The RNLI has over 235 lifeboat stations and saves, on average, 23 lives a day. The bravery of the volunteer crews is unquestioned and it is vital that the lifeboats are built to the highest standard to ensure their safety.
Last summer, ICS Cool Energy supplied a temporary temperature solution to the manufacturing site in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight to ensure that the boats can continue to be made with the best, most durable materials in order to endure all weather and sea conditions. The RNLI continually develops technology to improve craft responsiveness and durability, taking all materials and components into consideration.
Glass and carbon composites are said to be the ideal materials for the manufacturing of the hull of a boat as they can be easily moulded into complex shapes and also maintain a smooth exterior finish. They also offer a high resistance to corrosion due to their light weight, inherent strength and weather-resistant finish. However, in the primary stages of manufacture, the composite materials are highly sensitive, and effective temperature control is critical to maintain the versatility of the materials during the production process.
The prime operating temperature in the factory is said to be between 18°C and 22°C yet temperatures in the height of summer far surpass this and can make the composite materials less durable in production resulting in a sub-standard finish and rework if not handled correctly.
“This past summer temperatures reached 32°C in the site’s production plant and so we started work to supply a solution to counter the high seasonal temperatures and ensure they would not affect the production of the latest fleet,” explained ICS Cool Energy’s Hire Division sales director Russ Baker.
ICS Cool Energy’s engineers recommended a temporary seasonal solution consisting of a 135kW iC-660 chiller, a 40kW electric boiler and five internal 15kW fan coil units. The units were installed to provide flexible temperatures offering hot/cold water through hoses to the internal fan coils.
“The dual heating/cooling functionality is also able to operate in reverse throughout the winter months when the facility is too cold to achieve optimum conditions,” said Baker.
Due to the residential location of the production site, ICS Cool Energy provided the units with an acoustic sound proofing package which was able to reduce noise levels by approximately 10dB(A).