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Free cooling is a breath of fresh air for Wilkinson

Wilkinson's adoption of free cooling in its stores is already delivering the firm big energy savings thanks to GK industrial.
GK Industrial provides energy efficient climate control solutions and is in charge of the installation and maintenance of HVAC systems in Wilkinson's 300 home and garden stores.

GK applied free cooling to Wilkinson's HVAC systems, which in effect uses outside ambient air temperature to maintain the required store temperature parameters.

Free cooling then replaces the traditional method of constantly running rooftop compressors to re-circulate air to a set temperature irrespective of the temperature outside.

The results of GK's efforts showed that on average the free cooling system ran at almost 80% less than the original recirculation system - only 9 hours compared to 45 hours. This equated to an average energy cost saving of more than 40p per square foot in a typical Wilkinson store based on current energy prices.

The Wilkinson trial ran for three days with outside temperatures ranging from 13 degrees centigrade to 23 degrees centigrade.

As a result of the research, Wilkinson is now rolling out the free cooling system to 148 of its stores where ducted ventilation systems allow free cooling to be undertaken.

The adoption of free cooling in HVAC systems offers substantial but so far untapped energy savings for the retail sector say GK Industrial.

'These findings are truly fantastic for both GK and Wilkinson',
said David Goldberg, managing director at GK Industrial.

'It proves that free cooling can deliver huge energy cost savings for the retail sector by maintaining or reducing the internal temperature without the need to run the expensive mechanical refrigeration system.

'There are so many direct benefits to free cooling. To name a few, it reduces compressor running hours, energy usage and running costs, whilst increasing the lifespan of the system. It also improves air quality by introducing greater quantities of fresh air.'

25 February 2008


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