British Library boosts the efficiency of its heating system at St Pancras
A major boiler replacement and heating-system upgrade at The British Library, St Pancras, has been carried out in ‘textbook’ style by contractor G&D Higgins. The building has the Magna Carta, Leonardo da Vinci’s original notebook, the first edition of The Times (18 March 1788) and Beatles’ manuscripts in its care.
To reduce the building’s carbon footprint, the project included replacing two non-condensing 1.75 MW steel boilers used for space heating in Winter and dehumidification reheat in the Summer. These boilers served the very-low-temperature hot-water circuit via plate heat exchangers.
They were replaced with three 600 kW Ygnis boilers with Dunphy fully modulating natural-gas burners. They had to make judicious use of branch connections to maintain existing plant load throughout the 112 000 m2 building during what turned out to be a continuously cold Winter.
Further energy savings were achieved using an Ygnis Totelco extractive economiser in the flue. With the system on full fire, a further 50 kW of heat recovery is expected.
Optimising the heating system to match today’s use of the 1980s building involved considerable resizing and replacement of complex pipework to reduce pumping losses.