Monday, 27 March 2017

The cost of disposable filtration

It is a little-known fact that air handling plant contains not just one, but multiple layers of filtration each providing a cleansing effect to the “fresh air” drawn into the workplace.

In a typical air handling environment, the first line of defence will be a low grade, low efficiency media which is designed to capture the larger particulate.

Depending upon the demands of the environment additional filter layers of a finer grade will be installed. All need regular replacement.

Each filter requires manufacture, transport, storage, installation, removal, transport and disposal. The administrative cost alone is massive and the effect of so many boxes of air moving around the country is an environmental nightmare.

RABScreen air intake protection is a simple solution to prevent airborne debris contaminating HVAC equipment. A specification by one of the RABScreen specialists or distributors will consider the following:

Size and consistency of the airborne debris.
·         Dust type (cement, sand, soil, paper fines etc.)
·         Local flora and fauna (trees, grass, weeds, reeds etc.)
·         Other debris (feathers, recycling plant, plastic fines etc.)

Type and design of the equipment to be protected.
·         Chillers (“V” or “W” coil, horizontal, vertical etc.)
·         Air handling units (terminal, make up, packaged or rooftop)
·         Air intake louvres (weather, sand trap, adjustable, acoustic etc.)
·         Cooling towers (natural draught, induced, forced, fan assisted natural etc.)
·         AC condensers (split, packaged, central etc.)
·         Integral display refrigeration units
·         Compressors

Power consumption of the equipment to be protected.
·         The higher the power, the greater monetary value of the saving and a quicker return on investment as we improve efficiency by the reduction of clogging. 

RABScreen air intake protection is part of an “Equipment Protection System” and utilises many versatile fixing and manufacturing designs to produce made to order product for YOUR application.

From a large industrial process cooling tower to a single refrigeration display unit in your corner shop the RABScreen is the most competitive air intake protection system in the UK.

Every single air intake filter screen is manufactured by hand. The machine shop is full of skilled staff working with a great quality ethic and yet it is flexible enough to cope with orders for 1 or 10,000 with no increase in cost or time delay.

A competitive price linked to high quality and superb design make the RABScreen Air Intake Protection System the best offering to the UK external air filtration market.

And, because we protect your disposables, you can now afford to buy more efficient, higher quality filtration from your supplier. In fact, you can buy both products from one company using the RABScreen distributor network.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Data centre Daikin Chiller Protection

Located in an area with large open spaces, this data centre was perfectly located away from the prying eyes of the public. 
A small industrial area, with a non-descript unit surrounded by high-security fencing, this data centre was not a public access site.Two new Daikin EWAQ520F-XL010 chillers were installed into a new, high wall plant compound just before the local council granted planning permission for construction on an adjacent field.  
Now the previous problems of pollen, seed and insects were going to be accentuated by a large housing development. As we all know, building work increases the level of dust in the air by its very nature, and the increased vehicle movements across rough ground would throw up yet more debris. 
Paul Hanstock Air Conditioning Limited needed a solution and contacted RABScreen for advice. One of our refrigeration engineers went to Southport to survey and assess the problem.  
He recommended that the coil faces be protected with RABScreen BHA (Black High Abrasion) electrostatic filter media and a factory order was placed on 1st February with Permatron in Chicago. The washable filters were fitted on 23rd February and are guaranteed to last for more than 10 years.
Unprotected chiller

chiller protection using a RABScreen air intake screen at a datacentre.
Protected coils
Richard Betts, Managing Director of RAB Specialist Engineers Ltd said, 

“We received great support from Permatron to ensure that these Daikin chillers were protected before major work started on the development”. 

RABScreen electrostatic filters are manufactured by Permatron and supplied in the UK and Europe by RAB Specialist Engineers Limited and their distributor network. 

For details of how we can help you call 0800 999 5750, email or view our website

Friday, 17 February 2017

The high cost of dirty refrigeration coils

It’s every restaurant manager’s nightmare.   Picture the lunchtime rush on a hot summer day in London, your ice machine has stopped working and customers are lined up for their favorite drink. 

Or your reach-in coolers/freezers stopped working at some point last night, and you arrive at the restaurant to find thirty one flavors of ice cream melted.  Food is your business, and food spoilage can mean you are out of business.  Every restaurant manager experiences this catastrophe at some point in their career.  

A major cause of refrigeration inefficiency or failure is poorly maintained, dirty and clogged condenser coils.  

Refrigeration systems are designed to artfully and safely store food products within easy reach, and in most cases, the critical refrigeration components are located within the base of the unit.  These components, including the air intake grille, are at foot traffic level and suck in ground dirt, carpet lint and food ingredients along with necessary fresh air.   

In refrigeration cases, a dirty clogged condenser coil restricts airflow and makes the system work harder and longer, leading to early failure.  In addition, the unit consumes more electricity to maintain optimal food safety temperatures.

Food service equipment can be energy intensive and neglect can be costly.  An EPA study reported that as little as 1mm of dirt on condensing coils will cause a 21% drop in efficiency and can increase refrigeration energy use by 35%.  Another study conducted by Fisher Nickel for the Food Service Technology Center based in California, recently presented their refrigeration unit findings at the RFMA Convention.  Their pre-dirty coil and post-clean coil energy monitoring study (KW/h) at three restaurants reported savings of £225-£450 per year per unit for glass door merchandisers and solid door refrigerators.   

The study also showed that running a 6 year old, 2-door glass merchandiser with clean coils paid off with a 47% reduction (£450 per year) in daily energy use.   According to Tom Scottsman, head of design and development for Arctica Showcases, when a refrigeration case fails from lack of air flow, equipment and refrigerant replacement will cost about £350, plus £75 per hour for 5-6 hours of labour per unit, without any emergency upcharges.  

Refrigeration condensers require regular cleaning, monthly at a minimum.  The condenser tends to be front mounted for easier cleaning access.  Arctica includes a brush with their display cases, and recommends retail staff brush coils clean every 2 weeks.  Preventative maintenance is also recommended quarterly, and costs an average of £75.00 per unit.  Depending on the food service environment, cleaning routines can range from careful surface cleaning in the direction of the fins with a good stiff brush (without damaging them) to vacuuming or blowing the dirt off with an air compressor.  In areas where grease or oils tend to gather on all surfaces, messy chemical cleanings are required.   

All of this is usually attempted within the limited confines of clean, busy food preparation areas.  Although some newer units are designed with slide-out refrigeration systems, others can require proper tools and complicated removal of a metal grille or louvres.  

The logical and most cost effective preventative solution would be to keep the dirt and grime out of the unit after it’s been thoroughly cleaned and serviced.  Top food industry retailers like Starbucks, Costco, Soho and Jewel are finding that they can save time and money by installing a washable electrostatic air intake filter to their new or existing reach-in coolers, ice makers, freezers and refrigerated display cases.    Steel framed with a patented magnetic design is one installation option that allows a custom sized filter to "stick" to the outside of metal air intake louvres; meaning they are accessible from the outside with no need to dismantle the case for frequent coil cleaning.  Retail staff can easily see dust build up on the surface of the air filter.  Each store or restaurant maintains the filters as part of their daily cleaning schedule by removing, rinsing or vacuuming and reinstalling the eco-friendly filters in minutes.   Starbucks NYC regional facilities manager, Bill Miko, found their pastry display cases and ice machines running so much colder with the filter that they were able to adjust the units to lower energy use to accommodate the clean running units.  According to Pete Manuel, property director for Soho Coffee, these air intake filter screens are proving to be very effective in separating nearly all dust from whirling into the chiller components.   An additional benefit is that retail team members are able to remove these filters completely, allowing the dust and dirt to be easily cleaned off away from selling areas and customer traffic.

Condenser coil failure is a costly problem to have and lowers food industry profits.  Not only is product lost due to spoilage, but revenue is hit bylost sales.  Add to that the downtime and cost of an expensive repair bill and you are paying many times over the cost of simple preventative filtration.  Routine maintenance on refrigeration equipment is critical to reduce energy costs, reduce maintenance costs and increase equipment longevity.  So keep refrigeration units clean, save time and save money while you relax with extra whip on your icy cold frothy beverage.

Display refrigeration cooling coil intake impacted with debris.
Dirty cooling coil to floor mounted wine cooler display unit

Dirt impacted air intake fins restrict airflow, leading to equipment failure.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Dirty or clean - your choice

The following picture is a trial RABScreen air intake filter screen after only 2 weeks on trial. The location was south of the River Thames near to London Bridge.
It is an area where not only is there a lot of traffic, but London Bridge Station is undergoing a major redevelopment.
Intake air to these chillers was also drawing in road and construction dust.

As you can see from the zoom it had got pretty dirty at a time when there was no sticky pollen in the air. The benefit of an electrostatic filter screen is that it attracts airborne debris like iron filings to a magnet or in this case dust to a RABScreen.

This particular sample was used to demonstrate just how easy it is to clean by washing it in our kitchenette basin.

A bowl of warm water and some mild detergent was all that we needed together with a scrubbing or washing up brush. The result? A bowl full of road and construction dust.

And a clean filter!

For more information on just how the Permatron RABScreen can PreVent contamination affecting your equipment just speak with one of our advisors by calling

0800 999 5750  

Permatron Corporation. 

Manufacturing quality filters since 1957