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Hire education - the best way to cool the overload

Chiller hire is a cost effective solution for contractors and their clients, according to Stephen Busette
Hire education - the best way to cool the overload
Chillers in many existing commercial buildings are under intense pressure. Fixed air conditioning, often designed and built around chillers originally installed in the 1980s, is struggling to cope with the increasing loads caused by a combination of seasonal temperature rises and extra cooling demand.

Existing plant may be able to deal adequately in the winter months, but can struggle to handle rising cooling demand once ambient temperatures start to rise on the outside. There's also the additional impact from the greater use of heat generating business equipment and the installation of faster, more powerful servers within many commercial and public buildings.

All these factors result in chillers that are no longer fit for purpose since the building's initial heat load calculations have, in some cases, changed significantly. Warmer summers are going to cause even more distress unless something can be done to upgrade the installed air conditioning capacity.

Unfortunately, the current financial climate is driving business to batten down the hatches where budgets are concerned. Businesses that lease or rent buildings may face a particularly tricky decision regarding the investment needed in system replacement or upgrading. Any building tenant will have to think long and hard about the capital investment required in a new air conditioning system which will benefit the property owners in the long term, especially if there are only a few years left to run on the lease.

And yet, overheating could result in an uncomfortable and unproductive workforce and the greater threat of servers going down - bringing business to a standstill. In addition, businesses must also face the challenges of complying with the R22 phase out and F-gas Regulation which are both helping to drive the procurement of new chillers. But what is the solution if the funding isn't there...

Hiring a temporary chiller or air conditioning system can overcome all these problems and is a good solution for contractors to offer their clients. Hire equipment can ensure contractors maintain the integrity of the building's air conditioning requirements, covering comfort cooling as well as creating the right conditions for computers and servers to continue to operate safely and reliably.

In fact, while hiring chillers or air conditioning is now relatively commonplace for dealing with short-term needs, it can also be a cost-effective solution to a long-term requirement. This is a key consideration when capital may not be available for an outright purchase, but the client recognises that not having adequate chilling or air conditioning capacity in a building would be detrimental to servers and business in general.

For long-term rental, specialist hire companies will often offer reduced rates depending on the anticipated rental period. All service and maintenance costs are usually included in the monthly rental, in effect, fixing the outgoings for the duration. In the current financial climate, these fixed monthly costs are easier to swallow than a huge capital expenditure and allow businesses to plan their outgoings in advance. Hire and rental costs are also tax deductable.

Choosing the right specialist hire company, rather than a generic and faceless plant hire outfit is important. A chiller and air conditioning specialist will have a thorough understanding of your needs and the experience to properly apply the temporary plant. The experienced supplier will also be able to give sound advice on the best solution for a particular project, purely and simply because they will have many years of applications knowledge and space cooling experience.

They will also be well placed to advise you on installation and safety issues, and on the ancillary equipment that's needed to support the installation, such as circulating pumps, buffer tanks and air side equipment. It's a personal service provided by people who know and people who care.

// The author is hire sales manager at the Coolmation Group //
18 June 2012


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