Madison restaurant at St Paul’s in London is the first venue in the UK to install a ground-breaking new heat pump-based air curtain, which provides high efficiency heating and cooling.
The restaurant, renowned for its buzzing atmosphere and spectacular city views, wanted to deliver a high-quality indoor environment for customers, while ensuring low energy and servicing costs.
Installed above the main front door, the air curtain provides a high velocity continuous down-draft of air, creating an invisible barrier that maintains internal comfort conditions for customers and staff.
It is connected to the restaurant’s Toshiba Super Modular Multi System (SMMS-e) VRF air conditioning system, enabling it to benefit from its high performance, low energy heating and cooling. Following a site survey by Toshiba’s technical staff, the system was installed by Chapman’s Refrigeration Limited.
The colour-coded casing was matched to the customer’s RAL code, ensuring it blends in perfectly with its surroundings.
The air curtain was developed by Fred Shaw & Co Ltd and engineers from Toshiba Air Conditioning UK specifically to meet UK requirements. It was subjected to a battery of live tests at BSRIA’s laboratories in Bracknell to evaluate its thermal efficiency, acoustic and air-flow performance under internationally-recognised test conditions.
The results prove the technology meets the performance requirements of the UK government-backed Energy Technology List (ETL) for air curtains, and it has been accepted onto the scheme. This gives end users an enhanced capital allowance on the purchase of ETL-listed equipment.
The air curtain can be connected to either a Digital Inverter split type outdoor unit or a VRF outdoor unit with a simple dip switch setting, and is available in two chassis lengths, 2200mm and 1500mm, both suitable for surface or recessed installation. Surface mounted units have an optional mounting flange accessory for use with ceiling tiles. There is an optional electric back-up heater, which automatically switches on during heat pump defrosts to ensure year-round operation.
Ease of installation and servicing by a single engineer is a key design principle. The unit has a hinged front panel that gives engineers full access to the coil, drain tray, filter and electrics, and can be opened by one person for servicing. Other air curtains require the whole front panel to be removed, requiring two people for safe working.
For enhanced energy efficiency and performance, the air curtain uses EC motors with full 0-10V speed control, enabling air speed to be precisely matched to the unit’s mounting height. Precise control of motor speed also gives low operational noise.
Gavin Chapman, of Chapman’s Refrigeration, said: “The installation was straightforward, with connection to the restaurant’s VRF system via a standard pulse modulating valve unit. The air curtain gives easy access to electrics and filters through the hinged underside panel, which makes servicing really quick and easy.”