Portable Heating Unit Aids Canadian Winery in Time of Need
When Brian Blodgett, general manager for Cool Team Service Corp., a mechanical contracting company in Toronto, was called to respond to a natural gas leak at a local winery, he knew exactly what to do.
"We performed a safety audit on the site before the start of the project to make sure that there weren't any hazards," said Blodgett. "After exploring the scene, we came to the conclusion that there was no immediate danger."
Fortunately, the pinhole-sized leak in the pipe leading to the heating equipment was detected early, and didn't present an immediate threat or hazard to the winery. However, immediate action had to be taken.
"We have to follow a strict gas code and take every possible precaution as governed by the code," said Blodgett.
To repair the leak, the main gas line had to be shut off and all gas equipment in the building had to be removed. When heat sources were turned off inside the winery, temperature control became a vital issue in the production facility to maintain and preserve inventory, and a warmer temperature was desired for the comfort of employees working inside the building. To avoid interference with the wine production process, indoor temperatures had to remain between 18-20°C (64-68°F).
"The winery has a renowned reputation that they uphold," said Blodgett. "Anything that may harm the process isn't acceptable under any circumstances."
In order to keep temperatures stable inside the building, Blodgett and his crew needed an alternate heating source, so Blodgett contacted the local rental store.
TAKING CHANCES PAYS OFFJan Marcus, sales representative for Battlefield Equipment Rentals at the Brampton, Ontario, store, answered Blodgett's phone call asking if the store had a heating unit available for the winery. After discussing options with Paul Hagen, manager of special projects for Battlefield Equipment Rentals, Marcus learned of a new portable heating system, designed to provide heat for medium and large job sites. Hagen recommended that Cool Team use the Arctic Bear Cubâ„¢ 700, by Ground Heaters Inc. (Spring Lakes, Mich.), because of its portability and high static pressure, as well as its ability to move air a lot faster and further into a facility.
"The positive feedback that I received from Hagen, along with our past success with other Ground Heaters Inc. products, gave us the confidence to rent the new unit to Cool Team," said Marcus.
As a general contract rental facility that specializes in construction equipment, Battlefield Equipment Rentals, with 32 locations throughout Ontario, Newfoundland, and Manitoba, has been a Ground Heaters dealer since 2002, and rents several of the company's products.
Blodgett was pleased with the Arctic Cub's performance. He said that a number of contractors, including welders, electricians, company-employed gas filter technicians, and HVAC technicians were working in different capacities to fix the gas service line during the project, while the Arctic Cub provided heat to the winery.
The unit was parked outside on a skid at the center of the facility on the winery loading dock. Heated air from the unit was channeled into the facility using two 20-inch insulated flexible ducts, at 6,000 to 8,000 cfm, and sealed in around the loading dock door. The ducts ran into the production area of approximately 15,000 square feet, where heat was discharged and diffused with the assistance of four 42-inch portable fans that were positioned throughout the facility.
The thermostat on the Arctic Cub maintained a temperature between 18-20°C (64-68°F) in order to preserve inventory. The project lasted about three days, and the unit ran approximately 18-22 hours when the temperature dropped below 18°C (64°F) as set on the thermostat.
Blodgett said the Arctic Cub was a safe heating alternative because the byproducts of combustion were released outside rather than indoors, keeping the air safe for workers inside the facility, and preserving the wine inventory.
"I hadn't used Ground Heaters equipment before, and most of the heaters that I have used in the past were nonvented propane construction heaters, which weren't a viable option in this situation due to the amount of carbon monoxide that they disperse," said Blodgett. "Standard construction heaters aren't as large, and don't have the capacity to provide as much heat as the Cub."
The Arctic Bear Cub series is designed to provide fuel flexibility, with the option to use diesel, natural gas, or propane to fuel the units. A diesel-fueled unit was the choice for Blodgett and his crew.
"We didn't have to worry about getting into an emergency situation where fuel wasn't available to us," he said. "We chose the fuel that was most readily available to us on this job site, which ended up not being much of an issue, since we only had to refuel once during the entire project."
HAPPY ENDINGBlodgett said he was happy to know that something like this exists and is so easy to use.
"I couldn't have done better with any other machine," he said. "The setup and take-down was so fast, and the unit was easy to handle and transport with on-site forklift equipment. If I ever have a customer with an emergency again, I know that this unit will get him back up and running rapidly."
After seeing the unit in action, Marcus said it was easy to use, and worked well for the customer.
"From the moment we brought the unit on site until the end of the project, it worked well," said Marcus. "I don't take chances often, but in this case, I was glad that I did. The machine did exactly what everyone said it would do."
Marcus said he planned on referring the portable unit to more customers next year when he provides heat quotes. "The Arctic Cub will replace three machines that my customers have previously used on jobs, while also saving one-third of the fuel," he said.
While they hope that their customer base doesn't experience the inconvenience of a gas service interruption, Blodgett and his crew will be ready for any temporary heat need that comes their way.
Duff is a technical writer based in Des Moines, Iowa. For more information regarding Ground Heaters Inc., go to www.groundheaters.com.
Publication date: 07/10/2006