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Kevin Pocock looks at the flexible cooling and heating systems that can help today’s warehouses

We live in a distribution-based economy. This was never more evident than during the first half of 2020. The warehousing and logistics sectors are the backbone of a consumer revolution that has us all ordering online and expecting fast delivery.

Companies like Amazon have, of course, led the field and set the standard for others to follow in terms of online shopping and delivery. It is a business that shows every sign of continuing to grow. Amazon UK is now constructing a 1.752 million sq foot warehouse and logistics centre in the East Midlands. Reports are that it will be 20m high and have several mezzanine floors; high spec office space; and a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’.

But it’s not just the online specialists who are reliant on state-of-the-art warehouse buildings. High street retailers were making gentle moves to more online offerings.

The lockdowns and closed doors of 2020 have accelerated this pivot – and they know that modern warehouse property is vital for success in a competitive market.

Understand the HVAC technologies that can offer speed, effectiveness and reliability

Kevin Pocock Kevin Pocock Business Development Manager

Phased and modular HVAC

So the ability to quickly get new warehouse space up and running is key to success. Set-up includes delivery of vital building services such as cooling, heating and ventilation. Another pressure is space which is a priority for business-critical functions such as storage and logistics.

Air conditioning and ventilation systems specifications should include a strong focus on speed of installation and flexible design. Mitsubishi Electric has been helping clients across many sectors deal with these challenges.

For example, modular chillers (the Mitsubishi Electric eSeries) come in sizes: 90kW, 150kW and 180kW. They’re excellent for a phased approach to refurbishing existing buildings as the units can be connected to increase capacity. It’s possible to grow from 90kW to 1080kW – which would be six eSeries modules.

Joining the units is simple as they are pre-packaged, pre-piped and pre-wired, with only water and power connections required on-site. And because individual eSeries modules are smaller than traditional chillers, they are easy to manoeuvre and can be positioned to suit the space available.

Let’s go Hybrid

Another time-saving option is Hybrid VRF (HVRF) from Mitsubishi Electric.

HVRF can be designed in the same way as traditional VRF air conditioning, but the medium for carrying cooling or heating into an occupied space is water – distributed from outdoor units via a hybrid branch controller.

The hybrid approach offers the best of chiller technology with VRF simplicity. It’s quick and easy to install, using the control and network as VRF systems. Also, because it’s a decentralised system, phased installation is possible – allowing growing businesses to future-proof their space requirements.

Don’t forget the IT areas

And in the increasingly tech-driven world of warehousing, there will likely be an on-site server room supporting IT requirements. IT cooling requires precision temperature and humidity control, with high levels of resilience and reliability.

Mitsubishi Electric has worked with many leading companies to help them optimise cooling for these business-critical areas of the building. For example, or s-MEXT DX system is a close-control system that offers high energy efficiency and a compact footprint to save valuable space. We also offer perimeter cooling units with the i-NEXT DX models.

Our know-how in the field of IT cooling means that we can find the best solutions for your IT room requirements to ensure continued smooth operation with minimal downtime and rapid installation.

The warehousing and logistics sector is increasingly high tech, with changing requirements for its building stock.

It’s essential to understand the technologies that can offer the speed, effectiveness and reliability expected of your own business.

At Mitsubishi Electric, we are focused on working with clients in fast-moving sectors and delivering the best products to meet their requirements now and in the future.

Kevin Pocock is a Business Development Manager