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LH takes on Frascold warranty

Warranty claims on Frascold refrigeration compressors in the UK will now be handled by remanufacturer Wimbledon-based LH-plc. LH will use its state-of-the-art facilities to investigate compressors referred by UK installers under Frascold's two-year warranty scheme. Before the arrangement, compressors were shipped back to the manufacturer for examination in Italy. Howard Davis, who heads up Frascold in the UK, said: "The failure rate of Frascold compressors is extremely low. However, we felt it was essential to support the brand and our UK customers and, as such, have arrangements in place to deal efficiently with any problems that may arise from time to time." LH recently invested in a new advanced helium-based leak detection system, which is able to spot the tiniest leaks in compressors and other refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

Commenting on the investment, LH managing director Roberto Mallozzi said: "In this age of concern over the environment and ever stricter legislation, it is essential to do everything possible to minimise leaks. The new system is exceptionally sensitive, and we can now spot leaks so small they would be completely missed by conventional systems."

Correct Maintenance for Turbocor Compressors is vital

Unique characteristics of Turbocor compressors mean correct maintenance is vital, say Roberto Mallozzi and Ken Strong. The principles behind the Turbocor compressor are completely different to conventional compressor systems. The high performance technology has proved to be exceptionally reliable, with an oil-less design and reduced number of moving parts. But when it needs servicing it is vital to use trained specialists or it can result in very serious problems. The compressor is based on a two-stage centrifugal impeller and spindle, which is 'levitated' in a powered magnetic bearing. A DC inverter powers the motor, and the system is under the control of a sophisticated onboard microprocessor. In the same way that it would be unwise to employ a regular garage mechanic in the pits for an F1 championship, it is risky and potentially dangerous to let an untrained service engineer loose on a Turbocor. This has unfortunately been borne out by experience, with instances where field engineers or enthusiastic end users untrained in the particular technology have tried to tackle Turbocor servicing. At worst, this has resulted in catastrophic damage to compressors and put the chiller out of action.

Turbocor MaintenanceThe principles behind the technology are completely different from conventional compression systems. On a mechanical level, with its single moving part - the shaft and related impellers - the Turbocor appears deceptively simple. However, related support systems, particularly the electronics, are highly sophisticated. It is genuinely 'space-age technology'. To handle it safely and effectively requires specialist training.

New chiller diagnostic tool cuts energy bills and cures underperformance

A new diagnostic test for building chillers - equivalent to a CAT scan for the human body - can spot under-performance in seconds and diagnose problems that could lead to future breakdown. The Chiller Health Check, introduced by Wimbledon-based LH plc, uses the latest high-tech thermal imaging systems coupled with a new award-winning performance analyser called ClimaCheck. The technology can spot a range of problems in a working chiller, such as refrigerant loss, control faults and compressor wear or damage, causing serious underperformance and possible chiller failure in future.

"A test takes around an hour, and could save the end user literally thousands of pounds in reduced energy bills and dramatically improve the performance of a building’s air conditioning," says Andy Boatwright, who heads up the new service. "In the majority of cases, we can guarantee lower running costs, reduced carbon emissions and a cooler, more productive working environment for building occupants." More than half of air conditioning chillers are believed to suffer significant underperformance. Recent research in Scandinavia suggests the figure could be as high as eight out of ten, with plant wasting an average of 10 to 20 per cent of energy consumed.

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