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CRAC upgrade brings 80% savings to BAE

baes_025970-typhoon-MRUK: Energy savings of 70-80% on computer room air conditioning have been achieved at BAE Systems’ critical assembly and test facility at its Warton site.

The savings, equivalent to £350,000, means the global defence, aerospace and security company expects to recoup the costs of the project within just 15 months. 

BAE Systems required a cost-effective upgrade solution for its Warton site in Preston that would increase cooling performance and deliver significant energy efficiencies without disrupting critical testing and production of combat and training aircraft such as the Typhoon and Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer. 

The extensive programme of component upgrades to more than 70 Airedale and Denco precision air conditioning units which included installing EC fans, electronic expansion valves and other energy efficiency components in addition to controls integration expertise and other system enhancements, are also said to have improved resilience and reduced the risk of downtime.

Airedale’s controls division worked as part of the project team to devise bespoke chilled water and mechanical DX control strategies to maximise the part-load efficiencies of the external Airedale chillers. To minimise power consumption and provide redundancy, the PAC units were programmed to operate in run/standby mode alternating after a set number of hours, ensuring even wear of components and providing back-up where maintenance is required. The PAC units were also networked and integrated with the existing BMS delivering remote temperature and humidity management.

The flexibility of the new Airedale controllers also meant that controls strategy and air balance could be tailored to individual room conditions, minimising energy consumption whilst maintaining close temperature and humidity control.

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%.”

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