2012 July

The latest version of Virtual Environment (IESVE 2012) from Integrated Environmental Solutions includes the new ModelViewer II, which features solar shading, solar arc and improved reporting capabilities — and which is available to all users of VE-Gaia and VE-Pro. Important solar-analysis features have also been added to the VE-Pro module SunCast, enable users to view solar energy/intensity on a 3D model.

A-Gas, brazing, welding

A-Gas has introduced a portable range of high-temperature welding gases for the air-conditioning and refrigeration trade. The Braze-A-Gas range provides portable oxygen and acetylene cylinders and flame torches that can provide a temperature of 3500°C, which is significantly hotter than propane, propylene and MAPP gases.

Trox, air diffuser, air conditioning

Trox’s Airnamic swirl diffusers are engineered from high-quality ABS polymer and feature 3-dimensionally profiled air-control blades and an acoustically optimised damper. They have an extremely quiet air discharge and superior mixing capability compared to other diffusers. They also have a lower pressure drop. The result is a diffuser that can handle more air at lower velocity and reduced temperature differences.

Hoval, biomass boiler, renewable energy

Hoval has launched an upgraded version of its STU range of wood-pellet boilers, with a plug-and-pay skid-mounted configuration incorporating the fully wired and factory-tested PLC-based FlameTronix touchscreen control system. This control system optimises the combustion of wood pellets to achieve an efficiency of 92% and particulate emissions of less than 5 mg/MJ, according to independent tests in April 2012.

Big Foot Systems offers competitive, no risk rooftop support systems for building services and plant equipment.

Danlers has launched a new, cost-effective, batten-mount passive infra-red occupancy switch which can deliver significant energy savings. This easy-to-fit, robust control can be mounted onto the end of lighting battens via the 20 mm knock out. The switch includes the connection 20 mm thread and 1 m of wire tails to connect to the lighting ballast.

Siemens has extended its proven Acvatix range by the introduction of a new range of pressure independent control combi valves, types VPP46 and VPI46 to complement the existing VPI45 range. These have a control valve for temperature control, a differential-pressure controller for balancing pressure fluctuations in the hydraulic system, a facility for pre-adjusting the required flow rate, and pressure test points for measuring the differential pressure, all integrated in one valve body.

The Fireray 3000 end-to-end infra-red beam smoke detector is now available to the market, having been fully CPD certified and approved through VdS — in addition to its existing UK certification. This smoke detector is designed to offer a particularly cost-effective option for protecting large open spaces and in situations where a reflective beam system would not be best suited.

The Slic-Tite jointing compound for threaded pipes is suitable for pipes carrying gas, potable water, hot water, steam, air, petrol, oil and refrigerants. Available from La-Co, it comes ready for use, with no curing required. Slic-Tite flows to fill the voids between male and female threads and then locks them together when compressed to seal the joint.

Balmoral Tanks has introduced a vortex inhibitor that offers ‘significant technical improvements’ over current market options. The new component complements the company’s range of water-storage tanks for fire sprinkler systems. When put to use, such tanks are designed to deliver large, fast-flowing volumes of water, and vortex inhibitors play a vital role by preventing air being drawn into a system, which ultimately has the undesirable effect of reducing the flow rate.

Siteco, energy efficient lighting

Siteco’s Siluna ePlus is a complete range of energy-efficient luminaires and fluorescent lamps. The package combines high-efficiency optics, extended-life fluorescent lamps, long-life control gear and lighting controls. Luminaire efficiency is up to 87 lm/W with a typical lamp life of 45 000 h and control gear that can last 100 000 h. A 5-year warranty on lamps and control gear comes as standard. It is said to be efficient enough to compete with LED lighting.

Controls, Ecobee, IBD Distribution, smart thermostat

The Ecobee smart thermostat, exclusively available in the UK from IBD, provides a highly effective way of intelligently monitoring energy consumption in commercial and home applications, making savings along the way. It provides real-time control of energy consumption via its colour LCD touchscreen and also remotely with an iPhone, iPad or Android devices. Research in Canada shows that domestic users typically reduce their energy costs by 26%, and there are powerful features for commercial users.

Ideal Standard, plumbing, taps, showers, flow regulator

Ideal Standard’s Concept Blue range of basin mixers is designed to use less water and, as a consequence, reduce the energy needed to heat it. The calculated saving from a basin mixer using IdealBlue technology and a 5 l/min aerated flow regulator is £174 a year, giving a payback of less than nine months.

Panasonic, heat pump, renewable energy

Panasonic has announced further accreditations for its range of Aquarea air-to-water heat pumps under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). This range of heat pumps now has 32 MCS accreditations, including 6 and 9 kW mono-bloc models. Aquarea heat pumps have COPs up to 4.74.

Renewable Energy Corporation, solar PV, photo voltaic

Renewable Energy Corporation has launched a series of multi-crystalline solar-PV panels with backside passivation technology. The new Peak Energy Plus Series delivers another 5 W compared to the earlier-generation product. The module has a nominal power output in watt classes ranging from 240 Wp to 255 Wp, with higher-watt classes available in the future. Backside passivation technology improves performance by enhancing the solar cell’s response to red light.

Rinnai,  domestic hot water, DHW

Domestic hot water

12 July, 2012

Rinnai has developed a web site about the provision of domestic hot water aimed at installers, specifiers and end users. Its scope includes continuous-flow systems, and it also reviews renewables technology — giving the latest news in legislation and regulations. The site also discusses overall system design, with the overall aim of delivering hot water in the most cost effective and energy-efficient manner.

BSS Industrial, submersible pump

Submersible pumps

12 July, 2012

BSS Industrial has revamped its comprehensive range of BOSS submersible pumps in line with the latest technology and customer demand. The new collection can pump clean and dirty water and comprises six models with a maximum immersion depth of up to 10 m. Two of the improved models have dimensions of 200 x 200 mm, making them suitable for locations with restricted access or limited space.

Megaman, lighting control gear, Primus

The Primus range of control gear for fluorescent lamps from b,a,g, Electronics is designed for use where space is at a premium. These electronic units have a housing only 280 x 30 x 21 mm and will operate in temperatures from -20 to +60°C, making them suitable for use in luminaires with temperature-critical parameters — such as moisture-proof or industrial applications.

Recolight, the specialist WEEE compliance scheme for lamps, has lowered the threshold for free lamp recycling. Businesses previously had to collect 1000 lamps every three months to receive a free collection service. That requirement has been reduced to 1000 lamps every six months.

Halton, ventilation, fire, smoke

Halton’s Safe control system for ventilation fire-safety solutions is said to have lower-than-expected installation and cabling costs. The system can control the operation of up to 200 fire and smoke dampers and 200 smoke detectors. The central unit can be modularly extended with Safe Link control units — to which fire dampers and smoke detectors are connected in groups of one to four units.

Tridonic, LED lighitng module

Tridonic has launched a square LED lighting module that can be used in any application where conventional linear or compact fluorescent light sources would historically have been used, to deliver significant energy savings. Each Stark QLE LED module is 270 mm square, and up to five modules can be run from one TALEXXconverter. They can also be combined with LLE linear LED modules to create a variety of novel designs or to replace existing fluorescent lighting while retaining the same fixtures. When replacing existing lighting, they are compatible with both diffuser and louvre optics.

Kingspan, solar thermal, renewable energy, DHW, domestic hot wayer

Kingspan’s Varisol HP evacuated-tube solar-thermal collector uses high-performance polymer material to allow the tubes to simply click together to create the required size of collector. The system also includes Kingspan’s heat-pipe technology, which includes a temperature-limitation device in the condenser to protect the system, along with dry tube connections for ease of installation and maintenance. These collectors can be used in commercial and domestic installations, and their performance does not degrade.

Bitzer, Ceoline compressor, reicprocating

Bitzer has extended its range of Ecoline reciprocating compressors to provide more application opportunities. In addition to R134a, many other refrigerants (including R404A, R407A, R407C, R407F and R507A) can be used. The extended range offers a 5 to 6% improvement in cooling capacity in medium-temperature applications and even greater improvements for low-temperature applications.

Grundfos Pumps, wastewater pump

Wastewater pumps traditionally have had to compromise between free passage to achieve reliable operation and high efficiency to obtain low operational costs. However, with the launch of S Tube Grundfos says it has created a pump that ensures both low operating and maintenance costs. The S Tube is part of a completely new pump series; over the next 12 months, more sizes will become available — including smaller sizes later in 2012.

VES Andover, heat recovery ventilation

VES Andover’s Ecovent range of high-efficiency heat-recovery units is designed for a wide range of applications. These units have ErP 2015-compliant high-performance EC fans and crossflow plate heat exchangers. They have a low specific fan power to meet the requirements of Part L2. Sizes 1 and 2 cost less than £2999, including intelligent controls.

Rinnai, DHW

When the time came to replace the 20-year-old DHW system at the de Vere Village Hotel in Warrington, Rinnai gas-fired continuous-flow water heaters and storage vessels were installed in a closet next to the existing equipment so that changeover was achieved without the need for temporary oil-fired plant.

Using less water means more BREEAM credits — and considerable savings in water costs. Bob Blincowe of Cistermiser has lots of suggestions that do not trade off hygiene against BREEAM credits and savings.

Micronics, water meter, ultrasonic flow measurement

What happens to a building’s or site’s water after the water company’s meter. And can you rely on that meter being accurate? How can you go about reducing the consumption and costs of cold water and hot water? Michael Farnon of Micronics has the answers.

Keraflo, float valve, water tank

Storing cold water might be regarded a one of the simplest services in a building — but there are a number of operational and safety issues — as Neil Weston of Keraflo explains.

Grundfos Pumps, booster

The £50 million restoration project at Greenwich of the tea clipper Cutty Sark includes the installation of a Grundfos cold-water booster set and ancillary items to help ensure that there is sufficient water where and when it is needed. This 19th-century ship has three masts and is over 28 m long. The restoration project was interrupted by a serious fire in 2007, but recently opened by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Hamworthy Heating, DHW, boiler, solar thermal, renewable energy

With the energy benefits of solar-thermal hot water must not come an increased risk of legionella bacteria developing. Kevin Potter of Hamworthy Heating considers the issues.

Stokvis Energy Systems, Solar Thermal,DHW, renewable energy

Helping to reduce energy and carbon emissions at Thomas Rotherham College in South Yorkshire is a solar-thermal system supplied by Stokvis Energy Systems to provide hot water for staff and public toilets. The system for this college for students aged from 16 to 19 years is expected to achieve energy savings of 2.6 to 3 MWh a year.

Bristan, power shower, DHW

The patented Fluidic spray technology used in Bristan’s range of EVO shower handsets are described as ‘creating a warmer, more luxurious shower experience that blankets the body, yet actually uses less water than a power shower. The innovation is in the handset itself, so any mixer shower can be upgraded to deliver this spray pattern simply by replacing the existing handset.

Dimplex, heat pump, DHW, renewable energy

Dimplex’s EC-Eau range of heat-pump hot-water cylinders offer mains-pressure hot water with low running costs, reliable hot water and ‘fantastic’ flow rates for a wide range of domestic and light-commercial installations. These heat-pump cylinders offer the same efficiencies as the rest of the EC-Eau range.

Rinnai, DHW

Rinnai’s heavy-duty condensing continuous-flow water heaters have two heat exchangers to achieve optimum water heating by capturing residual heat from flue gases and transferring it to the water being heated. Available for indoor and outdoor installation, the HDC1200i achieves a net efficiency of 107% and the HDC1500i turns in 105% net efficiency.

B&ES, DHW, legionella, TMV, scald

The current programme of modernising hot-water systems to improve energy efficiency is also the perfect opportunity to tackle the ongoing threat of scalding, says Blane Judd of the Building & Engineering Services Association.

NG Bailey

NG Bailey has started work on a £26 million contract to transform Manchester’s Grade 2*-listed Town Hall Extension and Central Library. The project is part of Manchester City Council’s £95 million transformation project for the Town Hall complex. NG Bailey is providing a full scope of M&E services for completion by 2014.

Forward-looking reforms for Feed-in Tariffs from the Department of Energy & Climate Change set a new rate of 16 p/kWh for domestic installations, down from 21 p, with decreases every three months thereafter. The lifetime of the scheme has been reduced from 25 years to 20 years for new installations. All tariffs will continue to be linked with the Retail Price Index, and the export tariff will be increased from 3.2 to 4.5 p. If uptake is low, the DECC plan is for Tariff cuts to be skipped for up to two quarters.

Dimplex Renewable, heat pump, DHW, FiT, Solar thermal, Solar PV, renewable energy

Dimplex Renewable division has reported a quadrupling in year-on-year sales, with increasing demand for renewable technology from the domestic, social housing and commercial sectors. The company’s wide range of products covers air- and ground-source heat pumps, solar-thermal water heating, SmartRad low-temperature fan convectors, solar PV and the EC-Eau range of efficient renewables - compatible hot-water cylinders.

Eco2Solar, Solar energy, renewable energy, Solar PV

Solar-energy specialist Eco2Solar, based in Kidderminster, has marked the end of its fifth year with record year-end figures, yet again. This year’s turnover is expected to exceed £5 million, four times that of the previous financial year. This family-run business was set up by managing director Paul Hutchens and has grown rapidly since 2007.

Shepherd Engineering Services

Shepherd Engineering Services has announced a number of new contract wins with a combined value of £50 million for its office in the north east of England. Working with Inspiredspaces and its principal contractor Carillion Building, SES has been appointed to work on three education schemes in the region.


CIBSE president David Fisk has called for greater recognition of the need to deliver energy-efficient buildings at the launch of the latest version of ‘CIBSE Guide F: energy efficiency in buildings’. Prof. Fisk said, ‘CIBSE Guide F shows how 20 to 30% can be knocked off energy bills by good engineering and informed, effective facilities and energy management.

NG Bailey

NG Bailey has been contracted to provide engineering services for an iconic new skyscraper in the heart of London being developed by Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group. the 38-storey building at 20 Fenchurch Street will be 160 m high and incorporate 62 700 m2 of first-class office space. The building, dubbed the Walkie Talkie, will be topped by a large viewing deck and sky garden. NG Bailey will provide mechanical and plumbing services.

Grundfos pumps

The build-up to the UK launch of the much publicised Grundfos Magna3 highly efficient range of circulators saw consultants and distributor partners take to the skies at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire last month. And take to the skies they did, with the opportunity to fly in light aircraft, small helicopters, vintage aircraft and, for the lucky few, sitting right next to members of The Blades aerobatics team in Extra 300 high-performance aircraft. A Spitfire also performed a dramatic aerobatic display.

Hitachi, air conditioning

Hitachi has made a major investment in its factory in Spain to provide increased capability to meet European market demand. It includes building a new state-of-the-art calorifier to test multi-split systems to the ISO 15042 and EN 14511 standard. The new equipment will be used for testing air-conditioning units up to 20 hp, including VRF and multi-spit systems, with cooling capacities up to 56 kW and heating up to 63 kW.


Interserve has handed over a bespoke new building for St Helens College in Merseyside. The project has a total value of £57 million and was designed by Ellis Williams Architects. It took the form of two phases totalling 17 500 m2. The two buildings consist of three and four floors housing world-class training facilities and resources. The M&E elements of the project were delivered by SPIE Matthew Hall.


Kershaw Mechanical Services’ latest in a long line of contracts for Cambridge University is the installation of an M&E package worth £2.3 million into the new Cambridge Sports Centre. This 6060 m2 world-class sports facility will have a grand lobby and lounge area with audio-visual space and a café, state-of-the-art fitness suite, a vast sports hall with two full-size courts for basketball, badminton, boxing, 5-a-side football, volleyball, netball and other games.

JS Wright

Building-services contractor JS Wright has won a £3.5 million contract to fit out a major residential development in central London that includes a 27-storey tower (pictured). The company’s first deal with the London division of Barratt Homes involves 283 new-build properties making up the first phase of the Canada Water development in Southwark. Canada Water sites A3 and A4 comprise a series of apartment blocks from two to eight storeys and the tower block close to the Underground station.

The uptake of Building Information Modelling (BIM) more than doubled in the year to late 2011, according to a survey by NBS of nearly a thousand construction professionals. The adoption of BIM has recently been described as ‘unstoppable’ by the Government’s chief constriction adviser Paul Morrell, who has reiterated over the last 12 months the intention to make BIM compulsory.

Sudlows has won a £130 000 electrical contract to upgrade the electrical infrastructure to the Bolton office of customer management outsourcer Vertex. The work will help the company to continue to deliver leading services while reducing energy usage.

Skills Academy, Green Deal

The National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies is expanding its provision to deliver all skills and competencies required for the Government’s Green Deal scheme, scheduled for roll out in October. The move will see the inclusion of training in building insulation, consumer awareness, energy efficiency, energy assessment, energy advice, and underpinning business and management skills.

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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.