When Contour Homes was looking for a new chiller due to ongoing problems with its old one, Preston based GOS Mechanical & Electrical Ltd recommended the installation of three Mitsubishi Electric EAHV-P900YA-N e-series heat pump chillers to provide a low-carbon, cost-effective option for the Housing Association.

Contour Homes, part of the Symphony Housing Group, is one of Manchester’s largest registered social landlords with over 12,000 properties under its ownership and management across 23 local authorities.

The Housing Association provides a wide range of services from a number of local offices throughout the North West. Its main office, based on Christie Way, West Didsbury, once belonged to leading pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.  It comprises offices and meeting rooms and is staffed during office hours.

“Our chiller had failed and we had been trying to get it replaced for a number of years due to complaints from staff,” explained Rob Brierley, Gas Technical Surveyor at Contour Homes. “The offices often overheated during the summer and it wasn’t a good working environment.”

The existing chiller system eventually failed in September 2017, so when funds became available a new chiller system was a high priority. As well as the efficiency benefits of the new system, there were other factors to be taken in to account before the new chillers could be installed.

One problem with the old system was the level of noise it created. Employers have a duty of care to ensure their workers are not exposed to excessive noise. Prolonged exposure to noise can lead to gradual hearing loss, so a much quieter system was sought for this project. By utilising highly efficient components within a uniquely shaped chiller, the e-series offers low noise levels.

Cooling is one of the main contributors to energy usage in buildings, so Contour Homes’ new system had to be energy efficient to help the building comply with modern efficiency requirements, such as the Minimum Energy Performance Standard, which came into force on 1st April 2018.

Another potential issue was the fact the existing plant space is extremely tight, making access to the area very difficult. Interruption to office opening hours and staff activity also had to be kept to a minimum.

Preston based GOS Mechanical & Electrical Ltd has years of experience in providing mechanical, plumbing and boiler services throughout Preston and Lancashire. They completed the installation between October 2017 and December 2017.

Peter Jackson, Managing Director at GOS Mechanical & Electrical Ltd, believes the choice of chiller played a key role in ensuring a straightforward installation. He said: “The e-series chiller was a sensible choice as it was available immediately. The only concern we had was the tight working space, but the flexibility of Mitsubishi Electric’s modular approach meant it could be easily manoeuvred into position.”

The e-series’ unique modular approach allows up to six individual units to be connected together to provide a system capacity from 90kW to 540kW. Using this modular approach reduces space requirements and simplifies lifting and installation.

The e-series modular chiller has two inverter driven compressors that allow the unit to operate between 8% - 100% of capacity. By having a broad operating range the e-series has exceptional part load efficiencies which is where most systems will operate.

Contour Homes is delighted with the new system, which provides the office building with a cooling capacity of 270kW as Rob Brierley concludes: “Mitsubishi Electric has provided us with a modern, reliable and energy efficient chiller that I’m sure will prove to be a great investment in the long term.”