Dimplex delivers imaginative solution to heating problem for an Oxford college
The dining hall at St Anthony’s College at the University of Oxford is once again a comfortable place to eat and use for other functions following the installation of a new heating system and air curtains across doorways. The installation was designed by Dimplex as an alternative to the original idea of two freestanding units from the Electricaire range. It quickly raises room temperature to comfortable levels and retains the warmth for the duration of the hall’s use.
St Antony's College is the most cosmopolitan of the seven graduate colleges of the university and specialises in international relations, economics, politics and history of particular parts of the world.
The dining hall was built in the late 1960s with large single-glazed windows, low levels of insulation and a high ceiling. It is used daily for lunch and dinner and frequently in the evening for a variety of other functions.
Heating was originally provided by a heat-recovery system incorporating vents and low-level radiators. It was innovative at the time, but has been unable to provide adequate warmth for some time. A temporary solution was provided using portable gas-turbine heaters.
Contractor RT Harris & Son of Oxford originally specified two Dimplex Electricaire units. However, following a site visit by two of the Dimplex team, a system was devised consisting of six CFH industrial fan heaters linked in two groups of three with separate controls and CAB 1.5 m air curtains. David Sexton of RT Harris says, ‘I hadn’t expected that level of involvement from Dimplex. It was a real bonus, and it really impressed me.’ The CFH fan heaters deliver 900 m3/h with a throw of 10 m and air-off temperatures from 30 to 60°C.
Peter Robinson, domestic bursar at St Antony’s, says, ‘The Dimplex system is very effective at heating this large space. We use the heaters for about an hour to an hour and a quarter before the room is used, and it stays warm quite easily once the room is occupied. The air curtains to stop cold air coming in is certainly a very good idea.’