Find out how we used our expert industry knowledge, accreditations and partnerships to help the University of Leicester with their R22 Replacement Programme below. 

Project Overview

We are the incumbent service contractor at the University of Leicester. There are several buildings, which still had equipment operating on R22 refrigerant. Since 2015, it has been illegal to service a system with R22 in the refrigeration circuit. You can work on the system if the refrigerant is safely reclaimed and disposed of, and then the system retrofitted to a new refrigerant.

Our initial remit was to create a design specification, which included the following information to enable the University to make a decision to proceed. Our design specification included the following factors;

Budget Costs

  • Updated drawings to determine pipework routes
  • New system technologies
  • 3 Preferred Manufacturers
  • Noise, Efficiency and co2 output of selected equipment

Once the design specification had been approved, we produced a formal quotation stage to include drawings and equipment specification. The university passed this quotation and proceeded to plan the works within the summer shutdown period.

Project Difficulties

  • Some of the buildings are quite old, and other equipment/products had been installed since the initial installation; meaning access difficulties 

  • The University wanted to be forward-thinking, and wanted to consider new technologies including Bluetooth and WiFi controllers. They also wanted to reduce their co2 emissions, and look longer term on refrigerants

  • New refrigerants with lower GWP are more flammable; therefore, additional factors need to be considered within the design stage 

  • The old building did not have BMS outstations, and the University wanted to maintain control of their air conditioning 

Overcoming Issues

  • We proposed to install new pipework and interconnecting wiring on every install. This meant, where access was poor, we had the flexibility to reroute pipework and ensure clear access. To ensure safety at all times, we ensured each riser was safely boarded. We worked with Safe Scaffolding in Coleshill to implement this in each work area

  • We worked with Mitsubishi and Daikin to ensure we could propose a system which could safely satisfy all requirements. We opted to install R32 systems, which are lowest in GWP refrigerant and are currently available in DX split cooling systems. We ensured our design complied with the requirement of the R32 system, which means certain volumes of refrigerant cannot be within a concealed area

  • Both Daikin and Mitsubishi have high-tech controls, which means in the absence of a BMS outstation, we could input time schedules, temperature set point limits, and install PIR sensors to ensure systems ramped up and down based on room temperature and occupancy

Technologies Used & Accreditations

We proposed to use a combination of Daikin and Mitsubishi Electric equipment - which both ranges operated on R32 refrigerant. This is due to older buildings not having BMS oustations, and the high cost to install from scratch. Both manufacturers have advanced controllers, which enable remote access - and energy features to ensure no misuse of systems. 

Here at IRS, we also have a wide range of impressive accreditations, which include being a Mitsubishi Electric Business Solutions Partner, and being a Daikin Certified Installer. You can view all our accreditations and qualifications here.