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Building Products March 2018

HEATING, VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING MARCH 2018 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 41 on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), making it even easier to switch to low NOx heating. What’s more, they are a proven, tried-and-tested solution with some low NOx condensing boiler models now in their third, or even fourth, generation. Planning ahead Switching to condensing boilers can and should be straightforward. However, it’s always good to plan ahead. After all, the transition from, say, pressure jet boilers to a condensing equivalent, will typically require new flue arrangements and pipework modifications to update the system. Fortunately there’s plenty of help out there, with experienced manufacturers offering informed support to building managers ahead of the legislation. Good manufacturers will visit the site to assess the existing plant, identify any future challenges and recommend the most effective options. Where funds are stretched, forward planning provides the opportunity to select the most appropriate equipment and accommodate it within the budget. It also enables all the fundamental elements to be factored into the design – from flueing and condensate arrangements to a change of fuel source – to ensure a smooth installation process. Proactive boiler replacement Implementing a rolling boiler replacement programme (if this is not already in place) should also be a consideration, especially when managing multiple plantrooms. Proactive boiler replacement reduces the risk of an emergency situation that could lead to costly plant failure and/or the closure of the building. With phased replacements, there will also be less chance of unexpected extra costs. Again, this makes them easier to plan from a financial perspective while enabling educational establishments to identify potential funding. Added to which, the minimal disruption means that replacements can be carried out in a live environment, rather than being restricted to the holiday period. Proactive boiler replacement also helps estate managers reduce the risk of being caught out by an emergency situation. This is particularly important in buildings like schools, as without heating and hot water, the school must close. Maximising boiler efficiency Condensing boilers are up to 11% more efficient than non-condensing boilers. But potential efficiency is one thing – the actual performance comes down to how the equipment is applied. To maximise real world efficiencies and savings, condensing boilers must be installed in such a way that they can fully condense. So when switching from non-condensing to condensing boiler technology, it’s essential to consider fundamental design factors like radiator circuit temperatures and weather compensation control at the outset. Good manufacturers will be happy to advise on how best to optimise boiler performance within an existing system. Operational performance is the next consideration. Here, good control is essential. For this reason, we also recommend including time, optimisation and full temperature controls to help maintain good energy performance. Beyond the quick win, condensing boilers bring additional operational benefits over their lifecycle as their compact dimensions lend themselves to modular arrangements. This makes maintenance and servicing easier, while ensuring consistently reliable high performance and simultaneously reducing energy waste for lower bills. Energy cost savings, cleaner air Any legislation that brings financial and environmental benefits has to be welcomed. Through ErP, the EU aims to ensure that only the most energy efficient, low NOx heating products are manufactured, specified and installed across the UK and Europe. It predicts a 20% reduction in energy costs on refurbishment projects when upgrading to ErP-compliant equipment. This helps educational establishments stretch their resources, releasing funds that can be used for the benefit of their students. ErP 2018 also delivers environmental advantages. While road traffic has been identified as a major contributor to outdoor pollution, buildings and their heating systems also typically emit polluting emissions including NOx. Poor air quality has been linked to asthma, lung and heartrelated conditions, with young people in a particularly high-risk category. So reducing harmful emissions is increasingly important to the reputation of a school or university, as air quality rises up the environmental agenda. With the ready availability of high-efficiency, low NOx gas and LPG condensing boilers, ErP requirements are entirely achievable. Switching to this reliable, proven technology – and adding effective controls – could help transform the learning environment, improving student and staff wellbeing and performance through cleaner, more reliable and more affordable heating. ErP 2018 is coming and the benefits are clear. It just pays to be prepared. www.remeha.co.uk ErP 2018 is coming and the benefits are clear Ultra-low NOx condensing boilers, installed in a cascade arrangement, have optimised heating efficiency at Clifton College


Building Products March 2018
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