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14 April 2016

Transtherm’s adiabatic coolers exempt from latest HSE rules

The Water Management Society, backed by the HSE, has published its latest paper entitled The Control of Legionella in Dry/Wet Cooling Systems, which stipulates that such equipment will need to be registered with the local authority to ensure it is correctly maintained in line with Legionella prevention guidelines - unless a Transtherm system is installed.

The Water Management Society, backed by the HSE, has published its latest paper entitled The Control of Legionella in Dry/Wet Cooling Systems, which stipulates that such equipment will need to be registered with the local authority to ensure it is correctly maintained in line with Legionella prevention guidelines - unless a Transtherm system is installed.

Here, Tim Bound (pictured right), Transtherm director, explores what the paper means for the industry and details why the new rules simply don’t apply to its equipment.

The new Water Society paper outlines that employers, building managers or those with health and safety responsibilities for others, now need to specify dry and wet equipment with their local authority.

This is bad news for many manufacturers in the industry with apparatus requiring chemical dosing and stringent ongoing maintenance schedules; all of this can, of course, be costly. With the new guidelines in place, contractors and consultants installing this kit will need to set aside ongoing operational and maintenance costs to keep the new equipment on the right side of the law, or face court fines, business closure or even worse, a prison sentence.

The document lays to rest any uncertainty surrounding hybrid cooling systems. It outlines that any type of cooler that directly trickles water over heat exchange material, or one which has a water collection basin or tank in order to recirculate evaporative water, must be registered with a local authority and may need regular ongoing chemical treatment due to their higher risk nature.

Previously, manufacturers got away with all sorts of over-complicated cooling set-ups – paying no heed to health and safety risks or the potential for outbreaks of respiratory illnesses like Legionnaire’s disease – but now it’s a different story.

Is Legionnaire’s still a risk in 2016?

Some are criticising the paper for being overly strict, with many assuming that Legionnaire’s is a disease of bygone times, eradicated by years of product development and a better understanding of water hygiene and protection. Although yes, thankfully, Legionella is far less common now, there are still some very concerning cases making the headlines as recently as this year. Stories include a maternity unit in Somerset which was closed after a strain of Legionella bacteria was found in the water system and Reading Council which was fined £100,000 after a death associated with the disease.

Why is Transtherm different?

Despite the new guidelines affecting much of the industry, Transtherm is sitting pretty, with its range of adiabatic coolers being exempt from the new ruling on the grounds that they are so low risk and straightforward to install and operate.

With no long-term associated costs, Transtherm equipment has been designed in conjunction with leading Legionella risk assessors from the HSE’s Biological Agents Unit. Having been designed in this way, its adiabatic coolers eradicate the need for ongoing chemical treatment, using inbuilt safety measures and failsafe mechanisms instead – something which competing products simply do not have.

Transtherm control systems incorporate PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) that gather information for end user system operators showing outlet water temperature, unit input power and any system faults. The eradication of materials that can help to proliferate Legionella bacteria gives the end user complete peace of mind - and cuts Legionella risk to an absolute minimum.

It is thanks to these safety features that Transtherm’s equipment doesn’t need to be registered with the local authority upon installation.

What’s different about Transtherm adiabatic products?

  • The adiabatic coolers do not need to be registered with local authorities and no-one needs to sign their name claiming responsibility for a potential outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease.
  • The company introduces a fine mist of water into an oncoming airstream to increase its relative humidity thereby reducing its temperature, especially good for when required water temperatures can’t be achieved with dry air cooling alone.
  • Transtherm products have safety measures easily visible to the end user via a BMS (Building Management System) so that any faults can be detected and resolved swiftly and to the satisfaction of risk assessors. 

The basics of how Transtherm ensures Legionella is eliminated:

  1. Mains water is taken into the adiabatic systems and UV sterilised as standard, by a UV system that’s 99.999+% effective at killing all known strains of Legionella bacteria.
  2. The UV system is monitored by an integral control system and should any fault be picked up, the adiabatic system is shut down pending repair.
  3. An alarm signal is sent to the site BMS via a simple volt-free contact or by using a Modbus signal from the PLC, allowing the user to act quickly in order to keep the system running at optimum temperatures.
  4. If it is a particularly critical system (e.g. data centre cooling application) then Transtherm can also supply a standby UV system so the adiabatic system can keep running.

Transtherm Cooling Industries Ltd www.transtherm.co.uk

 

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