mould, virus and dust particles IAQ

IAQ in Commercial Buildings

Given that most of us typically spend up to 90% of our time inside buildings, indoor air quality (IAQ) is a serious consideration, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of the people who occupy it. Poor IAQ can have several negative health effects, including respiratory problems, headaches, fatigue, and allergies. It can also lead to decreased productivity and increased absenteeism.

Despite hybrid working becoming firmly entrenched across the country, IAQ remains an especially important issue within commercial buildings, given the significant time people still spend within them, whether working or visiting. IAQ can be affected by a variety of factors, including the building’s ventilation system, the materials used in its construction, and the activities that take place inside it.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance on air quality has advised member states to consider air pollution to be as big a threat to human health and well-being as climate change and adjusted almost all of its previous maximum target levels for airborne pollutants downwards. It linked long-term exposure to even relatively low concentrations of ambient and indoor air pollution to lung cancer, heart disease, and strokes – putting the health impact of pollution on a par with poor diet and smoking.

There are several things that can contribute to poor IAQ in commercial buildings. Some of the most common causes include:

Many building materials, such as carpets, furniture, and paints, can release harmful pollutants into the air. These pollutants can include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, and asbestos.

Pollutants from activities that take place inside a building can also contribute to poor IAQ. For example, cooking, smoking, and using cleaning products can all release pollutants into the air.

And if a building’s ventilation system is not working properly, it can’t remove pollutants from the air. This can lead to a buildup of pollutants and poor IAQ.

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, highlighting the role played by poor-quality indoor environments in the spread of viruses and other airborne contaminants, new standards were deemed necessary, elevating publicly available specifications in development by the British Standards Institute and BESA to a full British Standard BS40102-1.

The new standard gives recommendations for measuring, monitoring, and reporting indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in all types of non-domestic buildings. It includes an evaluation and rating system for air quality, lighting, thermal comfort, and acoustics.

Given that building retrofit work carried out to improve energy efficiency had, in many cases, led to poorer quality ventilation this new evaluation will give building managers a benchmark score to help them identify areas of below-par performance. This enables planned improvements which include IEQ measures in any retrofit and renovation work to improve the health and well-being of occupants.

To meet the new standard organisations will need to tackle conditions that have a direct impact on human health including humidity, and excessive levels of CO2, CO, NO2, volatile organic compounds (VOC), airborne particulates and mould.

Adveco has for many years operated a system of checks to ensure the comfort and safety of buildings, including initial system commissioning to ensure correct and safe installation of appliances, in particular its gas-fired water heating and flues. This is especially important in controlling and safely removing any CO2 and NOx emissions from proximity to building users. Regular annual service is a critical facet of such safety checks, yet can be a process that slips once products are no longer under their initial warranty period. This is both a false economy and of potential danger to building users. While new builds will embrace all-electric systems which effectively negate NOx and on-premise CO2  generation, pre-existing commercial sites need to be increasingly vigilant, especially when ageing gas-fired systems remain in use. Mould, a type of fungus which produces airborne spores, is also a contributor to poor IAQ so regular service also helps to identify or prevent cases of damaging corrosion (in soft water areas) and limescale build-up (in harder water areas) which can lead to leaks that then encourage growth of mould in plantroom areas.

Setting IEQ performance benchmarks will make it easier for facilities managers to target problem areas, but British Standards will require further tightening if they are to keep abreast of the WHO’s more stringent guidelines. 

If you operate buildings with ageing gas-fired hot water systems and have concerns about IAQ or wish to reduce carbon emissions as part of a sustainability strategy, speak to Adveco about Live Metering, system assessment and replacement options. Whether looking for high-efficiency, ultra-low emission gas appliances such as AD / ADplus water heaters and MD boilers, or a transition to electric boilers, heat pumps or solar thermal we can help with system assessment, replacement design, supply and ongoing service for more efficient, comfortable and safe working environments.   

zero carbon footprint for the public sector

Public Sector Decarbonisation Latest Funding Phase

The UK Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) is a government-funded program designed to support the UK’s net zero emissions target by 2050 by providing grants to public sector bodies to help them decarbonise their buildings. This is important as most of the buildings in the public sector still rely on burning fossil fuels for heating, hot water, and catering. 

Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the PSDS have been successful in helping to decarbonise public sector buildings in the UK. The schemes have awarded over £1.75 billion in grants to over 1,300 public sector bodies, which have helped to decarbonise more than 2,000 public buildings. These projects have resulted in a reduction of more than 1.25 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Who can use the PSDS?

The scheme is open to a wide range of public sector bodies, and it provides significant financial support for decarbonisation projects. If you are a public sector body that is looking to reduce your carbon emissions, the PSDS is a great option to consider.

The PSDS is open to all public sector bodies, including central government departments, local authorities, schools, hospitals, police forces, fire and rescue services and other public buildings.

The PSDS has been a successful program so far. In Phase 1, which ran from 2020 to 2022, the scheme awarded over £1 billion in grants to more than 1,000 public sector bodies. These grants have helped to decarbonise more than 1,500 public buildings, resulting in a reduction of over 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Phase 2 of the PSDS, which ran from 2021 to 2022, awarded £75 million in grants to a further 300 public sector bodies. These grants have helped to decarbonise more than 500 public buildings, resulting in a reduction of a further 250,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Why should public sector bodies apply for funding?

There are a number of reasons why public sector bodies should apply for funding from the PSDS. These include:

  • Helps reduce fossil fuel emissions as well as making public buildings more comfortable and cheaper to warm. 
  • To reduce their carbon emissions and help the UK reach net zero.
  • To save money on energy bills.
  • To improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.
  • To create jobs in the low-carbon economy.
  • Gain ongoing client and technical support on project delivery. 

Phase 3c of the PSDS

Phase 3 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, worth £1.425bn, was launched on behalf of the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero in 2021 to supply grants to public sector bodies over the period 2022 to 2026. Phase 3c of the PSDS was launched this month.

For Phase 3c of the PSDS, an additional financial year of funding has been granted by the Department. This funding increases the value of the overall funding to the scheme and will enable Phase 3c projects to deliver across two financial years.

Phase 3c of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme has up to £230 million available in 2024/25. The budget available in 2025/26 will be confirmed this autumn though applicants should assume a broadly balanced profile across 2024/25 and 2025/26.

The Application Portal for Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme Phase 3c is expected to open in the autumn and comes with soft sector caps (divided by Health, Education and Other) to ensure a more balanced distribution of funds across sectors. 

Applicants can submit separate applications for separate projects or combine several projects for delivery across one or two financial years. Applicants can also include energy efficiency measures and other enabling works, that are additional to the replacement of the fossil fuel heating system, where they support a whole-building approach to decarbonisation. 

To apply for Phase 3 funding visit the PSDS website or visit Adveco’s Net Zero resources to understand how funding can be used to support decarbonisation projects that deliver results today. For public sector buildings with gas-fired systems please talk to us about metering your buildings to understand how low-carbon technology can be successfully used to lower carbon emissions without excessively driving up capital funding.  

all electric banner

All Electric ? Sustainability & Water Heating Pt.3

In this three-part series, Adveco has so far addressed the role of air source heat pumps and solar thermal as a source of low carbon preheat, in this final part, we consider the future of gas and the adaptation to all electric applications for implementing more sustainable hot water in commercial buildings.  

Read Part 1 Sustainability & Hot Water – Which Path Is Right For Commercial Properties? 

Read part 2 sustainability & Hot Water – Using The Sun

Despite the pressure to address carbon emissions in building stock in the UK, the fact is we are still waiting for clear advice at a government policy level. The final decision on energy solutions remains unresolved. So do you opt to go all electric with equipment now on the basis that the grid will become zero carbon or hold out for the option of carbon-free gas such as Hydrogen, which in terms of infrastructure change and refurbishment would be potentially quicker, cheaper and less disruptive.

As indicated, if your building has a gas connection and has high hot water demands it remains the most cost-effective option. Additionally, new gas-fired appliances operate with ever-reduced emissions, and most are ready to accept the initial proposed 20% hydrogen blends in the gas grid as early as 2024 without requiring any alteration. ‘Hydrogen Ready’ units are, with a replacement of the burner and pre-mixer, even capable of burning 100% hydrogen, but that scenario is some time away. Should hydrogen be accepted by the government as a function of net zero we would not expect 100% feeds to be in place nationally until 2040 with the grid changeover beginning in the early to mid-2030s. Retaining an existing gas connection, therefore, provides a degree of futureproofing should green gas technology be embraced.

What is clear though is that the latest building regulations (Part L, 2021) have radically revised the carbon intensity of electricity from 519g CO/kWh ten years ago to just 136 today. Gas in the same period has fallen from 240 to 233. Whilst the regulations do not yet exclude gas, they do advantage the adoption of all electric systems. We have demonstrated that renewables have a critical role in reducing the carbon emissions of a system, as well as offsetting the costs of heating water with direct electricity.

Gas-based hot water applications are, by a factor of 3.8, currently cheaper to operate than direct grid-electric systems. Using heat pumps can offset 25-35% of those energy costs, but this still leaves a considerable excess operating charge because of the need to provide top-up energy for safe operating temperatures. Historically, additional system top-up was provided by electric immersions, which for backup purposes and occasional peaks in demand whilst more expensive was acceptable. The shift to fully electric systems has put a greater onus on the technology which was never designed to provide primary heat. The costs are excessive and as we indicated, should they be deployed hard water, can rapidly develop scale leading to permanent damage in a remarkably short time. For this reason, we recommend the replacement of immersion technology with smaller electric boilers that are both more efficient, and, because they operate in a closed loop will avoid the issues of systems scaling up.

Perhaps the most detrimental issue we see today as a result of replacing gas with electricity is the propensity to oversize the new all electric system, replacing gas appliances with electric alternatives with like-for-like capabilities. Hot water systems have been inherently oversized in the past through a lack of understanding of application design or concerns over providing suitable backup to ensure system continuity. The result of oversizing is however always the same, unnecessary capital costs for system supply and installation, but when replacing gas with electricity, oversizing leads to greater electrical demand and should that exceed a building’s available amperage of electrical supply, project installation costs will inevitably soar, or even stall the project.

This can best be avoided by understanding your building’s actual hot water demands and designing the replacement to meet those specific needs. There is an art to designing hot water systems, but real, actionable data is priceless. When considering options for introducing sustainability the best advice we can give is to understand your needs first. Live metering is an easy, non-intrusive way of securing the valuable operational data you need to make informed decisions that deliver on expectations to lower carbon emissions without incurring unforeseen costs.


hot water refurbishment in schools

Replacing School Hot Water Systems, Do Your Homework

The most consistent issue we see in when replacing school hot water systems is oversizing, whether through a lack of understanding of application design or concerns over providing suitable backup to ensure system continuity. The result of oversizing is however always the same, unnecessary capital costs for system supply and installation.

As schools plan to adopt greener building operations, replacing old gas-fired systems with like-for-like electric is another guaranteed way to gain an oversized system, but can also lead to undersizing if storage is not large enough to account for low, slow heating associated with heat pump based electric systems. Getting that balance right is critical as per kW price of electricity remains much higher than that of gas. Plus, if not optimised, the system will generate excess capital costs in terms of size and number of water heating appliances and complexity of installation. That in turn can also become more time-consuming and disruptive, a cause for concern if refurbishment work is scheduled into the narrow window afforded by the school holidays. More importantly, if the new electric system is oversized the required amperage could exceed a building’s available electrical supply. Bringing new supply in means excavating, possibly as far as the substation, which will see costs soar, or even stall the project.

This can best be avoided by collecting live onsite data. A valuable, non-invasive, and low-cost exercise, it should be undertaken to assess actual usage, including time and duration of peak demands which is critical for correct sizing. When assessing a school’s domestic hot water (DHW) usage, it is important to also establish basic information on energy sources, be they gas or electric, planned use of renewables such as heat pumps or solar thermal and the level of system redundancy and backup. This helps steer the design of the replacement system.

This approach has already been applied to several public sector sites in the UK where there is a strong impetus from the government for properties to be rapidly decarbonised in line with net zero strategies. Data collected by Adveco has enabled our application design team to provide recommended alternatives that avoid common issues that arise from replacing school hot water systems.

Replacing school hot water systems that are gas-fired with an electric system still has several cost implications. Correct sizing with metered data can reduce the costs of purchasing and installing new hardware, potentially saving tens of thousands of pounds depending on the scale and complexity of the DHW application. Excavation works to bring in increased electric supply though can quickly raise project costs to anything as high as £500,000 if in a city location! So optimising designs to avoid this is critical.

Operational costs do however climb and will continue to do so while grid electric prices remain much higher than those of gas grid supplies. The application of renewables including heat pumps and solar thermal can reduce, but not completely offset those direct electric costs.

The advantage is clearly defined in the reduction of carbon emissions, and, as work continues to decarbonise the electricity grid, the emission reduction figures supplied in the new system design should improve considerably, adding further environmental value to the system over the course of its operational lifespan. Decarbonisation of hot water still comes with implicit operational costs, but when replacing a school hot water system metering helps to clarify costs and puts a realistic number on the ledger that can be factored into a school’s decarbonisation strategy.

Read about live metering for schools from Adveco 


Adveco Appoints Vince Ng To Spearhead CPDs & Support National Accounts

Hot water specialist Adveco announces the appointment of Vince Ng as business development manager driving national sales accounts and Adveco’s continuing professional development (CPD) programme.

Vince will support Adveco’s portfolio of national accounts, including key brands across retail, hotels, restaurant chains and the public sector. Driven by government mandate and the increasing desire to decarbonise operations as part of a wider corporate policy that embraces the advantages of net zero for staff and customers, organisations can use the specialist knowledge Adveco can provide to address energy demands for business-critical hot water supply.

“Whether building brand new facilities or refurbishing existing buildings, Adveco’s application design services, specialist product portfolio and service contracts can help national organisations to control capital and operational expenses,” said Vince Ng, business development manager. “Critically by working in partnership with us customers operating UK-wide can reduce global warming carbon and harmful NOₓ emissions from their hot water (DHW) systems.”

A guaranteed supply of DHW is typically a more complex provision for commercial projects, often requiring bespoke applications that leverage a hybrid technological approach to achieve the necessary quantities and temperatures demanded. To help understand this, Adveco offers a range of CPDs and hands-on training for consultants, specifiers, engineers, installers and energy managers.

Adveco’s existing CPDs already cover sizing domestic hot water systems and maximising contributions from solar thermal. These are now joined by a new CPD, Best Practices for Electric-Based Commercial Hot Water Systems.

As organisations look to alternatives for securing low-carbon hot water this CPD session considers the options of achieving net zero in buildings by cutting carbon emissions through the electrification of water heating. It covers the specification of electric water heating, direct electric and low carbon methods including solar thermal and, in particular, air source heat pumps. This will provide an understanding of the challenges and issues surrounding commercial electric water heating and the importance of pairing kW to litres when designing a system and provide a clear overview of the next stage in the technological development of heat pumps.

“As a provider of hot water technologies, Adveco is proud to have a commitment towards the continued growth of knowledge and experience of professionals in the energy and sustainability sector. All our CPDs, including Best Practices for Electric-based Commercial Hot Water Systems, can be booked now with the training team as face-to-face or remote sessions,” said Vince.

Adveco is accredited with CIBSE for the provision of CPD seminars designed to contribute towards an individual’s professional development.

Book a CPD Seminar now

Gas & Sustainable Buildings

The UK commercial sector is still very much in the early process of adapting to more sustainable working, with many still reliant on fossil fuels. Despite the calls to change to more renewable forms of energy many are continuing to refit with familiar gas technology, so what is the current state of play between gas and sustainable buildings?

Decarbonising UK commercial properties is an immense challenge. They are directly responsible for nearly one-fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions and, since domestic hot water (DHW) can account for as much as a third of a business’s routine energy demands, addressing emissions from hot water generation should be on an organisation sustainability agenda.

In response there are two broad UK-wide strategies: either installation of heat pumps to drive electrification, or, for properties on the existing gas network, switch over to hydrogen as a low-carbon alternative to natural gas.

In 2020 according to the Department for Business, Energy, & Industry Strategy (BEIS) more than 1,656,000 non-domestic buildings in England and Wales, the large majority of which were connected to the gas grid, were consuming more than 172 TWh of gas. The number of commercial properties is set to continue to grow, and though these new builds are opting for electric-only applications, existing buildings face a number of issues, not least the capital expenditure required to modernise services and the increased operational costs from implementation.

For this reason, unlocking the potential of hydrogen represents a familiar, easier and more cost-effective way to transition to more sustainable heating practices in buildings. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), recently estimated Hydrogen will cover up to 12% of global energy demand by 2050 from virtually nothing today. At least two-thirds of total production will be green hydrogen (produced with renewable electricity) with the remainder covered by blue hydrogen production (derived from natural gas) so long as the carbon capture and storage (CCS) is proved viable.

In the UK, the status of hydrogen remains to be confirmed as part of the government’s push towards attaining net zero by 2050. The Heating and Buildings Strategy published in late 2021 does, however, give an indication of the growing support for hydrogen-based technologies, as does continued government investment in its feasibility. Hydrogen, as a result, is increasingly seen as a core shift in the energy trade and critically, in the wake of demands to reduce dependency on Russian oil and gas, the future for regionalisation of energy supply.

Currently, when comparing average non-domestic gas to electricity tariffs, electricity will cost as much as four and a half times that of gas, making gas the more cost-effective option. Yet it fails to deliver a clear investment in sustainability unless hydrogen is used to decarbonise. That also comes with a number of advantages given the equipment remains familiar to operate and manage. It should ensure capital costs remain lower, while decarbonisation can be accelerated within a property.

For those wishing to adopt the hydrogen approach, there remains a question mark over how quickly, where and in what proportion hydrogen will be introduced into the gas grid. With the ultimate aim of introducing 100% green hydrogen via the existing gas network, gas water heaters and boilers will need to be factory configured to burn hydrogen only. Or be hydrogen-ready, whereby natural gas-compliant appliances can be converted to operate on hydrogen only in the future. These appliances, with the exception of some regional test deployments of hydrogen, are not expected to be actively used with 100% hydrogen until well into the 2030s at the earliest, with a potential national roll-out predicted for the 2040s.

As an interim, the UK is assessing the potential for introducing hydrogen into the existing gas network as a blend at 20% volume to deliver a safer, greener gas alternative that reduces carbon emissions. A blended gas grid has the potential to become a reality by the late 2020s, enabling organisations to become used to working with hydrogen as an energy source with less disruption and no noticeable change in how gas is used within the property.

Can gas & sustainable buildings still co-exist?

For commercial organisations which have recently invested in, or plan to refurbish, existing non-hydrogen-ready gas appliances, the most recent condensing gas-fired models currently on the market should already be able to burn natural gas with a blend of up to 20% hydrogen without requiring any modification.

For example, Adveco’s current ranges of high efficiency, ultra-low emission gas-fired condensing water heater, the instantaneous ADplus and semi-instantaneous AD, as well as the MD boiler range, are all hydrogen 20% blend ready. Such appliances give customers peace of mind when investing in gas-fired water heating applications. With the latest generation of gas water heaters and boilers offering more rugged construction and technology that better manages operation the working life of the appliance is further extended, meaning if purchased today they should continue to operate well into the 2030s. As hydrogen blending becomes commonplace, this then delivers on the desire to decarbonise operations in the easiest and most cost-effective manner as a business user. When these require replacement a wider choice of more advanced, proven and lower-cost hydrogen-ready and 100% hydrogen appliances for commercial applications will be available on the market as the gas network matures and greens.

Gas-fired commercial water heating, therefore, remains a proven and future-proof choice for the working lifespan of current-generation appliances. Not only practical and lower cost to operate, these also deliver a way to introduce a degree of sustainability in the interim before hydrogen can make a real impact so gas and sustainable buildings will develop hand in hand.

With modern building regulations, it is likely that a commercial hot water system, whether it uses gas or electricity, will still also require a low-carbon preheat source to reduce carbon emissions. For properties with an existing gas connection employing solar thermal can be extremely effective in reducing reliance on the existing gas boiler, cutting as much as 30% of the annual energy demands for water heating.

Fortunately, solar thermal also lends itself to working in conjunction with not only conventional or blended gas heating but also other renewable technologies including air source heat pumps. This enables a variety of bespoke, hybrid applications to be considered to meet the varied demands of existing commercial buildings.

Despite the reliance on fossil fuel, the latest generation of gas water heaters and boilers provide a realistic and lower cost option for organisations already connected to the gas grid to leverage technology that offers higher efficiency operation for lower energy consumption and critically ultra-low carbon and NOₓ emissions. Through integration with renewables, they offer a way to further reduce a building’s energy demands and emissions today, as well as the potential to act as a gateway technology to future greener hydrogen blend energy sources at no further cost.  For the next decade or so, they still have an important role to play meaning gas & sustainable buildings will remain a reality, especially if gas supplies can successfully transform from its fossil fuel origins to green hydrogen.

Solar thermal for commercial building projects requiring DHW

Solar Thermal For Hot Water Generation In Commercial Properties

Adveco takes a look at the advantages of deploying solar thermal for hot water generation in commercial properties.  As part of an organisation’s wider sustainability plans, solar thermal offers a proven renewable technology that reduces emissions whilst able to integrate with other sustainable technology including air source heat pumps, direct electric and ultimately, through retained gas connections, hydrogen.

Commercial properties have traditionally sourced domestic hot water (DHW) from systems that have relied on gas boilers or water heaters because of the necessary high temperatures required for safe operation and the cost-effective operation it offers businesses. More recently there has been a trend toward all-electric systems in commercial new builds, driven by calls to support the government’s net zero strategy and cessation of new gas grid connections.

In 2020, according to the Department for Business, Energy, & Industry Strategy (BEIS), there were more than 1,656,000 non-domestic buildings in England and Wales. These properties are directly responsible for nearly one-fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions and, since DHW can account for as much as 30% of a business’s routine energy demands, addressing emissions from hot water generation becomes a key issue.

Whether a commercial hot water system uses gas or electricity, it will require a preheat source to reduce carbon emissions. Today there are realistically two main choices, either heat pumps or solar thermal. Neither technology offers a standalone response for the hot water system that will also require an alternate top-up heat source to meet minimum safe working flows of 60°C, peak demands and periods of low ambient temperatures or poor solar availability during winter months.

As a rule of thumb, new builds will invariably default to heat pumps, whereas properties with an existing gas connection will see greater advantages from the installation of solar thermal for hot water generation.

Currently, when comparing average non-domestic gas to electricity tariffs, electricity will cost as much as four and a half times that of gas. Even if a heat pump can demonstrate a 3 to 1 coefficient of performance (COP), and that needs to be for water with working flow temperatures of at least 45°C, that is not going to be enough to offset the difference in the cost of the gas-alone-fired alternative. Consider also that if direct electric is being used to top up the heat pump system and you are looking at an even wider divergence in operational costs.

Ideally allowing for approximately 20% solar fraction, or the percentage of the total thermal load satisfied by solar energy, employing solar thermal for hot water generation can be extremely effective in reducing reliance on the gas boiler.

Sizing Solar Thermal

Accurately assessing the demands and limitations of a building is critical for the correct sizing of the solar thermal system as the real world always seems to add unforeseen complexity. For instance, up to 25% of the total flat roof space available for solar panels will be limited by the allowance for access and prevention of shade which would otherwise compromise system efficiency. As building footprints become more compact and high-rise, especially in the case of city centres, available roof space to demand sharply decreases and solar thermal will come into competition with other heating and ventilation systems using the roof as real estate for installation. This is where solar thermal is more advantageous than solar photovoltaics (PV). Both approaches are directly comparable when used to offset direct electric water heating, with similar installation costs and annual savings. But in order to match three solar thermal panels taking up 6.6m² of roof space, a 4kW solar PV system will require 25m² to accommodate up to 16 panels in its system.

In general terms, each room in a hotel, care facility or education accommodation within an application design will require a 0.5 m² aperture, which is the area over which the solar radiation enters the collector. For flat plate collectors, the gross area and the aperture will be the same, with Adveco collectors, for example, each measuring 2.24 m². When sized and installed correctly, each solar thermal collector can contribute up to 1400kWh per annum, providing electricity savings of £300 electric and more importantly reducing emissions of CO² by 322kg. A commercial system sized to support an occupancy of 50 will typically require 12-24 panels, whilst smaller systems servicing up to 12 occupants will employ three to four panels. Collectively the panels deliver significant savings on the running costs that are not gained by using heat pumps.

There are also additional advantages that come with using solar thermal compared to heat pumps. Solar thermal operates silently meaning no sound pollution; there are no high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants; and no specialist registration, such as F-gas, is needed for installation, although installers should be solar trained. A correctly installed and maintained solar thermal system will outlast a heat pump, and maintenance is low, especially if systems are deployed with a drainback capability.


Using solar thermal for hot water generation works but capturing solar energy in a fluid that transfers heat indirectly to the DHW system. The solar fluid must be correctly managed, if left in the panel it can overheat, stagnating into a tar-like consistency which can leave collectors irreparable. Drainback is particularly important for preventing such overheating and resultant damage. It works by draining the fluid out of the system when not in use. This functionality is incorporated into all panels in Adveco solar system designs. Should the power be cut, the system naturally drains the fluid back to the reservoir, without the need for working components, providing guaranteed, low maintenance overheat protection. With such a system in place, solar fluid will last at least eight years before requiring a refresh. Drainback does require a 3m drop from the collector to the plant room to successfully operate, so the location of the plant room and the presence of flat or sloped roofs all come into play when calculating the most effective installation.

Hybrid Future

Fortunately, solar thermal also lends itself to working in conjunction with not only conventional gas heating but also other renewable technologies including air source heat pumps. This enables a variety of bespoke, hybrid applications to be considered to meet the varied demands of commercial buildings.  As solar thermal is (at times) a high-temperature renewable source, the heat pump should be used to supply the initial water heating from cold to 45°C. Solar thermal is then used after the heat pump to top up water temperature from 45°C. Any additional required energy would then be supplied by an immersion heater. This allows the solar to offset the immersion consumption, instead of offsetting the heat pump which already benefits from the COP. Although the solar will lose some efficiency operating at higher temperatures it is better because the COP is higher than the loss of efficiency.

Adveco AD Wall-Mounted Water Heaters For Commercial Properties

  • A range of three compact commercial semi-instantaneous gas condensing water heaters
  • Perfect for applications requiring direct contact with soft and softened water
  • Compact and smart for no-nonsense installation and maintenance

Commercial hot water specialist Adveco, announces the Adveco AD range of high-efficiency condensing gas-fired wall-mounted water heaters. Designed to provide a compact, high capacity and reliable method for delivering instantaneous hot water to a building, the new range consists of three models, the AD16 (27kW rated heat output), AD22 (33 kW) and AD37 (61 kW).

The AD is a range of ‘A’ class energy-efficient wall-mounted water heaters, with a net efficiency of up to 107% for the production of domestic hot water (DHW). With an efficient pre-mix burner and minimal NOₓ and CO emissions, the AD range is an eco-friendly way to serve a DHW system. Featuring a high 1:8 modulation ratio, wall-mounted ADs ensure maximum efficiency even during periods of low demand.

The wall-mounted water heater features a single high-quality patented heat exchanger constructed from a continuous, non-welded run of  AISI 316Ti titanium-stabi­lised stainless steel, providing exceptional construction strength and corrosion resistance. The brand-exclusive three-pass design features large bore, circular tube cross-sections that reduce the collection of debris.

Bill Sinclair, technical director, Adveco said, “For property renovation where space is at a premium or when existing gas appliances need modernising, the AD wall-mounted water heaters range delivers highly efficient operation in a compact form factor. The titanium-stabilised stainless-steel construction of the AD’s heat exchangers is also the perfect response to counter the concerns of corrosion in soft or softened water applications.”

Also included is an inbuilt controller with an LCD display that ensures full temperature control and a maintenance self-check of primary components and functions.

Additional Information

  • Compact wall-hung arrangement
  • High-efficiency pre-mix burner provides a large modulation range
  • Ultra-low NOₓ emissions at 16-29 mg/kWh
  • Available using natural gas or LPG
  • Supports standard concentric or parallel flue systems using an adaptor for low-cost 80/125 mm diameter PP available on request
  • Integrated run/fault signal for connection to BMS
Public Sector Funding for Decarbonisation

Public Sector Funding for Decarbonisation

The government has launched its latest phase of public sector funding for decarbonisation, dedicating up to £635m for building upgrades to improve energy efficiency and install a range of clean technologies through schools, hospitals, and other public buildings.

Forming part of a wider £2.5bn programme, Phase 3 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is providing £1.425 billion of grant funding over the financial years 2022-2023 to 2024-2025. The funding aims to support the government’s goal of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75 per cent by 2037, compared to 2017 levels, as set out in the Net Zero and Heat and Buildings strategies.

As the government looks to tackle soaring energy costs, it is intended that the funding will support a wider reduction in energy bills, to the tune of up to £650m a year over the next 15 years. As we have outlined, reducing emissions and energy costs do not necessarily go hand in hand, especially if working with heat pumps to supply hot water.

According to The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) 734 grants had been awarded to public sector organisations across England to date, with phase one of the scheme supporting up to 30,000 jobs in the clean heating and energy efficiency sectors.

Applications for public sector funding for decarbonisation open from September and the government has issued guidance on how public bodies can apply for the latest wave of funding to be delivered on behalf of the government by Salix Finance, which also provides financing packages to help public sector bodies undertake energy-saving projects.

Salix Finance chief executive, Annie Shepperd, has urged public sector organisations across the country to move quickly to curb their energy use ahead of the significant increases in energy costs that are widely expected this winter.

“There is no time like the present to push forward with the decarbonisation agenda as our country must meet its ambitious targets to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our consumption of very costly energy,” she said. “This vital work is driving down our carbon footprint and making these buildings better places for people to work in and for the public to use.”

Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan said, “By helping even more public sector bodies ditch costly fossil fuels, we are taking an important step towards a more sustainable future while driving economic growth across the country and continuing to support tens of thousands of jobs.”  He also claimed that the scheme was already delivering upgrades to “hundreds of public buildings across England, making them cheaper to run and saving taxpayers millions of pounds each year”.

While such claims relating to public sector funding for decarbonisation should be appropriate to new build structures, upgrading existing buildings is a far more complex activity than these statements suggest. The focus on decarbonisation to address climate change is the only clear guaranteed deliverable at this time with the technology being promoted, which is predominantly heat pumps. Further work needs to be done by the government to push other technology opportunities, such as solar systems and especially solar thermal for water heating which has become an increasingly cost-effective and proven approach and hydrogen blend in the grid if cost savings are to be factored into the argument for embracing green initiatives at a commercial grade.

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