Product and Business Development, Innovation
Without MindGenius we would not have won the largest export contract in our history and the chance to innovate our way through the recession.
Director of Innovation
Use of MindGenius Facilitates Largest Export Order Ever for Star Refrigeration
From Refrigeration to Heating: how one company used MindGenius to look at their business from a different angle
Star Refrigeration is the UK’s largest independent industrial refrigeration engineering company and has been in business since 1970 with over 350 employees nationwide and customers including M&S, Tesco and Asda. Until 2009, they focused on cooling solutions but they were looking at ways to expand their business and decided to consider a heating project.
The outcome of the project saw them develop a ground-breaking heating system that takes the heat from seawater, air or any industrial waste stream and compresses it to heat buildings and hot water up to 90°C, on a massive scale. The technology is set to revolutionise the way factories, hospitals, office buildings, data-centres, even entire communities, use heating and cooling.
The firm, along with Norwegian partner Norsk Kulde, has just sold its first unit, the world’s largest Natural District Heat Pump system, to the city of Drammen in Norway. The heat pump will be used to heat homes, offices and businesses in the city, emitting zero carbon emissions.
District heat pumps already exist in Scandinavia and across Eastern and Central Europe. However, many of these first generation systems have poor environmental credentials, relying on Hydro Fluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants. HFC R134a for example is 1430 times as potent a global warming gas as CO2. Unlike its forerunners, Star’s “Neatpump” system uses natural refrigerants and does not require any synthetic global warming gases (HFCs).
Star Refrigeration used MindGenius mind mapping software throughout different stages of the project and credit it with helping them win the order. Dave Pearson, Director of Innovation, at Star Refrigeration comments: “When Innovating, the trick is to role play and challenge as many of the factors as possible that will influence success in the market. This can literally run to thousands of questions being asked about a potential new product.
“Without some means of capturing this mess of ideas the team would get so bogged down that they could miss the ‘game changing’ opportunity, or worse the ‘killer weakness’. MindGenius let us capture many possible factors and organise them to the point where we could pick our path to success. Without it we would not have won the largest export contract in our history and the chance to innovate our way through the recession.”
Dave concluded, “Since we won our first heating system order we have replicated this success 4 times. We have since used MindGenius again to map out other applications of the Neatpumps including their deployment as a combined district cooling and desalination system!”