Downland had recently purchased an unoccupied mill next door to the factory and had expansion plans for the new premises to house a large piece of machinery that the company had recently invested in. The new warehouse had an uninsulated roof at a ceiling height of 10m and no existing form of heat present.
OKEL’s Director, Mark Stephenson met with Downland’s Operations Director and Factory Manager to understand the project; including the overall aims, temperature requirements for the machinery to operate most effectively, operating hours and the number of staff to be based in the neighbouring warehouse.
Several photographs and measurements were taken to design the most effective solution and the project was to be delivered by Mid-December in enough time for the new machinery to be fully operational.
The proposed plan included a combination of wall mounted natural gas fired warm air heaters and heavy duty destratification fans to be evenly positioned at ceiling height to maximise the even spread of warm air.
Warm air heating was chosen to heat our client’s premises as its recognised as one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways of heating large industrial spaces.
The Carbon Trust estimates that the use of destratification fans in industrial buildings with high ceilings and operating a warm air heating system can reduce energy consumption by 20%.
These systems are favoured by many of our clients, since warm air heating provides rapid warmth in the winter months and cool air circulation in the summer.
A pre-installation engineer site visit took place to sign off the exact positioning of the heaters and fans to determine the most efficient spread of heat. Risk assessments and method statements were also forwarded to Downland to review, along with Working at Heights certification for the team of installation engineers.
In addition to the warm air and destratification system, OKEL fitted clear transparent heavy-duty PVC strip curtains to prevent heat from escaping via the entrances of the rooms adjacent to the warehouse.
Our Lead Engineer also arranged a training session with Downland to ensure they were confident in the capabilities of the heaters and able to make effective use of the intelligent thermostatic controls.
Warm air heating systems are now far more efficient than earlier models with sophisticated controls to deliver a more effective overall heating solution and help to lower fuel bills. The units contribute to very low energy consumption and high energy savings are achieved in comparison to conventional unit air heaters.
The units used in OKEL’s solution are compact and on average 3 times smaller than their predecessors. They benefit from integral fans that recognise when the temperature gradient becomes too high at the ceiling level. The units will automatically switch on the destratification fans, to force the warm air back down to ground level.
The installation was a success and Downland were pleased with the results, an efficient way to heat their renovated mill.
“After the initial installation we had some questions around the heater controls, OKEL were quick to provide support, and it was reassuring to know that the personalised customer service continued after the sale.”
Steve Connolly – Operations Director – Downland Bedding
12 months after the successful installation, OKEL were approached by Downland once more to deliver a Phase 2 project. This second project was to heat an unused area of the factory as part of the latest expansion plans.