Fine air for fine dining

Compact, energy efficient MicroKX VRF systems from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Europe (MHIE) are providing the perfect air conditioning solution for a new London restaurant, High Timber. Boasting the only Thames-side seating in the City, High Timber focuses on relaxed wine-dining: MicroKX, supplied by FM Air of Welwyn Garden City, and installed by Adcock Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, creates the right atmosphere.

High Timber is the brainchild of South African winemakers Gary and Kathy Jordan, and South African-born London restaurateur, Neleen Strauss. The 80-seat ground floor restaurant is cooled by four 4-way FDT cassettes of 7.1kW (2.5hp), while the adjoining kitchen has two wall-mounted FDK units of 7.1kW (2.5hp). In the basement, where height is limited, two more FDK units serve a private dining room and an office. The basement also contains temperature and humidity controlled red and white wine cellars which together hold some 40,000 bottles of South African, European and New World wines.  

Peter Linsdell, project manager from Adcock’s Cambridge office, says the eight indoor units are driven by four 15.5kW (6hp) MicroKX outdoor units, which are installed in a ventilated plant room above the restaurant. He says MHIE distributor FM Air assisted in designing the MHIE system to suit the tight confines of the plant room. “It was essential to leave enough space for other activity in the plant room, while ensuring good ventilation around the MHIE units, and working space for routine maintenance. We chose the MHIE system for its particularly low height condensing units with single fans – we did not have space for twin-fan units.”

FDT cassettes permit individual control of all four flaps to maximise the airflow in all directions. The cassettes are available in nine capacities, with unit heights of 246mm (2.8-7.1kW models) or 298mm (9-16kW models). Slimline FDK wall-mounts are easy to install, and are designed to achieve uniform air conditioning to the furthest corners of the room.

MHIE sales manager David Lettis says MicroKX now brings the benefits of VRF for about the same price as a good split installation: “Benchmark tests show it out-performs every competitor on Coefficient of Performance (COP). It achieves its best-in-class efficiency performance through advanced technology including new vector inverter control and a twin rotary compressor, coupled with a heat exchanger redesigned for high efficiency and an advanced refrigerant return control system. In addition, the all-new DC fan motor is 60% more efficient than earlier models.”

The whole MicroKX solution allows far greater flexibility in installation than the previous system. As well as larger permissible pipe-runs, the maximum height difference between indoor units is up from 4m to 15m. The maximum connectable capacity is up from 130% to 150% – which means that the 6hp/15.5kW system can serve up to 9hp/23.25kW of indoor units.

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