Project Name: Unipart
Country: UK
Surface: 93000 m2
Volume: 837000 m3
Kind of hall:  
Required room temperature:  °C
Total installed capacity: kW
Type of installed heaters: 105 No. Reznor XD400 and XB400 gas-fired warm air heaters - 220 No. Maximizor - recirculation fans - 14 No. air curtains
Extra installed air recirculation:  
Special features:  
Manufacturer: Reznor


Description of the project:

Ron Mansfield of Unipart oversaw the project. He comments: “From my calculations I was doubtful whether we would achieve the two year payback period required. What the system actually achieved was remarkable, having now paid for itself many times over."
“Our employees noticed the difference immediately. Operation and maintenance of the system are simple and we have a constant working temperature that is comfortable for everyone.”

Unipart DCM, one of Europe’s leading providers of out sourced aftermarket logistics and distribution services, has occupied its Cowley premises since 1964. At 93,000m², it is the biggest of four Unipart DCM distribution centres in the UK.

Originally, the building was equipped with a high pressure hot water heating system which ran off three very large boilers. Heat was supplied to operational areas via radiant strip heat emitters, positioned at 9 metres in the roof. With 250 tonnes of water circulating round the heating pipes, the system would take up to three days to warm up to a comfortable temperature. High running and maintenance costs made the system increasingly uneconomic.

Planning to decentralise the system, Unipart sought a highly economic and efficient alternative. The company also stipulated a two-year minimum payback period for any system they chose.

A Reznor warm air heating system consisting of 105 unit heaters, including the XD400, XAA400 and XB400 models, was installed. The heaters were positioned both around the building in four discrete zones, and adjacent to loading bay doors.

A further 14 air curtains were fitted over the loading bay doors, while in the roof, a total of 220 Maximizor recirculation fans were installed. These re-distribute risen warm air from high level down to lower, operational levels.

The benefits of the Reznor system were apparent immediately, when employees noticed a warmer environment within thebuilding. Unipart is now able to maintain a constant working temperature that is comfortable for everyone, with rapid heat up even on very cold mornings.

The complementary operation of heaters, recirculation fans and over door air curtains (which effectively prevent cold air from entering through external doors that are constantly in use) meant running efficiencies were also gained quickly. As a result, the payback period was achieved in just nine months, beating the two-year deadline by 15 months.

On-going energy savings since the system was installed have been running at around 35 per cent a year, and the company continues to save, the system having now paid for itself many times over.