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A GUIDE TOWARDS NET ZERO AND LOWER CARBON EMMISSIONS – UK ENERGY FOR THE FUTURE

 

 

 

Rinnai’s Chris Goggin lists a brief guide to national & local power variables that do, and might, in the future, supply the UK end-user and consumer. He looks at what is currently on offer and how that energy is manufactured and operates within the total UK mix of fuels.

 

As the UK is now firmly in an era of energy transition it is important that all interested parties – heating engineers, contractors, consultants and end-users – should be aware of what alternative energy is currently available and future options being actively considered.

Carbon heavy fuels are currently being phased out and replaced with a variety of low carbon alternatives. Instead of oil, natural gas and fossil fuel-generated electricity, renewable sources such as wind, wave and solar are being gradually introduced into the UK energy mix.

Biofuels such as BioLPG and RDME could also become UK market relevant along with green gasses such as hydrogen, which is supported by the UK hydrogen strategy and a myriad of pilot schemes across the UK. Energy policy in the UK is also planning to increase nuclear capacity with the construction of several new facilities, with the objective of providing low carbon electricity and potentially hydrogen. Following is a short exposition of each energy vector.

 

HEAT PUMPS

Heat pumps are an old but current technology – the first was invented by Peter von Rittinger in 1867. They can be considered zero carbon at the point of use. However, the carbon intensity of the system is dictated by the electrical grid generation method. A heat pump works by extracting heat from air outside and elevating its temperature using a compressor. Compressed heat Is then transferred into a body of water for heating and DHW.

Residual heat is stored in a hot water cylinder used for showers and baths. If installed correctly on to an appropriate property a heat pump will prove to be an energy efficient, effective tool of decarbonisation to the end-user.

Heat pumps are widely used in Scandinavian countries and other major European economies such as Germany. Mainstream UK media support heat pumps as do governmental grants that supply most initial purchase costs. Heat pumps are available with approved technology that encourages decarbonisation.

SOLAR ENERGY

 

Solar energy absorbs sunlight into photovoltaic panels which produces an electrical charge. This charge of electricity is then converted and transported into a domestic or commercial application. The UK government encourages domestic renewable energy installation. Homeowners can partly subsidise their solar panels through several governmental grants.
One example of UK homeowners incentivised towards solar thermal installation through a governmental scheme is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) which allows homeowners to receive payments for unused excess energy exported back to the national grid.

Solar power is viewed as holding the potential to contribute meaningfully towards the current and future domestic UK energy mix as well as multiple others across the globe. Only recently it was announced that Global renewable energy company – Low Carbon, has announced construction of 3 new large solar farms in Essex, Derbyshire and Buckinghamshire. Construction in Buckinghamshire will begin immediately. Once complete the facility will provide clean power to more than 7300 homes. Capacity of this site will be 23.4MW. Work on the 28.8MW Derbyshire and 23MW Essex locations will begin in the early new year – 2023. Similar installations are being constructed across every continent.

WIND ENERGY

Renewable wind energy is created when wind turbines are pushed by natural currents of air which is then converted into electricity via a generator. Current UK direction of onshore wind energy is convoluted. At present there is a ban on installing new onshore wind farms inside the UK. However, some media outlets report that the ban is lifted, others maintain the ban is still in effect. Offshore wind farm capacity is being expanded to meet future demand. There are several new installations being constructed inside UK and Irish waters.

Offshore wind facilities under construction and due to begin operations. Amongst the new sites to be introduced is the Dogger Bank Wind Farm off the coast of Yorkshire, Northeast England which will begin operations in 2025. £8.27 billion has been invested into this project and is a joint venture undertaken by SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni Plenitude.

WAVE ENERGY

Wave energy is created once captured kinetic energy gathered by tidal movements pushes a turbine, which in turn produces electricity. Wave and wind energy rely on the same concept of utilising kinetic energy to generate power. Wave energy is considered 100% carbon neutral. Wave energy is expensive to produce and maintain but is also effective. UK policy adjustments in market and planning legislation could see wave power become expanded to meet future demand.

Further on-land construction work is continuing on the £35 million Holy Island Tidal Energy Scheme, in North Wales. 35 sq km of seabed will be used to generate as much as 240MW of clean tidal electricity, enough to power 180,000 domestic properties.

rDME

Renewable DiMethyl Ether – known as rDME – is a molecule-based fuel that can be produced through a wide range of renewable feedstocks which allows for quick and long-term sustainable production. rDME contains a similar chemical composition to Butane and propane and can be mixed with LPG in existing appliances to continue product operations.

rDME combusts cleanly and releases no “soot” emissions. It has many fuel properties that make it easily used in sites and appliances currently using diesel as a fuel. It has a very high cetane number, which is a measure of the fuel’s ignitibility in compression ignition engines.

Future capacity of rDME is set to rise sharply, further increasing the likelihood of rDME being introduced nationally at some stage soon. A demonstration plant is to be opened later this year, whist the first operational commercial site manufacturing rDME will be on-line in 2024 in Teesside.

LGP & BioLPG

LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) is a low carbon fuel source that is supplied in two forms – propane and butane. BioLPG is 100% carbon neutral and produced through renewable feedstocks such as plant and vegetable waste. Both are considered future forms of carbon friendly energy.

LPG producers see a role for Bio-LPG in the future whether that be blended with LPG or BioLPG. The fuel can be theoretically drop in, meaning limited disruption and user familiarity. Companies have invested over £260 million to date in developing clean liquid gases, including bioLPG and rDME to market. During the transition to renewable liquid gases LPG will remain a valuable part of the low carbon energy mix.

As economies and industry attempt to decarbonise fuel supplies, demand for LPG and BioLPG will rise. Legislation amendments introduced by the US, EU and Japan could see both demand and produced volume of BioLPG increase.

NUCLEAR ENERGY

Nuclear energy occurs when a reaction from either uranium or plutonium is stimulated to generate electricity. The UK government is keen to expand nuclear capacity.

As of writing, it has been confirmed that the UK government will inject £700 million of taxpayer’s money in developing Sizewell C nuclear power plant. Doing so will provide 6 million homes with low carbon electricity for more than 50 years and strengthen national energy security.

HYDROGEN

Hydrogen is produced in various forms signalled by a spectrum of assorted colours: blue, green, pink, brown, grey, yellow and turquoise.

 

  • Blue hydrogen is formed once natural gas is heated with steam in a process called Steam Methene Reforming (SMR). Hydrogen and carbon dioxide are created as a result meaning that emissions must be captured and stored for blue hydrogen to become a low carbon fuel source.
  • Grey hydrogen uses Steam Methene Reforming without capturing any emissions.
  • Green hydrogen occurs once water molecules are split into oxygen and hydrogen using renewable energy to power an electrolyser which sits in a water basin. Green hydrogen is considered 100% carbon neutral and is regarded as a source of future clean energy.
  • Pink hydrogen is created through nuclear powered electrolysis whilst yellow hydrogen is produced through solar powered electrolysis.
  • Turquoise hydrogen is made using a process called methane pyrolysis which produces hydrogen and solid carbon.

 

An extensive list of major international energy companies, such as BP and Equinor has announced various projects costing billons that explore the introduction of hydrogen as a major contributor towards future global energy needs. Spanish renewable energy company Iberdrola are planning to develop a green hydrogen production facility at the UK’s largest port in Felixstowe. Iberdrola is prepared to invest £150 million in the project which is expected to be operational in 2026.

Closer to home the UK issued its Hydrogen strategy in 2021, with the objective of achieving 10GW of Low Carbon Hydrogen by 2030. The strategy is also seeing rapid developments in pilot schemes using 100% hydrogen across the UK.


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For more information on the RINNAI product range

 


 

Rinnai’s H3 range includes all mainstream varieties of renewable energy alternative options including, LOW-GWP heat pumps (4kw – 110kw) Hydrogen Blends 20% ready and BioLPG ready water heaters and boilers and market leading solar thermal. All options focus on creating decarbonisation pathways that are technically, practically and economically feasible based upon real life requirements. The H3 range is supported by in house design support along with carbon and cost modelling.

 

Rinnai can offer multiple avenues of cost reducing decarbonisation across various energy vectors. To create a healthier way of living, Rinnai is expanding customer choices in hot water provision as well as heating domestic and commercial buildings through a wide range of renewable energy systems. Rinnai’s solar thermal water heating systems are a market leading solution that saves up to 3.5x more carbon per m2 compared to conventional solar technology. This combined with the Rinnai Hydrogen and BioLPG ready condensing water heaters water heating system will save carbon and cost as the Rinnai water heaters will modulate from 58kw – 4.4kW dependent on the solar input therefore only using gas to boost the temperature when needed – harnessing renewable gains and not compromising on performance.

Core design values of Rinnai VirtuHOT solar thermal collectors have benefited from multiple workshops with experienced installers, whose valuable insights have been integrated into design and innovation. This has resulted in a system that is focussed on installer needs to simplify transportation, installation, and maintenance. From an in-life end user perspective the Rinnai VirtuHot system will deliver 50% greater financial returns per m2 in comparison to conventional solar technology, reducing ROI and saving energy and carbon in the process. The Rinnai condensing water heaters and VirtuHOT solar thermal array are backed with a warranty of up to 10 years to give additional peace of mind for installers and end users.

Rinnai intelligent condensing continuous flow water heaters can save more than 30% in operational running costs when compared to gas fired storage systems, helping to reduce fuel costs and exposure to ever-increasing energy and climate change legislation. All Rinnai & Naked Energy solar thermal products are precisely aligned with the hot water heating systems & units which are hydrogen blends-ready 20% and renewable liquid fuel (BioLPG and rDME) ready combustion technologies.

Rinnai’s H3 range of decarbonising products include commercial and domestic heat pumps that contain a variety of features: the HPIH range of commercial heat pumps is suited towards schools, restaurants, and small retail outlets. Rinnai’s HPIH Monobloc Air Source Heat Pumps – 21, 26, 28 & 32kW range can allow for up to seven units to be cascaded together or operate alone as one unit. Once joined together – can serve increased demand for heating and hot water.

The HPIH series includes a range of controls and system peripherals which ensures that all technical machinations can be monitored. Rinnai’s HPIH commercial heat pumps also deploy the refrigerant – R32. The HPIH use maintains an ERP rating of A++ making this range of heat pumps an ideal economic and environmental option for new build and refurbishment projects.

Rinnai’s HPHP series of LOW GWP heat pumps range from 48kw – 70kw. State-of-the-art technology added in the injection process outperforms gas compression technology and ensures that even with outside temperatures of –25 Celsius, heating, and hot water of up to 60 + Celsius can still be delivered.

Rinnai’s HPI SL range models perform with ultra-low sound capability ensuring compatibility with areas that hold strict sound compliance standards. All units operate in three different modes: heating, cooling and DHW and include specific system programmes that enhance product performance in all modes.


Rinnai’s H3 range is supported by free training courses, CPDs, FREE design services and extensive warranty options

 

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  RINNAI H3 PRODUCT ROADMAP TO LOWER CARBON AND NET ZERO DE-CARBONISATION

Rinnai’s product and service offering is based on H3- Hydrogen, Heating and Heat Pumps – which allows any site in either residential or commercial sites to maximise the energy efficiency and performance in striving for NetZero and Decarbonisation. Additionally, Rinnai is developing and introducing electrical formats to all existing product ranges within the next few months. Rinnai’s new “H3” range of products includes a wide selection of commercial heat pumps as well as hydrogen blends-ready and hybrid hot water heating systems.

Rinnai is a world leading manufacturer of hot water heaters and produces over two million units a year. The company operates on each of the five continents and the brand has gained an established reputation for high performance, robust cost efficiency and extended working lives.

Rinnai’s commercial and domestic hot water products offer a limitless supply of instantaneous temperature controlled hot water and all units are designed to align with present and future energy sources and accept either natural gas or hydrogen gas blends. Rinnai units are also suited for off-grid customers who require LPG and BioLPG or rDME.

Rinnai units are UKCA certified, A-rated water efficiency, accessed through multiple fuel options and are available for purchase 24/7, 365 days a year. Any unit can be delivered to any UK site within 24 hours. System design services are available if needed and cost comparison services are accessible to all customers who require further cost detail.

Rinnai’s Innovation Manifesto clearly outlines the path to carbon neutrality and maintains a pledge to fully decarbonize company operations by 2050. Rinnai will further support the global clean energy transition by introducing a wide variety of domestic heating options across multiple energy vectors.

Rinnai is committed to decarbonisation. Rinnai’s water heating products are all hydrogen-blends ready NOW including the world’s first 100% hydrogen powered water heater. Rinnai products also accept BioLPG capable of delivering NetZero carbon emissions. Rinnai offer comprehensive training courses and technical support in all aspects of the water heating industry. More information can be found on Rinnai’s website and its “Help Me Choose” webpage.

 CLICK HERE For more information on the RINNAI product range

 

Cost of living causing consumers to think again about retrofitting

 

RICS and YouGov survey shows homes therefore less likely to be able to cope with climate impacts or to mitigate rising energy costs

The cost of living crisis, has cast new doubt on the progress towards the United Kingdom’s Net-Zero ambition. Previous research from RICS* had found that homeowners were citing cost of retrofitting as a barrier, but despite new policy measures, new research from RICS and YouGov shows that consumers are now concerned about paying for the cost of living above upgrading their homes.

Retrofitting has obvious benefits, such as being able to maintain a constant temperature in the home, as well as increasing the desirability of your property – the December 2019 Residential Market Survey*, prior to the energy crisis, cited almost two thirds of the survey’s respondents believed that the willingness to pay for energy efficient homes would rise in the next three years.

However, the latest consumer research from RICS and YouGov shows that homeowners are unsurprisingly looking to concentrate spending on escalating household costs.

The new research backs up previous calls made by the institution in 2020 for more policy measures to incentivise industry and consumers to retrofit the UK housing stock. The research found that while 34% of homeowners said they would invest in green technology to lower bills in the future, 45% would be focusing on using any savings to pay for their existing living expenses, meaning more incentives and cheaper options must be made available if the country is to stay on track to meet target and green 15million properties*.

This latest research follows the RICS January 2020 Residential Market Survey* where members operating in the residential sales and lettings market stated that without strong market driven incentives, regulation was the policy lever with the greatest potential to improve energy efficiency outcomes. Alternatively, a tax policy could achieve a similar effect through a mix of stamp duty and a reduction of VAT on home improvements.

Currently, the Government’s ambition to hit Net-Zero carbon emissions requires significant numbers of private homeowners to retrofit their properties to make them greener.

51% who confirmed they hadn’t already installed new energy saving measures in their homes but would know how to, said it was because of the costs involved. And of the same group, even those who would consider it to make their home more attractive to prospective buyers, 40% said they’d only consider spending around £1000 to £5000 on energy improvements, which could pay for some solar panels** but wouldn’t cover the heat-pump.

As the cost of living continues to consume more household finances, measures are needed to avoid many properties failing to meet targets and becoming un-mortgageable. To review the potential impact that failure to support consumers would have on the housing market, most homeowners (55%) would consider installing energy saving schemes if they knew it would make their property more attractive when it came to selling up. With figures from Rightmove showing that greener homes can attract a higher premium, properties need more than an EPC assessment to help inform decisions**.

As EPCs aren’t the best measure for all properties, as some listed buildings can’t have triple glazing for example, RICS is recommending and working with lenders and government to look into ‘Retrofit Surveys’ which would enlist the expertise of a professional – such as a building surveyor- to provide detailed advice on what technologies homeowners could install to help inform their decisions. This is supported with 77% of homeowners saying they’d find this advice helpful when thinking of buying a new home.

Sam Rees, Senior Public Affairs Officer at RICS, said:

“The retrofitting of millions of UK homes will be essential to helping to meet our net zero ambitions, however homeowners’ immediate concerns are understandably with the rising cost of living, especially their energy bills. It is important to recognise that retrofitting and the cost of living are not mutually exclusive issues.

“A suitably retrofitted, low-carbon home can help with the long-term challenges of the cost of living and reducing high levels of energy consumption. Achieving this however is not cheap. With the UK Government giving financial support to homeowners to support them with rising energy prices, RICS is calling on the government to extend this support and provide additional financial incentives to homeowners to encourage retrofitting and ultimately helping to tackle the cause of high energy usage.

“Before any significant investment is made on retrofit measures, RICS urges homeowners and the government to ensure a retrofit assessment is undertaken on the property first – ensuring that no unintended consequences occur such as overheating or increased energy demand. This is critical to protecting consumers and RICS is undertaking significant research to support such assessments.”

FURTHER INFORMATION

*RICS UK Residential Market Surveys UK Residential Market Survey (rics.org)

**Rightmove-Green-Homes-Report.pdf

The top energy saving measures homeowners who know how to make their home more environmentally friendly said they already had installed in their property were:

Double or triple glazed windows – 71%
Energy-efficient lighting – 69%
Loft/cavity wall insultation – 63%
Energy efficient appliances – 52%
Solar panels – 17%
Air source heat pumps 5%
Geothermal heating – 2%

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4357 adults of which 2776 are homeowners. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st May – 3rd June 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

* 15 million homes need energy efficiency upgrades – Lloyds Banking Group plc

** Solar panels typically cost between £2,900 and £6,700 according to the Energy Saving’s Trust.

With six billion people estimated to be living in cities by 2050, how can ceilings help accommodate such growth? Ian Clarke, commercial technical manager for Armstrong Ceiling Solutions, discusses.

The construction industry is at a critical juncture. Headcounts worldwide are growing, and growing fast – and the projected numbers are staggering. It’s predicted there will be nine billion people worldwide by 2050, with two out of every three living in cities by the same date. For those tasked with designing and building our cities, the challenges of such accelerated growth quickly add up. From skills shortages and needlessly complicated supply chains to a fear of embracing BIM, it’s never been more important to face the challenge head on.

But what can be done today to help counter the increased building demand of tomorrow? Simply put, a drive towards greater construction efficiency. To this end, any opportunity for increased simplicity and proficiency should be welcomed. While the building envelope is an obvious focus for building faster and more effectively, the internal space should not be overlooked.

Start how you mean to go on

While the outside of a building goes a long way to define architectural appeal, it’s the interior space which creates comfort and usability. By enhancing light and acoustics, ceilings are a critical aspect of this process, and they are an area where architects, specifiers and installers all stand to benefit from enhanced methodologies.

Involving ceiling manufacturers at the beginning of the design and specification stage is critical. In doing so, a more collaborative, transparent working environment is established where questions from all parties are openly asked and existing conventions are challenged. The result is that key concerns are raised earlier, leading to less rework down the line. A team that’s working together clearly and cohesively also works more efficiently, which will become increasingly important as demand and population figures continue to rise.

On call with one call

In our always-on world, everyone expects to be able to get what they want with a single tap, click or call. The ceiling industry is no different. It’s why, at Armstrong Ceiling Solutions, we provide everything from industry-leading products and expert support right through to training. For example, in the UK 90% of Armstrong products are available next day, while a 24-hour call-to-site service is also available. This approach aids efficiency by greatly simplifying supply chains and, in turn, minimising exposure to unforeseen delays.

Working the right way, right away

Increasingly, contractors are being asked to take on greater responsibility and become jacks of all construction trades. This is leading to increased levels of superficial knowledge and a move to hiring generalists over specialists. While some short-term benefits may exist, the long-term inefficiencies in moving away from specialist expertise are likely to cause serious issues in terms of meeting demand and maintaining quality standards.

By realising this, we’ve made it a clear mission at Armstrong Ceiling Solutions to maintain specialisation and in-depth knowledge in contractors’ skillsets, combining comprehensive training at the renowned Armstrong Installation School, technical support from our ceiling specialists and – in the UK – the Omega Contractor programme of Armstrong recognised specialist ceiling installers. As a result, contractors are able to draw on both their experience and comprehensive, targeted expertise in order to deliver best practice in terms of cost and construction efficiencies.

Win with BIM

The digital age is playing an ever-increasing role in all aspects of construction, meaning a meticulous attention to data is no longer a need, but a must. And Building Information Modelling (BIM) is set to play an ever more prominent role in terms of delivering ceiling construction efficiency.

The benefits of BIM are manifold, not least in terms of improving collaboration and enhancing decision-making. It also greatly reduces rework and eliminates costly duplication of drawings, freeing up talent and capital to be used elsewhere. Yet many within the industry are still not yet fully equipped to deal with BIM, preferring instead to rely on time-proven methodologies. But with just 30 years before we reach the estimated worldwide populace of nine billion, it’s way past time for the industry at large to embrace future-facing technologies and techniques; to look proactively at methods that will enable all of us to construct a more efficient future for all.

Building efficiency into products

While service and support help increase project efficiency, it’s important also to consider the role of the products themselves – in terms of both ease of installation and environmental sustainability. In both cases, Armstrong Ceiling Solutions builds efficiency into its portfolio.

To complement our world-leading range of tiles, we’ve developed a range of highly engineered products – including grids and canopy kits – which simplify installation and maintenance, helping minimise time on site and accelerating project completion.

Last but not least, there’s the efficiency in the products themselves. Currently, some 60% of all materials are used in creating and maintaining our built environment – with a significant amount enduing their service life in landfill. Products which can be recycled and re-used therefore add value to the process as well as to our planet. Among Armstrong Ceiling Solution’s range are a number of products certified as ‘Cradle to Cradle’ (C2C), which means they’re responsibly manufactured and endlessly re-usable. Already a requirement for certain projects in the United States and Europe, C2C is sure to become more widespread, helping contractors provide transparency and protecting our environment for future generations.

To learn more about how Armstrong Ceiling Solutions can help you construct a more efficient future, visit www.armstrongceilingsolutions.co.uk.

Labour is announcing that climate change will be a core part of the curriculum from primary school onwards. The announcement comes on the same day that the UK Climate Strike Network hosts more school strikes across the country.

Under plans set out by Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner, the next Labour government will ensure all young people are educated about the ecological and social impact of climate change.

A review of the curriculum will also make certain that it focuses on the knowledge and skills that young people need in a world that will be increasingly shaped by climate change, particularly in renewable energy and green technology jobs.

Climate change adaptation and mitigation will drastically increase future demand for the knowledge and skills required for the green jobs of the future, with these skills severely underrepresented in the current curriculum.

As part of the review, an expert panel will consider how climate change and its impact are taught from primary school onwards.

One of the key demands of the climate school strikes is that the national curriculum is reformed to address the ecological crisis as an educational priority. Currently, teaching climate change is restricted to Chemistry and Geography in Key Stages 3 and 4.

Under the Conservatives, the curriculum has narrowed, with Michael Gove scrapping the last Labour government’s plans to start teaching children about the environment and climate change when they are in primary school.

Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Education Secretary, said “Today, young people are taking to the streets to send a  clear message to the government that climate change will be a fundamental and defining feature of their adult lives, and we must take the action needed to tackle it.

“We need to equip people with the knowledge to understand the enormous changes we face, and skills to work with the new green technologies that we must develop to deal with them.

“That must be part of a broad education and that prepares pupils for adult life. Climate change should be a core part of the school curriculum, and under a Labour government it will be.

“As well as teaching young people about the impact of climate change, their education must prepare them for the jobs of the future. As part of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution to create 400,000 skilled jobs across the country, young people will be taught the skills they need.”

Evinox has extended its best-selling range of ModuSat® Heat Interface Units with the introduction of the new ModuSat® XR and ModuSat® XR- ECO Twin Plate models. Providing both indirect space heating and domestic hot water, ModuSat® XR units are ideal for use in modern, efficient district and communal heat networks. All units deliver fast, dynamic domestic hot water response, and the ModuSat® XR-ECO models also provide ultra-low DHW return temperatures to the primary heat network.

With extensive experience in the design and application of HIU’s across thousands of UK-wide installations, Evinox has made significant advances in the performance of its latest range, aiming to help improve the overall efficiency of heat networks, whilst retaining high levels of user satisfaction and comfort levels.

ModuSat® XR – even faster, more efficient domestic hot water performance

An overriding requirement for many consulting engineers involved in the design and specification of heat networks, is to ensure abundant and responsive supply of domestic hot water. This goes hand-in-hand with residents expecting consistent and safe hot water at the tap. ModuSat® XR HIU’s deliver fast hot water without reducing the efficiency of the heat network.

“There is strong evidence that speed of hot water delivery is a key requirement for residents living in homes operating on communal and district heating schemes” comments Emma Alexander, Evinox Energy Marketing Manager. “The ability to be able to deliver abundant hot water quickly, while at the same time ensuring the efficiency of the heat network is not compromised, is a key challenge for heat network designers and HIU manufacturers, so the improved performance of the new ModuSat® XR range is an important step forward in this area.”

Evinox ModuSat® XR-ECO; how low can you go?

It’s clear that lowering system temperatures is a critical factor in the efficient operation of UK heat networks. Reducing the network primary flow & return temperatures enables heat generation plant to operate more efficiently; lower grade, low carbon heat sources to play a more predominant role in the energy mix; and network heat losses to be dramatically reduced.

ModuSat® XR-ECO units have been designed precisely with this in mind, incorporating ultra-high efficiency domestic hot water plate heat exchangers with improved volumetrics that encourage turbulent flow and optimal heat transfer.

These latest improvements mean designers are given the opportunity to focus on the energy efficiency performance of HIU’s and the wider heat network, with the confidence that units will continue to deliver impressive full load hot water capacity and flow rates.

A New Test Standard for Heat Interface Units from BESA

The ModuSat® XR has been tested under a new UK test standard, intended to help heat network designers to evaluate individual HIU performance on their network under typical UK conditions. The new scheme, operated by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), will provide HIU benchmarking, similar in many ways to the SEDBUK scheme for domestic boilers.

Evinox believes independent testing is an important step for the UK HIU industry, so the latest ModuSat® XR and XR-ECO models have been developed very much with these new standards in mind. Evinox is confident that this new standard will lead to HIU systems and heat networks being designed with efficiency as much as maximum hot water capacity being the key consideration.

Find out more about the new ModuSat® XR Range of Heat Interface Units by contacting us on 01372 722277, email info@Evinox.co.uk or visit www.evinoxenergy.co.uk.

Eleven new energy projects worth up to £176m per year have been successful in the latest competitive auction for renewable technologies, the government has announced this week.

The projects, which are set to generate over 3GW of electricity, enough to power 3.6 million homes, demonstrate that the UK continues to be an attractive place to invest in clean energy.

The government is committed to investing in clean technology and driving economic growth as set out in our ambitious Industrial Strategy and upcoming Clean Growth Plan.

The competitive approach is continuing to drive cost reductions in the renewable energy industry – the cost of new offshore wind projects starting to generate electricity from 2022-23 are now 50% lower than the first auction held in 2015. The other successful technologies, Advanced Conversion Technologies and Dedicated Biomass with Combined Heat and Power, also achieved significant savings.

Competition has also driven down the costs for consumers. The capacity delivered in this auction cost up to £528m per year less than it would have in the absence of competition.

Projects are to be delivered across Great Britain from Wales to the Scottish Highlands and the West Midlands from 2021.

Minister for Energy and Industry, Richard Harrington, said “We’ve placed clean growth at the heart of the Industrial Strategy to unlock opportunities across the country, while cutting carbon emissions.

“The offshore wind sector alone will invest £17.5bn in the UK up to 2021 and thousands of new jobs in British businesses will be created by the projects announced. This government will continue to seize these opportunities as the world moves towards a low carbon future, and will set out ambitious proposals in the upcoming Clean Growth Plan.”

This investment will help the UK meet its climate targets while supporting jobs in Britain’s growing renewable industry. The UK has the largest offshore wind capacity in the world and low carbon businesses have a combined turnover of £43 billion, employing 234,000 people.

Many existing, new and retrofitted buildings exhibit large gaps between design aspirations and in use performance. To meet policy objectives and meet the needs of building owners and occupants, in-use performance needs to improve rapidly and radically. Ambitious new start-up organisation, The Building Performance Network (BPN) hopes to influence change in policy, procurement and practice, both politically and technically across the UK and global Construction markets.

Whilst many people are now aware of performance gaps for energy use and CO2 emissions, fewer people are aware that issues are also evident in technical performance, occupant satisfaction, operating costs, environmental impact and importantly the health of the occupants.

Data is the key to understanding whether we are making the right choices throughout the lifecycle of the building. The UK suffers from a disjointed building performance evaluation sector, where data are inaccessible, study methods are not clear or shared, and decisions are often made on poor or limited data.

The Building Performance Network (BPN) will be an independent not for profit organisation, operating in all building related sectors. It will work to bring together individuals and organisations with an interest in improving building performance in operation. It is founded on the principles of integrity and robustness to ensure that it remains credible and authoritative. It is open to all, not just the existing Building Performance Evaluation industry.

The BPN has the following key objectives:

  • Bring people together with an interest in building performance
  • Understand how building performance data is collected and analysed to ensure members have reliable data on which to base their decisions
  • Move forward the practice of building performance evaluation to make it accurate and useable for the sector
  • Share and make members aware of a wide range of studies undertaken in the UK, creating a data-sharing platform to move the building performance agenda forward
  • Use data to influence change in policy, procurement and practice

The BPN is founded on the principle that participation should be open for all and that the member organisation has an interest in the performance of buildings in-use. It is constituted as an independent, non-profit organisation, which requires some core funding.

Members will be a part of an exclusive collective group of expert organisations shaping the building performance landscape and be seen as a credible collaborator by Government and other organisations with an interest in this field. If you want to support engagement with government in a unified industry approach, have a say in what is proposed as industry standards and enjoy a host of annual benefits then click here to find out how you can become part of this ambitious and fast growing organisation: http://building-performance.network/

Download the prospectus here.

Limescale can be a major contributor to a loss of efficiencies for water heating systems of any type, so leading continuous flow water heater manufacturer Rinnai has taken steps to maintain superior efficiencies throughout the life of the system by incorporating a proven limescale inhibitor that will significantly reduce the impact of limescale, thereby maximising efficiency over the product’s lifetime.

Rinnai has teamed up with electrolytic in line inhibitors, pioneers in limescale inhibitor technology, to maximise system efficiency on its range of A rated commercial water heaters.
This electrolytic scale inhibitor kit is for commercial hot water systems. Independently tested, it is a low-maintenance way to protect against the damaging and expensive impact of limescale on hot water systems.

Not only does it offer long lasting protection against the formation of hard limescale it also ensures bacteria has fewer places to hide as a result of cleaner surfaces, so in a secondary return DHW system the problem of Legionella is also heavily reduced. The independently tested and proven technology protects capital investment and occupier health.

The electrolytic zinc anode technology used in this solution is mentioned in the Part L Building Services Compliance Guide, whereas “external to pipe” water conditioning techniques are not.

The system’s low level zinc additions change the water chemistry to inhibit the formation of limescale by transforming calcite in such a way that they do not stick to the interior of the unit or pipework.

The system delivers value engineering as it does not decay after dosing and its effectiveness is not impacted by water storage or agitation caused by passing through a booster set.

Rinnai has recently supplied its system efficiency systems for London-based SGA Consulting, a specialist in low energy buildings, after liaising with the practice’s mechanical engineer Vivek Devan on two restaurant projects. Devan says “The Rinnai units are compact and their smaller footprint both physically and environmentally made them a good choice here. The scale inhibitor technology was also a factor.” Devan spoke with Rinnai technical experts before specifying the units and heard that Rinnai is actively promoting and selling scale inhibitor solutions following the successful results obtained from various trial sites.

The electrolytic unit may be installed in the rising main, before the water heater and booster set. Capex cost savings are probable because the rising main pipe size is often a smaller diameter than the hot and cold water distribution pipe sizes. Therefore, just one inhibitor system will treat the whole location, also offering an attractive value engineering opportunity.

The inhibitor is widely specified and installed in a range of sectors such as manufacturing, hotels, retail and supermarkets, healthcare and education as well as public authorities.

For buildings using BMS systems, a Pulse Splitter is an option that provides water flow rate or water usage data directly to the BMS from the water meter in the system.

The inclusion of the electrolytic system in Rinnai’s A-rated continuous flow water heating systems delivers peace of mind to installers and end users as performance is maintained throughout the lifetime of the appliances.

The scale protection units are available in a variety of pipe sizes – large 67,76 and 108mm; medium 28,35,42 and 54mm; and small 22mm.

For more information on the RINNAI product range visit www.rinnaiuk.com.

Built on the site of the Poor Clares Convent, is a new development of 16 luxury homes. In the sought-after village of Baddesley Clinton in Warwickshire, landscape plans are now becoming a reality. The convent itself has been converted and six new dwellings built on the site which closed as an active convent in 2011 after 160 years.

Vortice has installed the energy efficient Vort Leto into the apartments. The Vort Leto MEV is a continuously running ventilation unit which continually extracts from the wet rooms. The fan runs on a constant trickle and then boosts up via switches located in the wet rooms. Vortice Specification Manager, Ken Johnson said “I worked closely with SANDS Plumbing and Heating Services London to ensure that the ventilation specified was suited to the type of building. Due to having only one break out of the building façade, the Vort Leto was an ideal choice in order to maintain the finish of the fabric of the building. It was important to both SANDS Plumbing and Heating Services and to Vortice to maintain the historic aspects of the building.”

For further information on the Vort Leto MEV visit www.vortice.ltd.uk or email technical@vortice.ltd.uk.