UK: Faced with a limited electrical supply, a Suffolk-based sports centre has turned to Panasonic’s gas-driven VRF air conditioning systems to satisfy its cooling requirement.

Skyliner Sports Centre, located in the Moreton Hall area of Bury St Edmunds, required an energy efficient and cost-effective air conditioning solution to be installed into its new building that houses a busy gym and fitness studios.

However, the restricted amount of power allocated to the building – in this case on 200A TPN – was a significant challenge. This was not enough to accommodate a conventional VRF air conditioning system, as well as the other essential building services such as IT and lighting, etc.

The Skyliner Sports Centre is located within the grounds of a busy school, with the gym and studios being in constant use. The gym has been designed with comfortable spacious areas to accommodate the 45 stations of equipment and overlooks the swimming pool. The equipment includes cardiovascular, resistance, functional training equipment and free weights.

Three Panasonic GHP VRF units were chosen as the ideal solution for this project by installers Pitkin & Ruddock and distributor Oceanair.

The GHP units can operate on a lot less power, as it is only the fans and control circuits which draw on the power supply.

The gym area and each fitness studio on site has a separate Panasonic GHP VRF system installed complete with four to six Panasonic ceiling cassette units. Whilst the cassette units are in use, fresh air is brought into the areas and stale air is removed via Panasonic heat recovery ventilation units. Up to 77% of the heat in the outgoing air can be recovered.

The gas engine within the Panasonic GHP VRF units is used as a driving source of the compressor instead of the usual electric motor, this provides the advantage of waste heat being produced from the gas engine and being available to use elsewhere, thus freeing up the electricity supply for other uses.

“The unique Panasonic GHP VRF units are a natural choice for commercial projects with a limited supply of electric power, in addition to being able to meet and deliver high demands quickly and efficiently,” said Oceanair account manager Tony Holland.