Press releases

26 June 2017

ebm-papst hosts SIRACH Network Meeting

On Wednesday the 14th of June, ebm-papst UK welcomed SIRACH to their Client Centre in Chelmsford, to host their networking meeting: Fans, Airflow and Eco Design: Innovations in Retail Design.

SIARACH networking meeting: Fans, Airflow and Eco Design: Innovations in Retail Design

SIRACH - a networking organisation for promoting new technology in refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps - greeted 35 attendees; which included several guest speakers from various refrigeration technology manufacturers, who provided insight around innovation in the refrigeration market.

Metkal Yebiyo from SIRACH started the day with a brief introduction about SIRACH and what the day would entail.

This introduction was shortly followed by Tony Wright, Divisional Director of Upgrade at ebm-papst; who introduced the hosts, ebm-papst and gave some context into the vast experience ebm-papst hold when it comes to replacing legacy AC equipment to the EC fan technology.

Tony reviewed several energy and cost saving case studies which highlighted the benefits of EC fan upgrades. One of the most relevant cases was that of Cross Refrigeration. Who replaced over 2,000 AC fridge fans with the ebm-papst ECM 8W fans, throughout numerous stores owned by the Henderson Group. The new fans resulted in an 80% reduction in energy consumption, giving annual savings of more than £60,000 per annum!

Following Tony’s case study analysis was Dave Gibson from Refrigeration Development and Testing. He discussed the new legislation for eco-design requirements and the enforcement of MEPS labels for Commercial Display Cabinets. He explained how the legislation wouldn’t have a detrimental effect on businesses and was in fact intended to improve security of EU energy supply and help achieve the climate and energy targets set by the EU, possibly even creating jobs. He explained the new legal obligations were for both manufacturers and suppliers, highlighting that printed and electronic labelling is now required by the suppliers.

Catarina Marques was next, presenting Andande’s energy saving solution for retail display cabinets, called Aircell. Aircell revolutionised the Open Display Cabinet by replacing the single long-air curtain originally used in these cabinets, with several (usually 3) short-air curtains. It has proven to reduce ‘cold aisle syndrome’ caused by excess cold air spillage. Aircell has a more controlled temperature range and distribution of cool air, thus preventing ‘chilling injury’ and food spoilage. Test results show that Aircell’s energy consumption is 34% lower than the conventional cabinet, giving companies thousands of pounds in savings!

After a short coffee break, all attendees participated in a group session lead by Carole Bond from Carbon Data Resources. Carole discussed innovative ideas, designed to help make cognitive links and open your mind to new ways of thinking. A great example of Cross Sector Innovation included Phoneblocks, a new concept for phones made of swappable components that fit together like Lego. Meaning components could be replaced or upgraded individually, so throwing away an entire phone could be a thing of the past! This proved to be a very interactive and inspirational group session.

After a delicious buffet style lunch- provided by a locally sourced, fair-trade caterer; Aerofoil Energy’s Paul McAndrew took to the podium. He discussed their partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering to produce a low cost, energy saving solution for open fridges in supermarkets. The new aerodynamic technology can be installed to retrofit and new build cabinets. It reduces cold air spill by directing air curtains back into the fridge. This reduced cabinet duty by 17%, cutting CO2 emissions and giving a total energy saving of 29%.

Steve Shipp from Ultra Refrigeration exhibited one of their projects for a major retailer. Their design, iAir was developed from a combination of ‘free cooling’ techniques. iAir was designed to take advantage of the cold climate during winter by pulling the outside ambient air to naturally provide chilled air. Ultra Refrigeration developed their own control system using a programmable logic controller; allowing them to make adjustments to the operating parameters in real time, thus making efficiency improvements on the go. It can detect early warnings of possible faults, self-diagnosis and failsafe systems. Their project reduced Co2 emissions, energy consumptions and wastage for their store.

Lastly Geoff Lockwood, Technical Director at ebm-papst promoted the global leader’s developments of the Axial fan. He illustrated how ebm-papst lead the continued innovation of the Axial fan- that previously ran at 29% efficiency in 2001, and now runs at 54% efficiency. He emphasised how legislation, customers and competitors alike, jointly drives ebm-papst’s desire to continue innovating. Geoff compared the energy output of a serial standard Axial fan to their AxiBlade, which prove to be nearly 20% more efficient!

The meeting was then drawn to a close by Graeme Maidment and attendees were given a tour of ebm-papst UK where they were shown the production areas, testing lab, warehouse and offices.

Luke Tanner
Marketing Co-Ordinator