July Newsletter 17th July 2017
TM44 Air Conditioning Inspections
The legal requirement for TM44 Air Conditioning Inspections was introduced in 2008, and requires organisations that have comfort cooling systems with a total output greater than 12kW to undertake an inspection by an accredited assessor every 5 years. The 12kW threshold is breached either by one physical unit, or the summation of smaller units exceeding 12kW. This legal requirement is separate from any existing maintenance inspections that an organisation may already have in place and offers a number of benefits:
- Energy cost savings
- AC performance improvements
- Improved comfort conditions
- TM44 legislation compliance
The inspection is designed to identify running cost saving opportunities, as the primary electricity-consuming element of air conditioning systems is the powering of the compressor. These units draw significant amounts of power in order to cool air or water.
In addition, F-gas regulations stipulate that certain systems, dependant on refrigerant type and quantity, are to be leak tested at either annual, bi-annual or quarterly intervals. The recommendations of the report are split into numerous categories, typically as follows:
Controls – Assessment of the central (BMS) or local controllers for time schedules, temperature set-points and inter-locking with other HVAC services. Also automatic shut-downs based on the external environment temperature.
Physical Condition & Performance Hindrances – Ensuring fans, motors, insulation, heat rejection coils, compressors, gauges and filters are in a clean, working condition and are not located close to warm-air exhausts etc.
Maintenance & Site Information – Ensuring all AC systems are appropriately serviced, cleaned and that all required files are kept on site.
Behavioural – Guidance notes to educate staff to shut windows whilst AC is on, and turn down AC temperature set points instead of opening windows.
Types of AC units included are split-system, multi-splits, variable refrigerant volume (VRV), variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and on a larger scale, centralised packaged chillers or chillers with separate cooling towers. Other equipment which serves the same spaces/zones within a building such as air handling plants, fan coil units and chilled beams are also included.
Briar qualified building services engineers have a wealth of design experience and knowledge of air-conditioning systems, giving us the expertise to assess your existing plant, identify savings, and deliver effective TM44 legislation compliance. Briar offer a supplementary recommendations report, an updated equipment schedule and identify advantageous opportunities to turn AC off and use free cooling methods instead.
Current Market Position
June was a steady month that saw wholesale prices rise and fall, but ended the month virtually where they started.
Higher gas demand and reduced supply from Norway resulted in prices rising at the end of the first week in June, but this was followed by a sharp fall as exports to Europe dropped, leaving stronger Norwegian imports to the UK. Temperatures also picked up across the country reducing demand by an estimated 11% below the seasonal norm.
The second half of the month saw steady gains in prices for both gas and electricity as wind generation was poor, unplanned outages in Norway restricted imports and extensions to maintenance at Hinkley nuclear unit and Drax power station were announced.
July looks to be a warm month and although imports from Norway may fall, renewable generation is expected to increase.