Fortress Technology Europe

Factory & Warehouse Cooling

Commercial Warm Air Heating Services – Factory Heating Solutions (20,000 SQ FT)

December 2021

Fortress Technology Europe

Oxfordshire

Fuel Type: Natural Gas

Background

OKEL were approached in November 2021 by our client, Fortress Technology Europe, who were relocating into a new business premises in January 2022. A high efficiency heating system was required for the main open plan production area (approx.20,000 sq. ft)

The new premises were estimated to have been constructed in 1996 and were to undergo a new modern fit out, prior to the client moving in to improve the overall efficiency of the premises.

At the time of initial enquiry, our client had asked about the feasibility of heating the production area with an electric heating solution to support the client’s commitment to the environment.  

OKEL Solution

OKEL’s Director attended site to meet with the client. This way he could understand more about their heating requirements and complete a detailed survey of the area to present the most efficient and effective heating solution.

To assess the feasibility of heating the large open plan production area with electric, upon completion of the survey, OKEL were then able to provide the clients electrician with the 3-phase electrical / amp requirements that would be necessary if the customer chose electric. It very soon became apparent that the clients existing electrical supply on site would not be sufficient to support an electric heating solution and would be costly if the customer was to upgrade the existing electrical supply across site.

Although the above instantly ruled out heating the production area with electric, our client did have a U25 gas meter on site that was currently used to fuel 3 x boiler systems that heated the existing office space. The meter had some spare capacity (165 kw in total) and as our client’s heat requirements were for the sole purpose of taking the chill off employees working within the production area, and not stock or process dependant, OKEL were able to design a modern high efficiency warm air and destratification heating system utilising the remaining kws.

In this instance OKEL’s design introduced 165 kw of heat, consisting of Winterwarm XR+ model warm air heaters, designed specifically for heating large industrial space, and with flues to exit horizontally out of the external wall to avoid any roof penetration.

Due to the height of the ceiling (12m to apex), it was essential to provide a heating solution that ensured the heat from the warm air heaters remained on the lower ground level where it was of most benefit to the work force and production processes. To reduce heat loss from above, OKEL’s chosen model of warm air heaters came with the added feature of integral destratification that forces heat back down to the lower level, if the heaters gradient controls and temperature sensors identify that ceiling temperatures are becoming too hot.

In addition to the destratification feature of the warm air heaters, OKEL’s design included the introduction of Winterwarm WCU60 destratification fans evenly distributed at ceiling height to assist with an even spread of heat throughout the factory. 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%.

As well as the heat benefits provided, OKEL system design included a summer ventilation mode to enable continuous air circulation when the outside temperatures started to soar in the summer months.

Installation and hand over

A final preinstall site inspection took place prior to the installation. The purpose of the meeting was to sign off the positioning of the equipment, to discuss fuse spurs requirements and to finalise plans for the installation. Present at the meeting were OKEL’s Lead Commercial Gas Installer, Fortress Technology’s Chief Operations Officer, and our client’s local electrician.

Our client was working to very tight timescales, to be up and running in the new premises by the start of January 2022. They were still awaiting several items that required the landlords sign off before works could commence – some of these items related to the production floor heating installation, including items such as flue penetrations and how new gas pipe would be routed through the building to feed the new heaters.

 

OKEL assisted the customer in providing the landlord with the necessary responses and support in completing the Licence for alterations document that led to successful authorisation and approval of the production floor heating system.

 

The successful installation and handover took place in the weeks leading up to Christmas and with all works being completed and commissioned to schedule and prior to the festive shut down.