LM Wind Power is an international designer and manufacturer of wind turbine blades, helping to power a more sustainable world with renewable energy. In line with its green credentials, in 2016 the company pledged to be carbon neutral by 2018. Acquired by GE Renewable Energy in 2017, the Danish company was combined with GE owned UK based Blade Dynamics, to strengthen the presence within the industry.
Following the merger, the manufacturing materials for the wind turbine blades at the old Blade Dynamics site in Southampton changed. This meant that there were more chemicals involved in the process. Whilst the team doing the manufacturing itself had protection against the chemical gases, there was a requirement to provide fresher air for the office team working nearby.
In addition to this, the nearby offices were uncomfortably hot during the summer and too cold in winter, so there was a requirement for a cooling and heating solution.
LM Wind Power had previously tried other options to cool their offices in summer including small air conditioning units, but they were ineffective in the space and the energy use was far too high. Plus, it did not provide the ‘fresh air’ required for the office team.
What LM Wind Power needed was a heating and cooling solution that was effective within a large open space and was also environmentally friendly to ensure it could meet its 2018 carbon neutral target.
- Location Southampton, United Kingdom
Seeking a viable solution, LM Wind Power sought advice from EcoCooling installers and environmental control experts, Vent-Tech. It was proposed that a roof-mounted EcoCooling evaporative cooling unit ducted into a heat recovery unit that would also keep the site warm in the winter was the ideal solution.
The proposed units would also provide LM Wind Power with a completely natural way of cooling incoming air during the summer months, at a fraction of the cost of traditional air conditioning systems.
The solution would mean fresh cool air is ducted into the offices via acoustic lined flexible ducting and 16 4-way diffuser grilles.
Impressed with the proposed solution, LM Wind Power opted for the EcoCooling cooling system, which was able to be installed with minimal disruption to on-site operations.
Within weeks, the system was up and running properly with the team at LM Wind Power pleased with the technology and the installation.
The combination of the evaporative cooling and heat recovery units means that together with the existing heating system, the offices are kept at a steady 21°C all year. This is achieved with minimal energy usage and contributed to LM Wind Power reaching its ambitious carbon neutral commitment in August 2018.
Employees now also work in a more pleasant environment, with the system pumping fresh air through the building all year round.
“As a renewable energy company, we were determined to find a solution to our cooling and heating needs which was as close to carbon neutral as possible. Vent-Tech’s proposal for evaporative cooling incorporating a heat recovery unit, means that we are able to achieve a constant comfortable temperature within our offices, plus the fresh air being pumped in from outside means the environment is generally much more pleasant to work in. We are delighted with the end result and are happy to recommend Vent-Tech to companies requiring energy efficient, fresh air cooling.”Andrew Edge
Project Manager Materials and Processes, LM Wind Power