Meltwater from Årefjällen used for factory cooling

The cold Indalsälven river is constantly replenished with meltwater from the surrounding mountains. In a unique project, the water is being used for cooling at Nord-Lock’s factory in Mattmar, between Åre and Östersund. Instalco company RP Montage & Energipartner was involved in developing the special solution for the free cooling system. 

At its factory in Mattmar, Nord-Lock manufactures bolting solutions that are used in construction projects worldwide. After the facility was extended and adapted to keep pace with Nord-Lock’s expansion, in the past few years Instalco companies Ovab Optimal Ventilation and RP Montage & Energipartner have carried out contracting work on its ventilation, heating and cooling systems.

“Since 2020 we’ve worked closely with Nord-Lock, delivering several different heating and cooling solutions for processes at the site. The company has ambitious environmental goals and is working intensively on sustainability and to reduce its climate impact. That’s where we come in, suggesting and implementing energy-­saving measures,” says Andreas Thors, CEO of RP ­Montage & Energipartner in Östersund.

One of the unique solutions the firm has developed is the free cooling system, which uses cold water from the river instead of forced air cooling or water from the ordinary municipal water and wastewater network. The favourable geographical conditions at Nord-Lock’s site make it possible to pump cold water from the Indals­älven river and then distribute it around the factory to cool the machinery. The river’s meltwater from the Årefjällen mountains maintains its low temperature even in the height of summer. The free cooling system has a capacity of 1 MW.

If the facility were cooled instead by mechanical means, this would involve operating 10 or so machines with high energy consumption that would require ongoing maintenance and service and have a relatively short life of around 15 years.

“Energy projects in the industrial sector can be complex and often have varying heating and cooling requirements as well as processes involving different types of energy. We’re an organisation that includes project managers as well as heating, plumbing and ventilation estimators and engineers, energy experts and installers, and the breadthof our expertise makes us an attractive partner for industrial concerns,” Andreas Thors explains.

As Nord-Lock continues to expand, new advanced machinery is being bought in from different parts of the world. This machinery then requires installation and cooling, which has to be customised for the facility. This is where RP Montage & Energipartner can deploy its cutting-edge expertise in this area.

“There are big challenges compared with an ordinary customer. Everything involves special solutions. We work closely with Nord-Lock to find sustainable and energy-efficient solutions that can reduce their climate impact,” says Andreas Thors.

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