2011 March

Schneider Electric, energy management, Rachel Cooper

The shift in financial emphasis of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme makes it imperative that organisations take substantial steps to measure their energy consumption and invest in solutions to lower it to avoid penalties when the scheme comes into effect. Rachel Cooper highlights some of measures that can be taken.

Danlers, time lag switches, controls

Danlers Ltd designs and manufactures a range of electronic time-lag switches for lighting or heating loads which are ideal for saving energy.

BSRIA, Rules of thumb

The fifth edition of BSRIA’s popular rules of thumb is now available. Information has been updated and expanded to include greater detail and is presented in a spiral binding. This guide will be useful for setting outline targets and comparing options to inform the early stages of the design process.

Vent-Axia’s new fan selector program provides essential technical information on the company’s extensive range of fan products. The improved layout is split into two screens and contains a wide range of technical information to ensure that the correct fan is selected for the parameters set by the user — including air volume, pressure, tolerance and voltage.

Honeywell, water controls

Water controls

30 March, 2011

Honeywell’s guide to water controls is a non-technical 24-page booklet to help specifiers and installers find ideal valves and accessories for each water installation. It shows Honeywell’s extensive ranges of valves for reducing and regulating pressure, thermostatic mixing, backflow prevention, automatic system balancing, filters and strainers. The scope of the range extends from brass-bodied plumbing products to large cast-iron valves for mains supply, in direct and pilot operated models.

‘Heat pump news’ published by the Heat Pump Association is now available only online and can be downloaded from the link below. Back issues are also available. Tony Bowen, president of the Heat Pump Association, says, ‘We have taken this step to ensure that the publication, which aims to encourage the wider use of heat-pump technology, has as wide an audience as possible at any one time.’

BSRIA, energy efficient pumping

BSRIA has published a design guide to energy-efficient pumping systems based on research carried out in collaboration with BRE and a number of industry partners. The guide recognises that the potential for pump energy savings is substantial — with the best designed variable-flow systems using 82% less energy than the worst constant-flow systems.

Grundfos Pumps, commercial

The Grundfos web site on pumps for commercial buildings helps simplify pump selection by providing a one-stop shop for commercial building-services professionals. It provides product information of specific Grundfos pump families and their areas of application. Just a few mouse clicks enable pumps for a particular application to be selected.

Storing fuel oil

30 March, 2011

Balmoral Tanks has published a comprehensive reference manual for fuel-oil storage tanks and dispensing stations. It focuses on the technical and legislative aspects of commercial, industrial and agricultural applications of storing and dispensing fuel oil and also highlights the company’s modernised range of domestic tanks.

Marshall Tufflex Energy Management has launched a web site covering all its systems, enabling specifiers to build a complete package of measures from one manufacturer. The site give full details of all three product ranges — Voltis intelligent voltage optimisation, Sinergy sub-metering and the Ipsis integrated energy-management solution. There are FAQs on each system, brochure downloads, videos, news and product case studies, legislative information and full product photography/graphics.

Bitzer, refrigerants, compressors

The sixteenth edition of Bitzer’s ‘Refrigerant report’ runs to 39 pages and provides a precise and unbiased guide to all current refrigerant alternatives. This latest report highlights the drastic changes to refrigeration technology over the last 20 years as a result of environmental pressures. In the field of refrigerants, there has been continual development of HCFCs, HFCs, blends, halogen-free refrigerants and special blends. The emergence of TEWI (total environmental warming impact) as a recognised method of calculating the environmental impact of a refrigeration system has come to the fore. Copies are free or downloadable from the Bitzer web site.

Self Energy UK

With the scrapping of the performance incentives from the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, many commentators have complained that it is now just a stealth tax — but Paul Lewis explains how companies can still benefit from the scheme.

air conditioning inspections, Hywel Davies

Even if landlords can do little to influence the energy-consuming behaviour of tenants to share CRC responsibility they can still act to reduce the energy used by air-conditioning systems — as Hywel Davies explains.

CIBSE, British Land, energy management

For the potential of a building to achieve high levels of energy efficiency requires more than just good design. It also needs the active involvement of those who use the building, as one of the winners of this year’s CIBSE Building Performance Awards demonstrates.

Mitsubishi Electric, Heat pump, renewable energy, Ecodan

Heat pumps are one of the most effective ways of deliver renewable energy to commercial building, and Mitsubishi Electric has advanced their capabilities.

HVCA Business Plus, renewable energy, sustainability, Mike Jenkins

Sustainability will be a significant focus in the years ahead. Mike Jenkins explains why you cannot afford to get left behind.

HVCA, Blane Judd

The Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association has appointed Blane Judd to the position of chief executive designate. He will work closely with the current chief executive Robert Higgs over the next few months and become chief executive when Mr Higgs retires on 25 July 2011.

Hoare Lea, One New Change

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has visited One New Change, the new shopping and leisure destination in the City of London, to see advanced renewable-energy technology used to provide heating and cooling. There is 60 km of pipework in the ground underneath this development to transfer heat to and from the ground itself and two water wells 150 m below the surface. The system is designed to reduce carbon emissions by at least 10% and could save £300 000 a year on energy bills a year.

Mitsubishi Electric has appointed two new value-added resellers following its growth in market share in all areas of business. The appointment of Logicool Air Conditioning Distribution of south Derbyshire and Intra-grated Services of Peterborough vindicates Mitsubishi’s decision to expand its product portfolio into renewable technology with more heat-pump-based air conditioning and the expansion of the Ecodan range of air-source heat pumps.

ICOM Energy Association, boiler

Major changes in the commercial boiler market are highlighted in figures from the UK Commercial Boiler Group, a sector of the ICOM Energy Association. The figures are based on information from the group’s member companies, which represent over 95% of commercial boiler sales in the UK.

BREEAM, Sustainable Construction Services

Matthew Edis, director of Sustainable Construction Services, has scooped this year’s award for the highest-scoring BREEAM Government building. It is for the north-west office of the Arts Council in the centre of Manchester. SCS raised the BREEAM rating of this building from ‘Very good’ to ‘Excellent’ by incorporating a range of sustainable measures with no additional cost to achieve an Energy Performance Certificate rating of 40.

Renewable Heat Incentive, RHI

The Government has announced details of its Renewable Heat Incentive, the first in the world, aimed at reducing carbon emissions from energy used to produce heat — about half the UK total. The RHI will come into effect in two stages. Phase 1 for non-residential buildings will be introduced in July 2011. Phase 2 for non-residential buildings will be introduced in Autumn 2012 to coincide with the advent of the Green Deal.

Sudlows, data centre, contractor

Sudlows, which specialises in the design and build of data centres, has opened a new London office. It is headed up by James Cole, who has joined the company as specialist projects director. He has an extensive consultancy background and experience in the data-centre industry and will work with company directors John Collins, Chris Dummett and Andy Hirst to build the strategic direction and reputation of the company’s new data-centre division.

Elta, fans

The installation of a Trumpf TruPunch 2020 punching machine for the applied technology division of Elta Fans has significantly increased production capacity. It has 19 tool stations and reduces the handling of parts by consolidating various operations on a single machine.

Energy-management company Matrix has launched the latest stage of its expansion plans with the relocation and expansion of two key bases in the UK. The new offices are at Temple Point in Leeds and Tower Bridge Business Centre in London. At 227 m2, the Leeds office has trebled in size. The London premises have doubled in size to 100 m2.

Inviron, a leading provider of building services and facilities management, has been acquired by European technical-services group Imtech, which is based in the Netherlands and operates across Europe. The group has a turnover in excess of u4.5 billion and more than 25 000 employees serving over 21 000 clients. Its UK operation has a turnover of about £400 million and a nationwide blue-chip client base and over 2000 employers.

Sanyo Electric has opened a new site in Hungary to increase production of its HIT solar PV modules. The site in Dorog City is Sanyo’s third facility in Hungary and has a capability of 150 MW a year, nearly doubling output in Hungary from 165 MW to 315 MW. The company’s worldwide capacity is 690 MW.


Fresh on the back of securing a place in the Professional Darts Corporation’s Premier League, professional plumber Mark Webster has gained a new sponsor. Underfloor-heating and plumbing specialist Uponor has signed a 12-month deal to sponsor the 2008 world champion, including player appearances and shirt sponsorship.

The European Commission is set to step up the pace of achieving a 20% reduction in the energy consumption of the European Union by 2020 with the adoption of the new ‘Energy efficiency plan’. The target was set in 2007, but according to the commission’s most recent projections, which take into account measures implemented at national and European level up to the end of 2009, a reduction of only 9% will be achieved.

Inviron, contractor

Inviron, which provides building services and facilities management, has relocated its 75 employees in Manchester to Cobra Court at Trafford Park. General manager Alan Crozier says, ‘Whilst we’re a national business, we have a very strong regional presence in Manchester and the north west which we are keen to expand on, so it’s important for us to have a modern base from where to serve our clients.’

SES, contractor

SES has been appointed building-services contractor for Building R4 of the new Kings Cross Central development in London. This 14-storey social-housing development will comprise two main cores with clusters of apartments surrounding each. There will be 117 apartments in all, two commercial units at ground level and a private courtyard space.

Skanska and Arup have formed a strategic partnership to provide clients with a jointly delivered green retrofit and refurbishment process for commercial property. This market is worth over £10 billion a year in the UK and is set to undergo a much needed transformation. The partnership has already lead to several showcase pilot refurbishment projects, which will commence work later this year. These redevelopments will be focused around improving energy, carbon and water efficiency and be exemplars for the next generation of green refurbishment.

Multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy hurleypalmerflatt is moving into new offices in Scotland as it prepares to double the size of its operations in Scotland. The practice has been providing clients in Scotland with a wide range of specialist building engineering services for a number of years.


The first BACnet Forum to be held in London for 10 years will be on 13 April and enjoys the support of CIBSE and the Building Controls Industry Association. It will feature four major sessions dedicated to the development and opportunities for open building automation in the UK and the permanent development of the standard. There will also be coverage of projects in the UK. The event is free to attend. More information is available at the link below.

Balfour Beatty, contractor

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services is working on a £4.6 M&E contract by Bovis Lend Lease for a new Strathclyde fire-and-rescue training facility in Cambuslang. This new centre will cover 30 acres and bring training together on one site.

Low-voltage electrical distribution products from Schneider Electric have been specified for use in AM2 (Achievement Measure 2) assessment centres throughout the UK following an agreement with National Electro-Technical Training (NET), which specialises in providing high-quality assessment of occupational competence in the electrical industry.

Hulley & Kirkwood, consultant

Newquay’s Headland Hotel is undergoing a 6-year £11.5 million refurbishment and will have M&E services designed by Hulley & Kirkwood. The project will provide a health spa, including a renewed swimming pool, sauna, plunge pool, treatment rooms, changing facilities and fitness suite on the lower-ground floor. There will also be a new underground car park, conference suite and support facilities, including full catering suite. Above ground, a new leisure pool and changing facilities will be provided.

Most businesses in the UK are seeking ways of saving money as the economic climate continues to be challenging. One of the most effective methods of achieving this is to reduce energy consumption, which will not only cut operating costs but also keep carbon emissions down. A good way to manage energy spend is to examine the efficiency of lighting. Simple measures can make significant savings in terms of energy wasted, and many technologies are easily retrofitted. For those seeking ways of achieving more energy-efficient premises, installing new lighting and lighting controls provides a good opportunity while giving a rapid return on investment. When looking at energy saving, the focus can often be on heating and ventilation, and lighting may not always be front of mind. Replacing existing lamps and light fittings can, however, make a significant difference to the running costs of a building. Lighting technology is constantly changing with new developments offering increased benefits for reducing energy wastage in buildings such as schools, hospitals, offices and warehouses. Specifiers can work with manufacturers and specialist distributors to identify what is best for their individual application. It is estimated that energy consumption accounts for up to 88% of lighting costs,  so an evaluation of the existing lighting installation to seek improvements can be  a very worthwhile exercise. One of the best ways of saving energy on lighting is to switch to the latest generation of T5 fluorescent tubes that run on high-frequency electronic ballasts as opposed to conventional electromagnetically ballasted products. Normally, this change would involve replacing the luminaires as well as the lamps themselves, but recent developments mean this is not necessary. A good solution is to use plug-in ballasts which can be fitted directly onto the end of T5 tubes with a small extension piece at the other to simultaneously provide the appropriate ballast and increased tube length to enable operation with existing fittings. This will also avoid the inconvenience and disruption of installing new luminaires and result in energy savings of 25 to 56%, depending on the fittings being converted. Another simple, yet effective technique is to change 50 and 35 W halogen dichroic lamps to 5 W LED alternatives, which can reduce energy consumption by up to 90%. Another major benefit is that LED lamps will normally last up to 25 times longer to give a life of 30 000 to 50 000 h compared to 2000 h of use. This means the cost of LED retrofit lamps will be repaid within 12 months based on energy savings alone. Maintenance costs are also significantly reduced over the product life. For applications using SON or metal-halide sources such as warehouse, car park and amenity lighting, selecting long-life, energy-saving induction lamps can offer a number of advantages. In such applications installed fittings are often difficult to reach, and replacement can cause disruption of normal operations. The latest generation of induction lamps will provide energy savings of up to 60% and a product life of up to 100 000 h, or 11 years of continuous operation. Although the initial product cost of induction lamps is higher, the immediate energy saving and ongoing reduction in maintenance costs gives induction lighting distinct advantages when compared to the costs associated with metal-halide and fluorescent alternatives. These can be enhanced further in low-occupancy areas by switching them using presence detectors. For an application where changing traditional SON or metal-halide lighting systems is not an option, there are technologies to assist in cutting out wastage associated with lighting loads. Power optimisation units are available that fit between the electricity supply and the lighting load. A combination of voltage optimisation, power-factor correction and harmonic filtration reduces energy consumption by preventing wastage. These single-phase units sit in line, either at the distribution board or applied to individual circuits to constantly monitor load, while regulating the supply voltage to the optimum. By introducing digital capacitance to the inductive load created by lamps, it is possible to solve the poor power-factor issue often found in lighting circuits and improve it to be as close to the ideal as possible. The additional filtration of all bad harmonics and removal of harmful spikes combine to give substantial savings. An automatic bypass ensures that power continues to the lamps should any failure occur or if the power environment changes from that set at commissioning. Technology is changing and improving at an incredibly fast pace and with the rapid development of LED lighting solutions, wasted energy is now very much regarded as a design flaw in buildings.  Those selecting equipment for projects need to consider not just the lighting effects they are looking to create, but are now having to take into account the wider picture of energy consumption and overall lifecycle. This concept is also being driven by legislation relating to the reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions and also issues of sustainability. As environmental awareness grows, saving energy and, in turn, reducing annual energy expenditure and carbon emissions needs careful consideration. Drawing upon the available industry expertise and the latest products and techniques will ultimately lead to the right solution being found for lighting applications.  Steve Kearney is business manager for the specialist products division of Newey & Eyre.

Rapidly evolving lighting technology means that replacing or upgrading lighting systems can be relied on to achieve significant energy savings and rapid paybacks — explains Steve Kearney.

CP Electronics, lighting control

Wireless lighting-control technology from CP Electronics enables fully featured and cost-effective lighting controls to be installed with minimum disruption. The An-10 range delivers all the control functions that would be expected of a hard-wired system — including presence/absence detection, maintained illuminance, dimming (DSI/DALI digital and 1 to 10 V analogue) and scene setting.

Totalight is offering dimmable LED lamps that can directly replace 50 W GU10 halogen lamps free of charge — in return for a share of the energy savings. These LED lamps use only 5.3 W and have a life of 48 000 h, so there are considerable maintenance savings in the long term. Organisations wanting to keep all the cost savings can buy TL403GU-D lamps for £12 (plus VAT). The saving on energy bills that can be expected is about 90%

Save It Easy, Energys Group, T5, lamps

Relamping with T5 fluorescent lamps in old fittings has reduced lighting energy costs at a garden centre in Hampshire by 44%. The use of the new lamps was made possible using the Save It Easy retrofit converter device from Energys Group. The 8 ft tubes previously used were very expensive, tended to lose output quickly and produced a rather yellow light.

lighting control, KNX, Andromeda Telematics

Lighting is the second biggest use of energy in London, making it a prime target for energy-efficient control. Darren Burford takes up the story.

Osram, Lumilux, lamp. lighting

Energy consumption for lighting has been nearly halved at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst following the installation of Osram’s Lumilux fluorescent tubes in the east and west corridors of the Old College. Lighting levels have increased from 180 to 340 lx.

T5 fluorescent lamp, Osram

The latest addition to Osram’s T5 range of fluorescent tubes has a life of up to 45 000 h, good for applications where replacement is difficult and costly. Lumilux T5 high-output XT tubes are available in 54 and 80 W versions and a range of colour temperatures. They are perfectly matched with Osram’s Quicktronic electronic control gear.

Ex-Or, lighting control

The installation of Ex-Or lighting-control modules in 55 London fire stations to date is typically reducing energy costs for lighting by about 20%. Ian Shaw, environmental and energy-efficiency office for London Fire Brigade, explains, ‘Typically, lighting accounts for around 70% of the electricity load at each fire station. The average lighting bill per station is £10 000. To date, we are achieving annual savings of £120 000. Once the entire estate has Ex-Or’s equipment installed, we will be making savings of almost £250 000 each and every year.’ [There were still 50 more stations to be completed.]

Finder, PIR, lighting control

Additions to Finder’s 18 Series of PIR motion detectors can meet the needs of applications with higher ceilings, higher loads and those requiring direct interface to a PLC or BMS. There are two versions, one for flush fitting and the other for surface mounting.

Steinel, control Pro, presence detector

Steinel’s Control Pro system of presence detectors for controlling lighting have square-shaped detection characteristics that are said to be better suited to the layout of rooms such as offices and conference areas than the round attributes used by conventional presence detectors. According to Steinel, ‘Never before has it been possible to cover offices and commercial areas with presence detectors without overlaps or leaving gaps. Using Control Pro, zones can be planned perfectly, with reliable detection at every point of the room and up to 4800 switching zones.’

LED lighting, Dialight

LED lighting installed in various areas of the ExCel exhibition and conference centre in London has considerably improved the quality of lighting and is achieving significant energy savings. The new lighting has been installed in the central boulevard, which is over 700 m long, the entrance canopy to the conference centre and the walkway alongside the adjoining dock.

MK Electric, Echo, lighting control

MK Electric has extended its Echo range of self-powered switches with a combination switch receiver and repeater. The K5420R is designed mainly for installing in ceiling voids for wiring into the lighting circuit. It reduces the stock required to wire an installation because when installed and powered but not programmed with transmitters it will also work as a repeater.

Ridi, lighting, prewired lighting trunking

The first of 50 Lidl stores in the UK to be fitted out with Ridi’s prewired lighting trunking system is at Braintree. The UK stores are part of a European-wide contract that has already seen Ridi upgrade lighting in most of Lidl’s 1500 stores in France, as well and in Switzerland, Germany and Poland.

ICEL, Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting, emergency lighting, LED, Pratley

Fast panic-free evacuation from burning buildings is crucial, which is why UK legislation demands reliable, good quality emergency lighting. Bernard Pratley explains how the latest generation of white-light LEDs provide highly effective escape-route lighting.

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Manufacturer helps equip skills centre

Ideal Heating has helped to equip a new £500,000 green energy centre in Merseyside which is seeking to attract fresh talent into the heating industry.

Acoustic solutions suite with easy access to services at University of Birmingham

A suite of ceiling and wall acoustic solutions have been specified for The University of Birmingham’s new landmark Molecular Sciences building, which will provide a hub for research and academic work.