In high demand

Charlie Mowbray, Ideal Commercial, boilers, high demand, hospitals, heating, hot water

Charlie Mowbray looks at examples of commercial boiler installations where high demand is at the forefront.

Heating demands can differ widely across the commercial sector in the UK; buildings that are primarily utilised as office space would require heat and hot water during office hours, whereas buildings that operate 24 hours a day such as hospitals or hotels can have high demand constantly throughout the day.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is an example of a high demand user. Providing healthcare to one million patients every year, the organisation is crucial to the population of Hull and its surrounding area.

The Trust is made up of two main hospitals, Castle Hill Hospital and Hull Royal Infirmary, while also providing additional services based across Hull. The iconic 14-storey building, known as the Tower Block, at Hull Royal Infirmary had the foundation stone laid on 25 September 1963, with additional buildings on the site being added over time.

The Tower Block building has its heating and hot water demand provided by steam boilers which is often the case for large, high demand buildings such as hospitals. Ideal Commercial Super Series 3 and 4 modular boilers were previously installed in the surrounding buildings on the site. They required an upgrade after providing heating for the hospital for in excess of 30 years.

Across six plant rooms eleven of Ideal Commercial’s Evomax 2 boilers were installed covering individual outputs from 30kW to 150kW, comprising a total of 1.13MW across the site. The buildings chosen for the upgrade are used for a mixture of clinical and non-clinical purposes, with the majority in use 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With this application in mind, the heating solution needed to meet the high demand.

Implementing the project was NEC Services, a Hull based company that provides electrical, mechanical and gas services across the country. Kristian Newell, mechanical director, NEC Services, says: “The new boilers have better controls that are more user-friendly and their flues are easier to install because the non-return valve is inside the flue. There’s a lot more space inside the boiler for working on and maintenance purposes, including being much easier to mount on the frames.” Newell adds: “The installation process went brilliantly, we completed all six plant rooms within two months, so we were well within the timeframe.”

Requiring constant heating and hot water has led the NHS to be responsible for 5.4% of the UK’s total carbon emissions . In 2008 the NHS published its first carbon reduction strategy, making them the first major health system anywhere in the world committing to reducing their carbon footprint. Since then, the health and social care sector has cut emissions by 18.5%, according to the NHS Sustainable Development Unit .

Alex Best, Engineering and Capital Development manager at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, says: “Part of my role is to look for energy saving technology. With the installation of Evomax 2, we aim to achieve a total of 15% of efficiency savings. This equates to £2,000 per plant room per year, saving the Trust £12,000 per year in total.”

As part of this installation a reduction in the number of boilers in one of the plant rooms was possible resulting in higher efficiency for the Trust. Six boilers from the previous installation were replaced and reduced to three boilers with no loss of output, meaning that this heating solution not only helped with efficiency, but also contributed to a reduction in cost overall.

Another example of a high demand environment is the hotel sector. Heating within this sector presents similar challenges compared to hospitals. The heating demand will vary throughout the year depending on the occupancy rates and seasonal demand. The challenge heating engineers are presented with is to choose a heat source that enables you to modulate throughout the output range to match the load for the most efficient operation.

Ullesthorpe Court Hotel and Golf Club is a Best Western Plus hotel, situated near Lutterworth in the East Midlands. The 17th Century manor house had performed many roles in its near 300-year life, from being a farm in the 1800s and a hospital for soldiers during World War I, to its current role of a hotel since 1982.

Phil Baskerville, maintenance manager for the hotel says: “The brief was to replace the boilers, as the previous ones were old and had come to the end of their life. They had started to cost money for servicing and repairs, and it was time to change them.” The previous boilers were three Ideal Commercial’s Imax W80 boilers.

Hinckley Plumbing and Heating Services was brought in to replace the boilers. Two Evomax 2 120kW LPG boilers were installed in one of the plant rooms at Ullesthorpe Court Hotel. They were cascaded on one of Ideal Commercial’s Frame and Header kits along with a Low Loss Header to ensure added protection to the boilers.

During installation, to avoid any disruption to the guests, downtime was not an option. Hinckley Plumbing and Heating Services ensured that the installation was completed within the tight timeframe of one day, minimising any disturbance to hotel guests.

Andrew Payne, supervisor at Hinckley Plumbing and Heating Services, goes into more detail about the installation: “The new Evomax 2 fits straight onto the old Evomax frames, so you can install without virtually changing any of the controls. All the pumps, motorised valves everything can be wired directly through the boiler, even down to the weather compensation, so saves a lot of time with the installation.” He adds: “With it being a 120kW, which is a new output for the Evomax boilers, it is easier to range rate your boilers.”

Baskerville says: “The footprint is a lot smaller, meaning there is now a lot more room around the boilers. We have been able to reduce the number of boilers from three to two, because of the much higher outputs. This means less servicing; fewer potential breakdowns and we have the capacity to run our demand on one boiler if we needed to.”

Critical infrastructure in hospitals is in use 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Similarly, with hotels, high occupancy rates will result in higher demand. Heating solutions across the commercial sectors in the UK can differ significantly, and provision for heating is critical with these sectors. These high demand environments require a heating solution that is prepared to meet constant demand.

Charlie Mowbray is product manager at Ideal Commercial Boilers

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