Read The Adveco June 2023 Newsletter

Read the Adveco June 2023 newsletter. This month we take a look at the progression of the UK’s plans for net zero, including renewables contributions to the grid and issues with grid connections. We celebrate another award won for our work developing sustainable products and services for commercial water heating, and a reminder to take advantage of our free CPD seminar. There is also an exclusive first look at our next product line.

Click here to read the Adveco June 2023 Newsletter



Adveco condensing water heaters and boiler ranges

Condensing boilers reman a viable commercial option

Condensing boilers sit at the heart of a large proportion of commercial buildings today. More efficient than traditional boilers, condensing boilers capture and use the heat that would otherwise be lost up the flue, making them both more efficient and cost-effective to operate.

They work by using a process called condensation. This process occurs when water vapour in the flue gases is cooled to the point where it condenses back into water. When this happens, the latent heat of vaporisation is released, which can be used to heat the water in the boiler. The latent heat of vaporisation is the amount of heat that is required to change water from a gas to a liquid. It is a very large amount of heat, and it can be used to significantly increase the efficiency of a boiler. This makes these boilers more efficient than traditional boilers because they are able to capture and use this latent heat of vaporisation. This can lead to excellent efficiency gains, such as with the Adveco  AD & MD ranges condensing water heaters and boilers which boast 106% net combustion efficiency, reducing energy costs and emissions via efficient use of fuel energy.

Although condensing boilers currently rely on fossil natural gas as a fuel, the AD, ADplus and MD range all are ready to support a 20% hydrogen blend making them excellent, low-cost to-operate options for commercial sites with large hot water and heating demands, and gateway technology to next-generation green gas-grid fuels. For organisations with properties with a gas connection, Adveco can support refurbishment with a wide-range of condensing gas-fired appliances including the popular BFC Cyclone and Innovo water heaters from A.O.Smith.

Producing fewer emissions than traditional boilers, condensing boilers are a good option for those who want to save energy and money on their bills whilst showing a reduction in emissions that impact air quality and the environment.

Here are some of the benefits of using a condensing boiler:

  • More energy efficient than traditional boilers which can lead to energy savings of up to 30%.
  • More environmentally friendly, producing fewer emissions than traditional boilers, which can help to improve air quality.
  • Comfortable, providing consistent temperature in your facility.
  • Low maintenance, and should require little upkeep beyond annual servicing.

Condensing boilers have redefined water heating, prioritising energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. Adveco, with its unwavering commitment to innovation, continues to offer its range of cutting-edge products that exemplify these principles. By embracing condensing boilers organisations gain a proven technology which effectively reduces energy consumption, minimises emissions, and enhances comfort levels within their buildings, all while taking the first steps towards a net zero future.

Explore Adveco’s range of condensing boilers and water heaters

Sustainability Products & Services Award Win For Adveco

Adveco, the hot water specialist for commercial building projects, has received the 2023 Sustainability Products & Services Award from Building & Construction Review Magazine.

For more than 50 years Adveco has been leading innovation in the provision of water heating for commercial building projects. At the core of this innovation has always been a drive to achieve greater efficiency for reduced operating costs and safer operation from its range of gas-fired appliances. In recent years, this expertise has set the company apart as it began to lead the charge to modernise systems and introduce lower carbon alternatives that could help counter global warming.

Today that process, which began with solar thermal systems, has expanded to encompass air source heat pumps (ASHP), electric water heaters and boilers, as well as supporting the potential of a hydrogen-based green gas grid with 20% blend-ready ranges of water heaters.

“Adveco prides itself on working in close partnership with commercial and public sector customers in the UK. The breadth of new and especially existing properties that wish, or need, to improve sustainable operations has created an immense challenge for the country. This is why knowledge and choice are two of the most important services we offer,” said Greg Brushett, UK sales manager, Adveco. “For instance, our most recent innovation in data interpretation for properties seeking to move from gas to electric is helping organisations identify the most cost-effective means of making carbon reductions to their operations. These organisations are the true net zero heroes and we are fortunate to be able to support them on their journey with a wealth of technologies that meet the demand for sustainable water heating.”

This Building & Construction Review Sustainability Products & Services Award recognises Adveco’s leadership role in supporting the drive towards net zero. The editorial team was impressed by the company’s consistent product development, innovative services, and dedicated efforts to raise awareness for greater sustainability in commercial hot water systems.

With more than 500 live solar thermal sites operating in the UK, Adveco is the specialist in this proven and truly renewable technology. The company has also broken new ground in delivering hybrid offerings that counter inertia in decarbonisation strategies, enabling organisations to adapt or replace existing systems quickly and cost-effectively.

Adveco continues that process today with innovations in heat pump technology, solar thermal and all-electric packaged systems that will be coming to market over the next twelve months.

Building & Construction Review is a print and digital magazine in the UK supporting more than 15,000 readers monthly.  These readers include Specifiers, Facilities Managers, Directors, Senior Buyers, Project Managers, Site Managers, and individuals involved in Buildings Management.

Read Adveco’s Sustainability Products & Services Award feature in Building & Construction Review

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Are we on track for Net Zero?

Researchers from Imperial College London have declared a ‘milestone event’ that seems to place us on track for net zero as one-third of UK electricity came from wind farms in the first quarter of 2023. This is the first recorded time that wind has out-suppled gas.

In the first quarter of 2023, 42% of the UK’s electricity came from renewable energy, with 33% coming from fossil fuels, predominantly gas and coal. As well as wind, solar has also seen significant growth in the UK, with the National Grid confirming that April saw a record period of solar energy generation.

Since new onshore wind turbines were effectively banned in 2015 in England, the great majority of wind generation now comes from offshore wind farms. But with a new relaxation of planning restrictions on onshore wind turbines, the expectations for wind to continue to deliver a greater percentage of fossil fuel-free grid electricity makes the technology a core aspect of UK aims for all of its electricity to have net zero emissions by 2035.

Switching to renewable power, whether wind or solar, is crucial to curb the impacts of climate change. However, it was revealed this month in a BBC investigation that billions of pounds worth of green energy projects are stuck on hold due to delays with getting connections to the grid.

Some new solar and wind sites are waiting up to 10 to 15 years to be connected because of a lack of capacity in the electricity system. The National Grid acknowledges the problem but says fundamental reform is needed as energy companies are warning that significant delays to connect their green energy projects to the system will threaten their ability to bring more green power online.

And electricity only accounts for 18% of the UK’s total power needs. So, are we really on track for net zero electricity generation by 2035? Achieving this requires a considerable uplift in the number of renewable projects – as many as five times more solar and four times as much wind – but these sites can only supply energy once connected to the grid. This issue stems from a grid designed and built to be supplied by a limited number of large coal-powered plants, not thousands of decentralised suppliers seeking connection at a local level. It is estimated that more than 1,100 projects are currently waiting to be connected, and with planning restrictions on wind relaxing many more are now likely to be joining the queue.

National Grid, which is responsible for moving electricity across England and Wales, says it is tightening up the criteria for projects to apply so only the really promising ones join the queue. But a huge new investment is also required to restructure the grid so it can deal with more power sources.

Energy Networks Association represents the UK’s network operators, such as DNOs, which connect people’s homes to the main system owned by National Grid. It says that the government needs to speed up the planning process so electricity infrastructure can be built more quickly. Ofgem says it has agreed to allow the National Grid to raise an additional £20bn over the next 40 years from customer bills to pay for the huge upgrades the grid needs, and later this year the government is expected to announce a new action plan for speeding up grid connections.

Commercial organisations factoring in a 100% green grid by 2035 as part of their decarbonisation strategy may need to start reconsidering their plans. If we cannot rely on the grid being on track for net zero in the next 12 years, then organisations need to look at how they can generate energy demand locally without depending wholly on grid supply, or Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) that bring electricity from the national transmission network to businesses. We also already recognise that electricity is costly compared to gas (by a factor currently of 3.8) and is intrinsically linked as much of the grid electricity is still produced by gas-burning power stations. The hope is that costs will fall as renewable generation increasingly supersedes gas, but if £20bn additional funding is required for grid connection alone surely, we need to factor in additional operational costs for future electricity-based applications which are at the heart of most decarbonisation strategies. In the long run, our energy supplies should be not only greener but also more secure and cheaper, but what can be done in the interim?

This brings us back to wind and especially solar. Both are technologies that are proven, well understood, truly renewable and can be installed on the property to meet or at least offset some of the grid demands of a business. Wind power remains a complex, highly expensive option with long lead times due to planning restrictions and complex build and installation so is not for everyone, and is only really suitable for properties located in more mixed/rural locations. Solar, both PV and thermal is by far the simpler and more cost-effective option. Whilst PV can supply electricity for multiple applications, for water heating solar thermal is the preferred option. By far the most efficient of the two solar technologies, solar thermal requires fewer collectors to generate similar energy to a PV set-up, so is more versatile when working with available roof space on a property and is extremely robust when deploying drain back technology. This ensures operation with low maintenance for a faster return on investment.

To learn more about decarbonisation and getting on track for net zero visit our resource page or read more about solar thermal for commercial properties.

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Carbon Capture

In part one we considered the role carbon emissions play as a major cause of global warming, we now turn our attention to what can be done to address the reduction of existing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through carbon capture as part of the process of achieving net zero by 2050.

A promising way to help reduce the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere and slow the pace of global warming, carbon capture is another element of the wider more comprehensive approach required to successfully address climate change.

It advances the idea of carbon sequestration, a natural process of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in a way that it will not be released back into the atmosphere for a long period of time. This is observed in vegetation, where plants and trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. The carbon dioxide is stored in the tree’s tissues and is not released back into the atmosphere until the tree dies and decomposes. Reforestation, therefore, has huge value in terms of increasing the amount of carbon that is naturally stored in trees but also soils. Soils can store large amounts of carbon as organic matter, such as compost or manure. Oceans are also a primary natural provider of carbon sequestration, storing carbon dioxide in a variety of ways, dissolving it in the water itself, but also forming carbonate minerals, and storing it in the tissues of marine organisms.

An increasing raft of new technologies is leveraging these capabilities to create commercial-scale carbon capture projects around the world deploying. These projects include:

  • Direct air capture (DAC) removes CO2 directly from the atmosphere. This is done using a variety of methods, such as chemical absorption, physical adsorption, and membrane separation. The captured CO2 is then stored in a variety of ways, such as underground or in the ocean.
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is designed to capture CO₂ from industrial sources, such as power plants and factories. The captured CO₂ is then stored underground in deep saline aquifers or depleted oil and gas reservoirs.
  • Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a technology that captures CO₂ from biomass, such as wood, agricultural waste, and municipal waste. The captured CO₂ is also then stored underground.
  • Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is a method of increasing the production of oil from an oil field by injecting CO₂ into the ground. The CO₂ forces the oil to the surface, where it can be extracted.

There remain a number of challenges associated with carbon capture, such as the cost of the technology, the availability of storage sites, and the potential environmental impacts. The cost of carbon capture still varies greatly depending on the technology and the source of CO₂, however, it is expected to come down as the technology matures. Despite the challenges, carbon capture has the potential to play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gasses and slowing or even halting the threat of runaway global warming.

Read more about net zero and what your organisation can do to reduce its carbon emissions today

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Carbon Emissions And The Commercial Sector

A major cause of global warming, carbon emissions are the release of carbon dioxide and other carbon-containing gases into the atmosphere. Because these gases absorb infrared radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface global temperatures rise leading to extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and changes in plant and animal life. This has been steadily increasing since the Industrial Revolution when there was a marked increase in the burning of fossil fuels, a process which releases carbon dioxide.

Today the main sources of carbon emissions are:

• Energy production – where burning of coal and gas is used to generate electricity and heat. This remains the largest single source of carbon emissions.
• Transportation – Cars, lorries, aeroplanes, and ships using diesel or petrol derivatives as fuel release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases
• Manufacturing, agriculture, and other industrial activities – release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as a by-product of their operations
• Deforestation and other changes in land use – agriculture and development, can release carbon dioxide that has been stored in the soil and vegetation

So What Can Be Done to Reduce Carbon Emissions?

There is no single silver bullet to address the reduction of carbon emissions, although attempts to tackle the main sources of carbon generation as outlined are much more likely to deliver a notable and faster impact. Carbon generation is however so prevalent that multiple approaches need to be adopted in conjunction to halt or at least slow the damaging impacts predicted and that we are already experiencing around the planet.

Switching to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind-generated power is given, alongside greater improvements in energy efficiency of businesses, and appliances deployed.

Social change is also required, with greater dependence on more energy-efficient public transportation or actively opting to drive less and walk more. Addressing diet has been proposed since meat production is a major source of greenhouse gases. Recycling is also critical in reducing waste that goes to landfills, which in turn reduces the amount of methane gas that is released into the atmosphere. Better management and planting of trees that absorb carbon dioxide has also been long recognised as a proactive and environmentally friendly option. The problem is that this has been used to deflect a lack of active effort to reduce carbon by organisations through the action of offsetting.

Carbon offsetting

Carbon offsetting is a voluntary market-based mechanism that enables organisations to compensate for their greenhouse gas emissions by supporting projects that reduce or remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The goal of these projects, which can be located anywhere in the world, is to match in reduction of what a company is producing in terms of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The problem is the organisation is failing to address the root causes of its own carbon emission activity. Also offsetting in projects geographically distanced from an organisation’s own carbon generation is likely to have a more limited impact.

Carbon offsetting is not a substitute for reducing emissions, and can quickly become a means to counteract poor efforts to amend organisational activities that actively generate carbon emissions, such as legacy industrial functions and unnecessary business travel. As a result, carbon offsetting becomes regarded as little more than corporate social responsibility activity which many governments have now rightly called out as little better than whitewashing.

Whilst larger, listed organisations will be held accountable in the UK and precluded from citing offsetting over actual investment in sustainability, the processes used to offset carbon emissions remain valid and can be used as a guide for delivering real change in business practice.

Planting trees, investing in renewable energy projects, improving energy efficiency in businesses, supporting sustainable agriculture practices, such as crop rotation and cover cropping, and methane capture and storage all have a role to play in helping to mitigate the effects of climate change are all valid, sustainable activities if employed as part of a wider decarbonisation strategy. But that strategy must seek to actively reduce an organisation’s emissions to the point where net zero is attainable across the entire corporate structure, from industrial processes to buildings and transportation.

Active reduction of carbon generation is the ultimate goal, but the issue of existing high levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere means that there is also a great deal of interest in technologies and processes that can actively capture and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

In part 2 we consider a future based on carbon capture…

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Read The Adveco May 2023 Newsletter

Read the Adveco May 2023 newsletter. We start the month with a look at the government’s plans to Power Up Britain, before turning our attention to the options and pitfalls that should be avoided when planning a move to more sustainable water heating in commercial buildings. We also have launched a new training portal on our website with a new CPD for solar thermal specification and installation training.

Click here to read the Adveco May 2023 Newsletter