Fresh. Pure. Clear.

12 Feb , 2021  

Established in 1997 as a small air conditioning specialist, Crystal Air Ltd has expanded to become one of the leading HVAC companies in the construction and services sectors. The hands-on approach of directors Domnick Ward (managing director) and David O’Brien (contracts director) has been central to the award-winning company’s growth and success.

Crystal Air’s expertise lie in the design, installation, service and maintenance of all types of air conditioning systems within the commercial, industrial and residential sectors. Offering a vast portfolio of products ranging from heat pumps, split systems, renewable energy products, VRF systems, air handling and ventilation systems, inverter and non-inverter systems, chiller technologies, free cooling systems and thermal energy storage using phase change materials upon which it has branched off to establish a separate company, Crystal Air PCM, which is dedicated solely to thermal energy storage systems.

Over the past 23 years, Crystal Air has gained a desirable reputation among its peers for its expertise within the industry, affording it the opportunity to establish an international network servicing Hyperscale Data Centre clients, with subsidiary companies now formed in Finland, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. It has also expanded into Denmark on a small-scale Data Centre site.  The company’s main office is based in Clane, Co. Kildare where it currently employs 114 full-time staff and provides 24/7 365-day service to all its contract customers.

Through its flexible and highly trained engineers, Crystal Air can offer new and existing customers an expert, innovative, responsive, cost-effective, energy efficient solution that is tailored to suit each individual need. The company provides planned maintenance programs dedicated to energy and environmental management, and full documentation to ensure its clients are meeting all of their legal obligations as owners / operators of any type of air conditioning system.

Crystal Air’s commitment to quality and excellence is reflected in the many accolades it has won in recent years. These include the 2016 North Kildare Chamber Innovation & Technology Award, the 2017 and 2018 North Kildare Chamber SME +21 Business of the Year Award, the All-Star Innovative-Disruptive Business 2018-19 Award, SEAI Innovation Award, Certification of Excellence in Innovation and Panasonic European Recognition Award (for Zalando project).

In addition, Crystal Air is F Gas 2020, ISO 9001:2015 and NISO accredited.
Outside of its core installation and service market, Crystal Air has developed a new PCM (Phase Change Material) product which is gaining substantial recognition in the marketplace as an innovative and environmentally sustainable product. Proven in Europe, the US and the Middle East, PCM TES (Thermal Energy Storage) is a more efficient and cost-effective way to deliver energy to chill air. By creating and storing energy during off-peak periods which can then be used in high-demand periods, it spreads the daytime requirement for energy to chill air across 24 hours, resulting in important cost and capacity benefits.

The Crystal Air PCM Thermal Energy Storage solution may use either cassettes or Spheres to accommodate the phase change material within the overall storage arrangement. The phase change material is supplied encapsulated in specially designed triple sealed HDPE containers with a thermal storage temperature range of -33°C to a maximum of 89°C. The TES system is designed for office blocks, hotels and leisure complexes, data centres, the food and pharmaceutical industries as well as for telecom units.

Miesian Plaza on Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2 has been one of Crystal Air’s most high-profile PCM Thermal Energy Storage system installations to date. Highly acclaimed for its architectural quality, Miesian Plaza was redeveloped to provide an ultra-modern building with a flexible Grade A office accommodation with the highest sustainability credentials. The project’s design goal was to achieve a LEED Platinum Rating, which is the highest-achievable classification in the world of building design.

Crystal Air PCM was contracted to carry out works of supplying and installing a Thermal Energy Storage system for a chilled water installation. It provided 1000kW of thermal storage contained in five insulated vertical one-piece cylindrical tanks which were filled with its Pluss PCM organic material (OM11) encapsulated in Hermetically-sealed HDPE crystal spheres for the storage and transfer of the building’s thermal requirements.

With a range of other new technologies recently arriving on the market Crystal Air alongside their business solutions partners Mitsubishi Electric, Daikin and Panasonic who are world leading manufactures in air conditioning systems are excited to implement these energy efficient systems to provide comfort heating & cooling while also critical cooling solutions where they now have an impressive portfolio of data centre installations both across the waters and on home soil in Ireland. 

The Co. Kildare-based company just completed a large-scale refurbishment project in the Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road, Dublin 4 for the Dalata Group. This impressive installation with the integration of Mitsubishi Electric’s Hybrid VRF system was achieved while the 500-bed hotel – formerly known as The Burlington – remained fully operational.

A monumental task that called for the removal of existing building services and a seamless installation of 40 outdoor units, 550 indoor units, 50 hybrid BC controllers, and over 550 controllers. Crystal Air worked closely alongside other project team members to achieve this objective. They include Patrick McCaul Consulting Engineers, Duke McCaffrey, Project Management Consultants, John Fleming Architects and Mitsubishi Electric. But the biggest challenge of all has been how to carry out the works without impacting in any way on the day-to-day operation of the hotel.

“There is no denying that this project has presented some serious challenges,” Crystal Air managing director Domnick Ward explains.

“However, working as a close-knit team and by doing continuous refresher on-site workshops – plus some inventive, outside-the-box thinking – we established a mindset and culture within the whole team that became second nature.

“As for the technical aspects of the project, the Mitsubishi Electric HVRF system proved the perfect solution for a live hotel application, especially as there was no refrigerant gas involved within any of the 500 bedrooms and no hot works in corridor areas, we managed to save thousands on the non-requirement of leak detection for our client. Other benefits were modular installation, quiet operation, simple user operation controller and central control system set-up per phase,” says Domnick, who added that the system comes with a seven-year warranty provided by Crystal Air, and supported by Mitsubishi Electric.

So what has been the secret to Crystal Air’s success? Sales engineer Lisa Seward replies: “Apart from our great product range, clients and business partners,  it’s our expertise, experience, team spirit, innovative mindset and exceptional service, where we listen to our clients and design a solution that suits their requirements now and well into the future. 

Crystal Air Ltd
Unit 3,
Butterstream Business Park,
Co. Kildare.
Telephone: 045 893228

This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, September/October 2020, Vol 6 No 5