Joanna Robinson has been Managing Director of Bradford-based air management specialist Mansfield Pollard since 2013, following previous roles in the business as Financial Controller and Finance Director.
She says she knew from the outset that as a women she had a responsibility to promote the opportunities available to the next generation of engineers.
Joanna and her team regularly visit schools, colleges and universities in the area and explain that the profession works with cutting edge technologies and has excellent career prospects in an expanding market, for men and women alike. She is also a strong supporter of the annual Women in Engineering Day.
Joanna has been Vice-Chair of the BESA Ductwork Group, the first women to hold that position, and this year became the first female Chair of BESA’s Ventilation Group.
Her drive for gender equality now sees women holding 50 per cent of seats in the Mansfield Pollard boardroom, another first in the company’s 150-year history.
She is responsible for a significant change in the culture of the company and the performance is also pretty impressive, with record growth in the last 12 months.
Manufactured in Cornwall, the new Evo ground source heat pump series builds upon Kensa’s 18 years of experience designing specifically for British properties. The Kensa Evo is available in 7kW, 9kW, and 13kW single phase models, with a larger capacity model expected in 2018. Designed for larger new builds and renovation projects, the Evo supplements Kensa’s Shoebox 3kW and 6kW models which are ideally suited for smaller new builds.
The Evo series offers a 15 per cent gain in efficiency over previous models, minimising running costs and maximising income via the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
Kensa says it was designed as a worthy successor to the Compact, a model which helped the company keep its No 1 sales position for the past five years.
It listened to feedback from installers and end users and aims to capitalise on an expected surge in self-build projects.
• Heating and hot water efficiencies of SCOPs to 4.7 at 35°C.
• 60°C domestic hot water.
• Featuring the first custom built control system for ground source heat pumps
• Industry-leading noise reduction.
Highly Commended: Grant UK, Aerona
SURE Solutions upgraded the cooling capacity at Muller’s Droitwich ammonia plant from 3mW to 5.2mW, enabling an increase in production to 2 million litres of milk per day.
The project involves installation of a new 45,000 litre buffer tank, new primary and secondary circulating pumps (all with VSD), new vessels, compressor modifications, new Siemens PLC control network and SCADA upgrade. SURE also designed and installed structural steels and make all civil modifications.
From date of order, the project was completed within six months. Three months of this was up-front planning to reduce the impact on the site and its production, with the ammonia plant out of action for only four weeks while the upgrades where completed.
Three 12-hour shutdowns were scheduled for Sundays, when production could be stalled, and all deadlines were met.
The handover process included the training of 15 members of the Muller engineering team and SURE remained on site for two weeks after commissioning to ensure a seamless transition from old to new.
Highly Commended: Bitzer UK and Cold Control, University of Kent
JD Cooling Systems was established in 2000 by John Dye, employing just two engineers and an administrator. The company now boasts a £20 million turnover and employs more than 80 staff across four regional offices in King’s Lynn, Manchester, the South West and Scotland. It designs, installs and services specialist cooling systems throughout the UK and beyond.
In 2013, JD Power Systems was launched to provide customers with professionals installations and service, as well as supporting its sister company. JD Power Systems now employs 20 people independently of JD Cooling Systems and has reached a turnover in excess of £2 million. The company expanded further with the setting-up of JD Industrial Cooling Systems in 2014.
JD Cooling takes great pride in creating long-lasting relationships with all clients, with 90 per cent of its workload coming from repeat business and word of mouth. Being an independently-owned company, JD Cooling says it is able to work closely with clients to design and select the best bespoke solution that meet their requirements and budget.
Geothermal Solar designed and installed a new system which can meet the complete heating and DHW demands for Cambo House, a Victorian house built in 1881, which is now a guest house and family home at the heart of a 1200 acre country estate in St Andrews, Fife.
The previous disjointed system had been installed over many years and involved seven boilers, one a log burner, which supplied heating and DHW to different sections of the house.
Geothermal Solar decided upon a bivalent system with a high temperature heat pump, a Dimplex SIH90TU which can produce 70℃, and the new Viessmann Vitorondens 200 T/107.3Kw @ 97% efficiency. (This was the first installed in the UK). The heat source for the heat pump is a burren with a complete stainless steel (SS) heat exchanger/collector which was built on site in a SS cage. The pipe size in the collector is 54mm and SS was decided upon because of the increased conductivity and efficiency.
The historic house now has a complete pressurised system for all services from one central plant room.
Highly Commended: Finn Geotherm, Flagship Housing
The LD2 refrigerant detection and management system works with all projects involving Toshiba VRF air conditioning and aims to provide complete peace of mind for building occupants and owners. In the unlikely event of a refrigerant leak, it shuts down the specific section of pipework involved, while enabling the rest of the system to continue operating as normal.
The conventional approach to leak management is to shut down the entire system in the event of a leak, impacting occupants throughout a building until the source can be identified and repaired. Toshiba's approach gives an alarm in the event of a leak (in accordance with EN378, where the refrigerant concentration level exceeds 0.44kg/m3), and automatically initiates mechanical isolation of the pipework containing the leak with individually controllable valves in the circuit, and pumping back refrigerant from the indoor side to the outdoor unit(s).
The LD2 meets mandatory legal requirements relating to F-Gas and refrigerant leak protection. It builds on the success of the company’s previous RD6 refrigerant detection system, which has been redesigned and re-engineered to reduce cost, save space and be even more flexible in application.
Highly Commended: Daikin UK, Auto-cleaning duct accessory
Daikin launched the Sky Air A-series in May 2017 as an ultra energy-efficient solution for small to medium-sized commercial locations, providing heating, cooling, ventilation and air purification for small to medium buildings including restaurants, retail stores and small offices.
It is available in three models - Alpha, Advance and Active-series – and each includes Daikin’s new Bluevolution technology with R32 refrigerant. The Sky Air A-series means that Daikin can now offer a full range of R32 splits up to 14 kW, the only company in the industry to have such a range.
It incorporates a number of new technologies, including a swing compressor designed and manufactured specifically for use with R32. The mechanism has been designed for minimal abrasion when compared with a standard rotary compressor. The use of R32 has allowed Daikin to reduce the size and weight of the heat exchanger. An extra row has been added, increasing the surface area in a smaller overall space.
The manufacturer also says the lighter and more compact design help to make the Sky Air A-series the most installer-friendly system available.
Highly Commended: Toshiba, SHRM-e
Ethos is an energy management and plant optimisation service for refrigeration equipment developed by Star Technical Solutions (STS), part of Star Refrigeration.
Cooling and heating costs are often hidden within an electricity bill, but remote monitoring techniques Ethos can help owners of industrial plants understand consumption. The energy management service has already saved one of the UK’s largest retailers £100,000 annually at one site, and a brewery in Glasgow has also managed to slash its electricity bill by £50,000 a year.
It can identify inefficient operations and provide “insights” on how to achieve better performance from refrigeration equipment explained in graphical format. Typically achievable energy savings are between 10 and 30 per cent without any significant capital investment.
By using Star’s energy management system the customer is provided with the information that gives total control over performance and efficiency. The system remotely analyse the data derived from the system, then reports back. The information is explained in simple terms and recommendations are given for maintenance and investment to save money on electricity.
Highly Commended: Javac UK, Altima A2L
Baythorne Mill is a Grade II listed 18th century watermill on the River Stour. The river was originally diverted to feed the millpond and water was controlled by a sluice gate under the property, where the original millwheel is still housed. The owner, knowing that his 20-year-old oil-fired heating system would need replacing before long, was interested in using the river water as a heat source and Viessmann-trained installation company Heat Different proposed two 17 kW Vitocal heat pumps.
The system operates via a high volume, low pressure pump that draws water from the river, pumping through the water/brine plate heat exchanger to extract heat. About 20 per cent of the water is returned to the river water intake filter unit as part of the self-cleaning process. The filter removes river sediment, down to extremely fine particles. The cooler water is then returned to the river about 10m downstream. The installation operates in a master/slave configuration and distributes heating via a Vitocell 950litre buffer cylinder and hot water storage is in a Vitocell 300-V 500litre cylinder.
Aaron Services employs more than 250 people at six regional offices, installing over 3,000 heating systems each year and maintaining 100,000 homes across East Anglia and the Midlands.
Heat pump manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric praised the level of installation carried after further work in for L&H Homes in Lincolnshire. Led by Aaron Petts, the Renewable Install team includes electrician Liam Greenfield, installers Jack Norton and Liam Freeman and improvers, Mark Posey and Josh Young. During the past year, the team installed 23 systems at one estate in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, as well as eight other systems.
They have also completed eight installations on two estates near Kings Lynn and are currently working on another 16 at four different sites, installing either 5kW or 8.5kW Ecodan heat pumps to replace electric storage heaters.
Mitsubishi Electric Regional Sales Manager Stuart Bell said: “An essential part of every single installation is the quality of the work carried out by the heating engineers and we have nothing but the highest praise for the Aaron Services team.”
A Norfolk couple who had their first air source heat pump installed by Finn Geotherm in 2012 contacted the firm again when they moved home.
Finn Geotherm specified and installed a Dimplex A12 air source heat pump along with a 250 litre EC-Eau Smart cylinder including a combined 40-litre buffer.
Homeowner Mike said: “The system is very efficient at tracking the weather to deliver the heating and hot water we need. Our house is always warm throughout – we have no cold spots or draughts and the walls have a gentle warmth.
“We’re pleased to have an air source unit in our new home – and, although we’ve no plans to move again, it would definitely always be our first choice for heating any others in future too. We were delighted with the first installation Finn Geotherm completed for us in our old house so they were front of mind as soon as we saw the new house and began thinking about heating.’’
RW operates from 14 branches across the UK and is dedicated to providing a one-stop solution to its customers. Four new branches opened during 2017 and there are plans for further expansion.
It has a £2.6 million stock holding of more than 7,500 products, including air conditioning equipment ancillary products, capital refrigeration equipment and components from leading manufacturers.
It offers customer training across all ranges at all of its branches, and this is helping the business in its quest to develop relationships with engineers, service managers and business owners. The technical team supports all products and provides equipment selection for both air conditioning and refrigeration applications. RW takes on this task and the associated cost, leaving customers to grow their business and provide RW with additional opportunity of increasing product sales.
The judges were particularly impressed by RW’s F-Gas tracking system for customer certification renewals. Notice is given to provide sufficient time for customers to retrain and obtain the required certification, ensuring no disruption to their day-to-day activity.