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The Ecostar of track and field

UK: The achievements of British athletes is being supported by a number of high-tech sports laboratories equipped with temperature-controlled training facilities.

These state-of-the-art training and sports research facilities enable athletes to train in precisely controlled conditions that can mimic those experienced anywhere in the world.

In a recent project, refrigeration contractor Cold Control installed a specially-designed system at the University of Kent, enabling sports scientists to control temperature, humidity and oxygen levels for athletes in training.

Working with environmental control company Tiss Environmental, Cold Control designed the refrigeration system around a Bitzer Ecostar LHV6 packaged unit, which comes equipped with a built-in inverter. It is designed to maintain conditions between -25ºC and 50ºC, with varying levels of relative humidity and atmospheric oxygen within the chamber.

The 4m x 4m x 3.1m controlled space has a fully insulated envelope, designed to freezer store standards, with a heated floor and cool-running LED lighting. Conditions in the test chamber are controlled by bespoke software, developed by Tiss Environmental, which integrates with the Ecostar control system, and enables researchers to control conditions to very tight tolerances.

Laurie Fisk, Cold Control Services’ technical director, who headed up the temperature control side of the project, said: “Ecostar has one of the best on-board inverter systems on the market, giving a huge range and permitting integration with external software. We worked closely with Tiss and Bitzer to develop and implement the system.”

As a result of the successful formula, Cold Control and Tiss Environmental have partnered on several similar projects at Universities and sports research institutes, recently including Medway University and the University of Chichester. There are further projects in the pipeline.

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