The Kia Oval Cricket Ground - Panasonic VRF Systems

England’s legendary cricket ground, The Kia Oval in London, has recently undergone a refurbishment and is now benefiting from an upgraded heating and cooling system with a mix of 14 Panasonic ECOi 2 and 3 pipe units. 

Home to Surrey County Cricket Club since 1845, The Kia Oval is also one of the best conference venues in London, hosting over 2000 events each year. The recent refurbishment project upgraded 15 boxes, plus several of the venue’s function rooms including the legendary Ashes Suite, India, Pakistan, Australia, West Indies and John Major suites.  The new Panasonic system was installed throughout the JM Finn Stand by Vince Sharma and Thomas Hall of Peach Maintenance with Oceanair supplying the ECOi units and helping with the design and schematics of the new system.

Surrey County Cricket Club needed to upgrade its existing heating and cooling system with a more sustainable and cost-effective solution, aligned with the organisation’s net zero goals. Vince Sharma, Managing Director of Peach Maintenance and partner Thomas Hall, who specified the new highly energy efficient Panasonic system that consists of 2 x Panasonic ECOi 3 pipe and 12 x Panasonic ECOi 2 pipe system to replace the existing 28 Sanyo units (originally installed back in 2006) commented, “The original system was becoming difficult to maintain and nearing the end of its life with parts being hard to source. It was an ideal time to upgrade the air conditioning at The Kia Oval, but continuing to meet the performance requirements and meeting the venue’s sustainability goals.”

As the hospitality and function suites operate all year round, the work had to be completed before the cricket season's start, the installation schedule was tight. As the existing indoor fan coil units were all still working efficiently, the ideal and most cost-effective solution was to keep these units and find a compatible solution for new outdoor condensing units to allow minimal downtime and the event bookings to not be affected.

Panasonic’s product range met all these requirements and offered the required energy efficient performance. Vince further added, “We have been working with Panasonic and Oceanair for a number of years and know the system to be reliable and could deliver the energy efficiency required for the space. It was therefore a logical decision to specify the Panasonic units to help minimise any disruption to the hospitality and function suites as the majority of the work needed would be on the roof or in the plant room.”

Another challenge was that since the original installation, an additional roof section had been added to the plant room making it more challenging to access the area by crane.  However, Oceanair and Panasonic provided technical support throughout the installation process to ensure everything went smoothly.

Matt Williams of Surrey County Cricket Club commented, “The install was straightforward and a cost-effective solution for us with almost no downtime and zero issues throughout the install – we are very pleased with the end result and it aligns nicely with our sustainability goals.”

Tony Holland, Southern Area Account Manager for Oceanair added, “As Oceanair had supplied the original Sanyo units for this project, we knew the history and had the original schematics and were able to identify and mirror any of the concealed pipework. It was great to see that the original units had served the venue well over the last 17 years.  We could now replace the system with fewer but more compact and highly energy efficient Panasonic units, resulting in a smaller footprint. The existing indoor fan coils and cassette units can also be easily updated as and when required from Panasonic’s wide range.”