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EFFICIENCY STARTS WITH BOILERS Achieving long term performance

The government’s recently unveiled Clean Growth Strategy has shone the spotlight on heang as a key step towards improving the eciency of UK buildings. Chris Meir, Sales Director at Remeha, looks at the role of

condensing boilers.

buildings and industry is responsible for 32% of total UK emissions. Hardly surprising, then, that in its Clean Growth Strategyi

A , the government

should underline the importance of reducing energy waste from heating to cut greenhouse gas emissions and increase the nation’s energy efficiency.

This is a familiar challenge for the building services industry, especially given the UK’s high proportion of old and energy inefficient buildings. But the focus is timely if the UK is to achieve its binding 80% emissions reduction target by 2050.

While the government has yet to define its exact technologies and approaches, both new boiler efficiency standards and the use of effective controls have been identified within the strategy.

So what actions can the building services industry take in the meantime? Boilers are at the heart of the heating system in numerous UK buildings, whether as the sole provider of heat or working in conjunction with low carbon technologies.

And with the ready availability of high efficiency, low NOx condensing boilers, the solution to improved performance heating is arguably already here. The latest models achieve near maximum gross efficiencies – making them 10-12% more efficient than non-condensing boilers – and ultra-low Class 6 NOx emissions for cleaner, greener operation. The problem is that too many UK buildings still rely on old or inefficient energy-guzzling boilers that produce needlessly high bills and emission levels. All of which emphasises the need for good maintenance and appropriate refurbishment.

Switch to condensing

uUsing top connecons, Remeha’s compact new Gas 220 Ace lends itself to spacesaving modular design. Addional cascade opons for up to eight boilers enables a large output to be installed in a greatly reduced footprint.

Replacing old or inefficient boilers with high efficiency models is widely acknowledged as a quick fix to energy and carbon savings. But this can have implications on system design as the tighter regulations introduced by the Energy-related Products Directive (ErP) and Part L2 (Section 6 in Scotland) of Building Regulations have revealed. ErP, for example, has effectively brought about a drive to condensing boilers away from non-condensing boilers for compliance on small to medium size

ccording to the latest figures from the Department of

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), heating in

projects. The EU predicts a 20% reduction in energy usage and bills for refurbishment projects due to the higher efficiencies of ErP certified products like condensing boilers. Of course, any legislation that reduces harmful emissions and energy waste is to be welcomed. Fortunately, too, there is plenty of support out there from manufacturers who are well- placed to provide in-depth product and technical knowledge to help identify the most appropriate solution. But on a practical level, it is advisable to factor in additional time and planning for the design process on projects where like-for-like

replacement is no longer possible. This will provide the opportunity to factor in design issues such as condensate and flueing arrangements and/or a change of fuel source.

Size maers

At the same time, the compact nature of condensing boilers provides designers and installers with any number of flexible design options. As a result, there is the opportunity to achieve versatile time, labour and space-saving solutions to access and space restrictions in refurbishment projects. The ability to install multiple boilers in cascade arrangement, for example, means that a large output can be achieved in a greatly reduced footprint. Forward-thinking manufacturers now provide prefabricated cascade kits for both wall-hung and floor-standing condensing boilers. This enables rapid installation, reducing on-site time and labour.

Cascade systems also provide easier future maintenance and servicing as the inbuilt redundancy makes it possible to carry out a live refurbishment – again reducing disruption. And as the cascade can be extended or support a future addition of low carbon technologies, this helps future-proof the building’s heating requirements.

Controlling for high eciency

But selecting and replacing old boilers is just the starting point.

Adding effective controls will help keep efficiencies high and NOx emissions low – as the government has noted with its indication of a mandatory requirement to install controls. Condensing boilers are ahead of the game here too. Advanced models like the Remeha Gas 220 Ace are supplied with time and temperature controls as standard, improving control at no extra cost. System efficiency is also addressed with the inclusion of in-built 0-10 V and free volt contacts. These enable the Gas 220 Ace to be connected to any Building Management System to maximise overall system efficiencies without the need for additional parts. Once installed, effective

maintenance and regular servicing will maximise the long-term performance of the boiler. And while condensing boilers


are renowned for their reliability, a proactive maintenance and servicing programme will also flag up any potential issues early on.

Boiler service

A full boiler service should be carried out annually and include flue gas analysis, controls calibration and burner cleaning.

Training end-users on how to use the controls is advisable with control settings checked routinely for optimum efficiency.

And finally, there’s the issue of water quality. This should be regularly assessed and treated as it can affect both the performance and lifespan of heating equipment. It’s also worth considering adding a plate heat exchanger when installing new boilers onto old systems to protect the new appliances from debris and contamination.

More comfortable buildings

The benefits of more efficient heating are clear. Energy bills will be kept low. Reliable, more effective heating will generate more comfortable and healthier places to live and work. At the same time, polluting emissions will be reduced, contributing to cleaner air. This is particularly topical given recent reports that 44 UK towns and cities have failed the World Health Organisation's air quality test.ii

Exciting times are ahead for the building services industry as heating efficiency comes under the spotlight. At Remeha we look forward to supporting consultants, specifiers and contractors with condensing boiler range and technical expertise. After all, this sophisticated technology could play a key part in helping move the nation towards a low carbon future. Sources:

i publications/clean-growth-strategy/ clean-growth-strategy-executive-summary

ii uk-scotland-glasgow-west-41816722


uRemeha Gas 310 and 610 Eco Pro condensing boilers are providing reliable, energyecient heang for 316 new Extra Care apartments at three sites across Hull for Hull City Council and the buildings’ operator Riverside.


maintenance and regular servicing will maximise the longterm performance of the boiler. And while condensing boilers are renowned for their reliability, a proacve maintenance and servicing programme will also fiag up any potenal issues early on.

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