CRAC upgrade slashes energy consumption
Annual energy-cost savings of over 70% are expected at the Warton site of BAE Systems following upgrading of computer-room air-conditioning (CRAC) systems. The savings of £350 000 a year should recoup the cost of the project in just 15 months. The requirement was for a cost-effective upgrade to increase cooling performance and efficiency without disrupting the testing and production of combat and training aircraft such as the Typhoon and Hawk advanced jet trainer.
The extensive programme of component upgrades to over 70 Airedale and Denco air-conditioning units included electronically commutated fans, electronic expansion valves and other energy-efficiency components — in addition to controls integration expertise and other system enhancement. Other benefits include improved resilience and reduce risk of downtime.
Airedale’s controls division worked as part of the project team to devise bespoke control strategies for chilled water and mechanical direct expansion to maximise the part-load efficiencies of the external Airedale chillers.
The flexibility of the new controllers also meant that controls strategy and air balance could be tailored to individual room conditions, minimising energy consumption while maintaining close control of temperature and humidity.
Jon Farmer, energy manager at BAE Systems, Military & Air Information, said, ‘With the help of Joule Consultants, BAE Systems identified an opportunity to reduce energy consumption of the computer-room-air-conditioning units at our site by up to 80%. Airedale was selected as the most competent company with the best product to meet our needs.’