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sustainability


for larger homes, the Multifit HeatSaver which reduces gas consumption still further by adding a 50 litre temporal store to the Multifit GasSaver system. Another fit and forget device designed to save water and gas is CombiSave. Manufactured by the Teddington Group, CombiSave works with all wall- hung gas combination boilers. It measures the water temperature leaving the boiler and controls the flow of water to optimise the warm up period, thus providing hot water to the tap more quickly. Based on a household of four, Combisave claim possible annual savings of 54,000 litres of water and 0.5 tonne of carbon. Looking forward, Neil Schofield, head of sustainable development at Worcester Bosch Group, points to the government’s focus on the European Union’s 15 per cent renewable generation objective which has to be achieved by 2020. “In order to help the government achieve this statutory target, the objective for domestic heat is for the mass conversion to renewable technologies in domestic homes in one giant leap. This is a laudable aim but, I fear, completely impractical for the heating industry and installers. “Far better, in my view, would be a practical plan to move towards renewables one step at a time. The key stepping stone should be a halfway house solution involving the installation of a high efficiency boiler for heating and a renewable solution, such as solar for hot water.” Among the companies bringing the various technologies together is Daikin UK. Building on its range of air-to-water heat pumps and solar thermal systems, it has introduced a GasSolarUnit from Rotex. This provides heating and hot water and combines a gas condensing boiler with an integrated thermal storage tank which is heated either by the boiler or using solar energy from thermal collectors. Similarly, with Alpha Heating Innovation’s SolarSmart system, the combination boiler is essentially used as a back up to the 90 litre cylinder of water which is heated solely from the solar panel. The boiler only fires up when the store has been depleted and there is an immediate demand for hot water. A technology that takes the domestic boiler to another level is micro-CHP. Although there have been


OPPOSITE PAGE


CLOCKWISE FROMTOP LEFT The CombiSave works with all


wall-hung gas combination boilers | Wood pellets for use in biomass boilers |The Evo Aqua biomass


pellet stove/boiler delivers 90% of its heat to water heating |A range of Worcester controllers |A


Worcester boiler being installed THIS PAGE


THIS IMAGE BDR Thermea’s Baxi Ecogen micro-CHP unit BELOW LEFT Rotex GasSolarUnit from


Daikin BELOWRIGHT At its Miller Zero initiative in Basingstoke, Miller Homes used a biomass boiler to heat the Code Level 5 and 6 properties


attempts to introduce small scale combined heat and power units before, the technology has largely been reserved for larger scale applications and district heating systems. Worcester’s Neil Schofield believes that micro-CHP


is the next logical extension of gas boiler technology. “We anticipate a gradual increase in its uptake year- on-year which is being encouraged by the Feed-in Tariff. I would conservatively anticipate mass uptake by the end of the next decade. Crucially micro CHP,or the ‘super boiler’ as it is often known, is in line with


the installer skill set and would allow a relatively seamless transition from current boiler technology.” Simon Osborne concurs. “Since its introduction, the Code for Sustainable Homes has accelerated the move towards micro-CHP and, in view of the changes to Part L1 2010, this technology will prove an increasingly important option. “A micro-CHP appliance has the capability to provide heating and hot water for the home at the same time as its internal engine generates around two thirds of a property’s electricity to power appliances and systems within the dwelling. Energy generated this close to the point of use is far more efficient than that generated at a centralised power plant which is only around 35 per cent efficient by the time it reaches the home.” BDR Thermea claims that its Baxi Ecogen is the first proven, wall-hung micro-CHP unit which private developers can specify. The company states that: “The beauty of this product is that it is a dual energy unit which looks and behaves in a similar way to a conventional gas boiler, and takes up just the same amount of space. Specification and installation is, as a result, pretty straightforward.” Biomass boilers are another technology that has not


seen wide acceptance up to now but may have a greater role to play in the future. At its Miller Zero initiative in Basingstoke, Miller Homes used a biomass boiler to heat the Code Level 5 and 6 properties. Situated between the two houses, the boiler has heat meters on the flow and return pipework, enabling the amount of fuel used to be correctly proportioned. “Miller Zero was about taking existing house types


and seeing what we had to do to get them to be Code compliant, we needed something like a


showhouse July 2011 | 41





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