Retail Cooling – Matalan is the UK’s largest value clothing retailer, consisting of 190 stores across the UK. Its store in West Thurrock suffered from intolerable overheating in the summer of 2011. Temperatures in the men’s department reached over 40°C. This made working conditions for the staff very difficult and obviously affected the customers’ shopping experience. As a result, they looked into cost-effective alternatives to refrigeration which could provide better conditions for staff and customers, choosing EcoCooling evaporative cooling systems for their reliability and reputation.
In common with many businesses, Matalan required a low capital cost and low operating cost cooling system. There was an additional constraint of limited spare electrical supply capacity to the site.
Seven down discharge, roof mounted, EcoCoolers were installed. The fresh, cooled air is brought into the store using a simple distribution system terminating in eight-way plenum chambers. Existing smoke extraction fans were linked to each EcoCooler to provide a balanced ventilation system.
Each EcoCooler and extraction fan combination is linked to a thermostat to provide temperature control. The system automatically sets the airspeed and cooling mode to reflect the internal and external conditions.
With a system set point of 22°C, the store is maintained at a comfortable temperature. The fresh air system further improves internal conditions in contrast to the stale air conditions provided by air conditioning systems which recycle air.
Due to the simplicity of the system design, the total project was installed and commissioned within 2 weeks of the order being placed.
The 8-way plenums are installed to allow direction of air flow to be changed should merchandising change thus giving a completely flexible air flow system
The EcoCoolers provide 200kW of cooling into the store and maintain a pleasant environment for shopping without the use of refrigerants. The installation cost 25% of the cost of a refrigerant based system and the running costs are anticipated to be 90% less.
The cost of the project was kept even lower by the use of existing air vents for extract making this a very cost-effective, environmentally friendly project for Matalan.