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Airedale joins forces on district heating scheme

Airedale International Air Conditioning has joined forces with aql to build a prototype district heating scheme, recycling data centre waste heat.

aql, the Leeds-based telecommunications and mobile messaging specialist which operates two data centres on the south bank of Leeds, has been working closely with air conditioning manufacturer Airedale International, to design and build a prototype, revolutionary district heating recycling scheme.

Dr Adam Beaumont, CEO of aql stated: “Airedale designs and manufactures robust and reliable cooling equipment and we work with them, bringing together our science and perspective as a data centre operator and Airedale’s design and engineering expertise, to produce greener solutions.

“Our latest project with Airedale is to investigate the feasibility of building a prototype district heating scheme capable of providing several hundred kilowatts of heating by ‘recycling’ waste heat from our data centres.

“Our partnership with Airedale is perfect. Before I formed aql in 1998, I was a lecturer at Leeds University and one of my specialisms was thermodynamics - the study of the flow of heat.  After forming a technology company, I never thought that this discipline would be of relevance to me again, but once we started building our own datacentres, it became clear that managing heat flow in an efficient manner has a huge effect on our profitability and environmental impact.” 

Airedale provides aql data centres with efficient cooling solutions that integrate its free-cooling chillers using cooler ambient air outside to cool intelligent indoor units to deliver extremely precise climate control within the data centre, minimising energy consumption and ensuring no energy is wasted.

aql plans to use the waste heat to warm its own 300 seat city-centre conference auditorium and also hopes eventually to provide heating to The Tetley – a nearby contemporary art space initiative operated by Project Space Leeds (PSL).

Kerry Harker, Co-Founder & Director of PSL, stated “The Tetley is a large-scale gallery and exhibition space. The challenge for any art organisation is long-term sustainability and self-sufficiency, and the opportunity to save what could be a significant heating cost is a step towards this goal.”

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