Andrews shows solar thermal for real in the Building Centre
Visitors to The Building Centre in London can see in operation at SOLARflo solar-thermal water-heating system from Andrews Water Heaters. It is based on evacuated tubes, and visitors can see how much heat is being collected on a display in the permanent stand of Baxi Commercial Division in the showcase galleries.
Clive Edwards, facilities and maintenance manager at The Building Centre was behind the decision to install the system to provide hot water for the entire building. He explains, ‘We wanted to incorporate more LZC technologies into The Building Centre, not only to reduce the buildings’ carbon emissions but also because we want to encourage more building-services engineers to investigate the different low-carbon technologies available, and I believe it is best to lead by example.’
Hot water was previously provided by two separate systems, one for the third floor and the other for the first and second floors, comprising two electric boilers and three cylinders.
The new system comprises one 300 l hot-water cylinder integrated with the solar-thermal package and supported by electric immersion heaters. It ran alongside the precious system, with the changeover taking place over a weekend. The cylinder is next to the kitchen, which is the major user of hot water, to reduce standing losses.
The building has a large south-facing roof with a slop of 30 to 40°. Evacuated tubes were selected rather than flat-plate collectors because they could be taken to the roof in the lift. In addition, only 4 m2 of evacuated tubes were required, compared with 6 m2 of flat-plate collectors.