going partnership between Airedale and Epson has seen the development on site of a controls strategy that is fine-tuned to Epson’s needs. The strategy enables Epson to operate free cooling on three separate chillers linked to the same circuit, with an option for mechanical cooling to top up any of the three chillers. High-level technical support provided by Airedale puts an engineer on site within hours at any time of day or night all year round.