Multi-room refrigeration system and air conditioning plants installed on an oil rig


Oil and Gas – Design, Build, Installation and Commissioning

Lightfoot were contracted to supply a multi-room refrigeration system that included significant redundancy. This would ensure continued operation in case of a breakdown where repair support would be distance based ashore. Lightfoot design was submitted to DNV by the customer for independent review and approval for use on an oil rig. This was approved as meeting all design and safety requirements without any changes required.


Existing installed equipment was dated and unreliable which required spares and repair services to be helicoptered in from ashore for any breakdowns. This was costly and time consuming with a detrimental impact when refrigeration system went down. The customer therefore required robust and reliable equipment with significant redundancy within the system, allowing any repairs to be undertaken during scheduled service visits from ashore whilst maintaining refrigeration system operation.


A dual evaporator was designed for each room as well as two parallel refrigeration systems that provided the 200% redundancy required and enabled a defective system to be isolated. Thus, maintaining the system operation until a repair could be affected during a scheduled service visit.

The project: –

  • Involved production of the technical support documentation to allow for certification and CE marking.
  • A design incorporating the use of an inverter driven system. (This enabled a slow ramp start-up, preventing a high current spike on initial starts and fine control of the compressor dependant on system load).
  • Development of an off-unit control panel wiring design solution using an anaconda conduit to allow ease of installation.
  • Incorporation of an innovative design of a split frame. Facilitating the whole unit being broken down into 3 pieces, with all pipework and components remaining attached. Thus, allowing installation via existing bulkhead and deck openings.
  • Provision of a control system design that allows effortless interchange of set point control, on either suction pressure or temperature.
    After delivery of the equipment, Lightfoot were subsequently contracted to carry out the installation and commissioning onboard the oil platform.


Due to the success of the Refrigeration build and install, Lightfoot were asked to bid for a custom Air Conditioning Plant (ACP) and Air Handling Unit (AHU) design and then build.

Lightfoot were successful in their bid for the ACP and AHUs and designed and built the equipment which was also approved for use and then installed on the platform to provide air-conditioned air to the accommodation quarters on the oil platform.


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