Project Overview

AV Dawson is a truly multimodal provider offering logistic services including road transport; rail freight; quayside loading and unloading as well as warehousing and storage, all from their Teesside Hub. With a dynamic road fleet, a choice of rail terminals and shipping berths they provide effective and cost efficient solutions for the transportation of a variety of conventional & unconventional cargos.

Working closely with their clients, they have created a state of the art, purpose built storage facility allowing the stock to be kept in a specific environment which safe guards the quality and value of the steel. The Steel store holds over £15 million worth of stock at any one time, brought from TATA Steel’s factory by train directly into the building on Teesside. The valuable stock is then stored in a controlled environment until it is delivered by road to the NISSAN automotive factory at Sunderland to be made into cars. The client was given a specific challenge which was to be able to keep the inside ambience of a cladded building at a safe level to store valuable steel coils for the automotive industry. The minimum temperature of the “indoor climate” could not be allowed to drop below 14 DegC in winter and could not be above 65% relative humidity at any time!

AV Dawson started the process of looking for the best solution early in 2014 as the building ground works started. Considerations were made for a renewable source of energy to facilitate their needs. They investigated several different avenues including biomass boilers, high efficient gas boilers and even the waste heat from a neighbouring anaerobic digester plant. They needed a reliable source of heat available 24 hours a day, it had to be a low energy usage solution with minimal servicing and maintenance. The system must have the ability to react quickly and sustain its output during high demands such as when doors are opened during trains and wagons entering or leaving the shed.

The system would need to be housed inside the building but as space was a premium, there was limited area for any system to be installed. The installation had to be completed by October 2014 to allow the first shipment of steel from TATA.

This meant the entire build from start to finish would take 208 days!

The climate of the building would need to be controlled with air handing units capable of moving the entire shed’s volume of air to remove humidity and maintain a constant temperature across the 264m length. The system as a whole would need to be easily controllable by the facility staff but automated so it could react fast enough on demand. The system had to have historical data and trending, notifications and alarm functionality to give full visibility to the client and maintenance staff.

HT Energy Ltd designed a solution using NIBE Ground Source heat pumps to more than satisfy the client’s requirements. They worked closely with Drapervent who supply air handling units to create a proactive heating/dehumidification system. Energy calculations were formulated and a specification was delivered by HT Energy to match the required energy. There was a full geological survey produced to estimate how the ground below the site could support the energy extraction needed for the system to work efficiently. It was found that the water aquifers had a tidal effect and could supply plenty of energy day after day. In fact it was found that the incoming temperatures rarely dropped below 9DegC over the winter months. This meant the heat pump’s efficiency was very high. To maximise this effect we designed a closed loop bore-hole array which was deep enough to take full advantage of the water movement below ground. There are 70 x 150m deep bore holes located across the entire length of the building.

One of the crucial design aspects of the system was that the heat and climate control had to be even across the building. To create this even spread we placed 10 stand-alone systems along one side of the building. Each one comprised of a NIBE F1345-60kw unit with a 500 litre buffer store tank to reduce cycling and starts/stops. Therefore we had 600kw of output ready to deliver.