A place in history for Toshiba
Guests visiting the UK’s historic SS Great Britain ship can enjoy themselves in comfort thanks to air-conditioning systems from Toshiba.
Bristol-based contractor H & F Air Conditioning worked closely with Toshiba distributor AMP Air Conditioning to design a technologically advanced solution that would not detract from the historic ambiance of the ship’s function rooms. The systems operate on R410A non-ozone depleting refrigerant and feature twin-inverter condensers for maximum energy efficiency and flexibility.
The SS Great Britain was one of Brunel’s great engineering triumphs – the world’s first great ocean liner – and now a multi award-winning museum based at the dry dock in Bristol where it was built. It attracts around 170,000 visitors a year.
As well as being a part of history, Brunel’s SS Great Britain is also a prestigious venue for weddings, civil partnerships, conferences and corporate receptions. The ship has two function spaces, the First Class Dining Saloon and the Hayward Saloon. However, both function spaces were designed for 19th century rather than 21st century requirements – which is where the need for a modern air-conditioning system arose. Situated below decks, and with no windows, the rooms could become overheated when filled with guests.
The solution was to install two independent systems. The First Class Dining Saloon is cooled by an 18HP SMMS VRF heat pump connected to nine indoor MML-AP 0181 BH floor standing chassis units, while a 6HP MiNi-SMMS VRF heat pump and three indoor MML-AP 0241 floor standing chassis units serve the Hayward Saloon.
Brunel’s ingenuity was required to install the systems without detracting from the historical ambiance of the surroundings. No new holes could be drilled in the iron hull and no modern equipment could be on public display. Therefore, the indoor units within the Hayward Suite are hidden behind oak panelling. In the First Class Dining Saloon the units are mounted with only the grilles visible to diners.
The outside units are cunningly tucked away too – a testament to their compact design. One is behind the lift to the lower level, while the outside unit for the Hayward Saloon isn’t even outside. It sits in the keel of the ship, hidden behind a re-creation of the ship’s new Crimean War horse display.
To improve efficiency and sustainability, the system feeds warm air back into the air-handling unit that controls the low humidity environment around the ship and helps prevent corrosion.
The SS Great Britain Trust’s Director of Commercial and Visitor Services Deborah Germaine commented: “Brunel’s SS Great Britain enjoys a fabulous reputation for private and corporate functions, weddings and civil partnerships. We want our guests to have the best possible experience onboard ship, and Toshiba’s new air-conditioning system will help, especially during warmer weather.
“The company worked hard to meet the requirements of the SS Great Britain Trust, and has ensured that the modern equipment is hidden wherever possible.”