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Flexibility bears fruit for Fujitsu

UK: A VRF heat pump air conditioning solution has been chosen in front of gas boilers for a new nightclub in Hull.

Original plans for the project at the Fruit night club in the thriving Fruit Market and Humber Street area centred on a heating-only proposal using gas boilers, but instead it was decided to install a modular Airstage V-III heat pump solution, supplied by Cool Designs Ltd (CDL).

Installation was carried out by Hull-based mechanical contractor Neville Tucker Services (NTS). The system provides cooling, heating and ventilation through an air handling unit, with mixed return and fresh air.

Fujitsu equipment was chosen because of its simple integration with the third party AHU and touchscreen control system, and its ability to use VRF condenser units on an AHU rated down to -5°C ambient conditions and 3°C air on coil.

“We were tasked with the challenge of installing a flexible solution able to operate efficiently in low ambient conditions, in a residential area where noise and aesthetics are critical,” explained NTS senior technician Shaun Lamming. “We were able to do this by working closely with our suppliers and installing an in-house building energy management system which allows for close control of the associated equipment.”

The AHU ventilation rate is CO2 and temperature regulated, so that when fewer people are in the club, fresh air introduction is reduced and the AHU operates more air recirculation. When the system starts, the AHU is in full recirculation mode reaching a room temperature of 20°C, with fresh air then mixed depending on CO2 levels.

With 350 people in the club the system is in full fresh air mode. The rooftop Fujitsu Airstage V-III heat pump, twinned with four Fujitsu DX EEV kits for AHU integration, is capable of raising the temperature from -5°C in winter to 16°C and can provide cooling without pumping large quantities of cold air into the building when fully occupied.

Fruit is surrounded by residential buildings and one concern was music affecting nearby homes through the ductwork, with attenuation used to reduce the impact.

Consultant Rob Smelt, director of BREng in Hull, said that the client wanted to create an attractive venue in a key area of the city, and deliver an effective and efficient solution for climate control. He added: “The original project design would have used a lot of mechanical plant when space is tight and the noise element crucial. It also offered no cooling and was non-renewable.

“We designed a cost-effective solution providing ventilation with heating and cooling from a renewable source. It is controlled by both temperature and CO2, maximising efficiency and comfort when the venue is used as a night club or as exhibition hall during the day.”

Complimenting the Fujitsu equipment, CDL regional sales manager Andrew Gill said: “I believe it is the only system on the market able to rejoin refrigerant pipework after expansion to reduce the number of DX coil paths.

“It was selected because it can operate as a DX method of heating at -5°C ambient with an air on coil temperature of 3°C and a COP of 3.8 at -5°C ambient,” he added.

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