Keeping Hot Water Flowing

Keeping hot water flowing is critical in the commercial sector, where domestic hot water (DHW) appliances will be subjected to extremely hostile conditions, with high temperatures, thermal stress and flue gas condensate on the combustion side and oxygen, minerals and chemical attacks leading to potential corrosion on the waterside. Given this harsh daily treatment, regular servicing and maintenance are key if business-critical service is to be observed. Ensuring consistent operations and prolonging the life of a commercial hot water and heating system should therefore be a key factor when specifying and costing out these business-critical systems.

Once an application is sized correctly and installed, that maintenance process begins with commissioning. This choice falls to the customer, but Adveco advises that it should be engaged to commission its own appliances. This ensures product warranty commences from the date of commissioning, rather than the date of delivery which may be months before a system eventually goes live. If not commissioned by Adveco, it will also fall to the customer to fault find, order the new part and return the faulty part, which can be a painful, time-consuming process for any facility manager who is already time-poor.

Keeping hot water flowing to support consistent operations, we specialise in both commissioning and proactive warranty service to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This is crucial for the consistent and efficient operation of an appliance which can be affected by a range of environmental factors, water condition most notably, but air quality can also harm operation. The UK is broadly split between hard and soft water conditions. In naturally soft water conditions, despite the use of sacrificial anodes, glass-lined vessels can rapidly succumb to critical corrosive damage, making stainless steel the optimal choice, with longevity countering higher purchase costs. Commercial glass-lined steel water heaters and tanks are usually the more cost-attractive proposition in the UK, especially in harder water areas, where, given the right conditions, they are generally resistant to attack from most chemicals and less-corrosive materials. However, the deposition of calcium carbonate, or scale, found in harder water remains a key issue, whether opting for glass-lined or stainless steel vessels.

The latest generation of water heaters may incorporate recirculation pumps to balance the flow of water through the appliance’s heat exchanger. That balance is critical as higher flows can reduce calcification, but it can also lead to corrosion where that flow is interrupted or broken. This is why internal forms should default to curves within the design to provide consistent, unbroken flows.

In typical operation in harder waters, in our experience, it is almost impossible to completely avoid the build-up of scale. Magnets simply do not work properly, so the use of an inhibitor fluid is critical alongside regular annual servicing. This can be of a representative number of appliances on a premise, with conditions that reduce or extend that service period. Low levels of scale may allow for units to be serviced in alternate years for example reducing costs. That annual service must however be thorough.

Too many times an ‘annual service’ will be a quick test with an analyser and issue of a landlord’s certificate. Such activity is relatively low cost, as it avoids the purchase of a service kit, but is ultimately a false economy. It will miss the early onset of calcification and means the water heater or boiler is more likely to suffer early, terminal blockage. For a thorough annual service, we would advocate appliances be fully drained, visually examined and any scale be removed. The process involves disassembly which requires the replacement of rubbers and gaskets, hence the requirement to purchase a service kit. Though more costly, such full services are substantially cheaper than the cost of replacing blocked heat exchangers, burners and even the entire appliance.

If scale build-up is not addressed, then within five years any descaler fluid introduced will simply wash over the surface, which will also easily resist the most concerted of hammer blows. At this stage, the descaler will also not pass through the heat exchanger, requiring its complete replacement. This is seen when servicing or preventative maintenance has been avoided or forgotten, at which point the manufacturer’s warranty will be void.

Annual monitoring of the inhibitor system used for boilers is also key, especially if heating facilities have been refurbished within a building. It is not uncommon to see boilers damaged after radiators are replaced, and new water introduced into the system without replacing lost inhibitor fluid. Monitoring and replacement as part of the annual service activity will again protect the heat exchangers.

The other key failure point is the burner in gas-fired appliances. Condensing boilers and water heaters will draw air from the plant room and if that is dusty, it will be sucked in, reducing the efficiency. If not cleaned regularly, the burner will soot up and eventually become blocked often requiring full replacement at some cost. Even if located in an open space, or exterior to the building the burner should be thoroughly inspected. Nearby building works can cause high levels of dust, and in dense urban areas, pollutants from vehicles can also be drawn into the appliance causing build-up of dirt on the burner.

Serviced thoroughly and regularly, commercial water heaters and boilers should have an efficient operational lifespan of at least ten years (depending on location), and we do see appliances still operating for twice that length of time. The caveat in these cases though is that the overall efficiency of legacy units operating for more than 10 years will be far lower than current generations of appliances and will almost certainly fail to meet current ERP regulations on emissions introduced in 2018 for new water heaters and boilers. So continued maintenance of such units would not only be a false economy in terms of running costs but will certainly not be contributing to any efforts to introduce better sustainability in a building.

In short, failure to descale, flush sediment, clean burners, check anodes or test for corrosion will reduce the operational longevity of any appliance, but also severely impact the efficient operation. That has negative implications on operational costs and unwarranted capital implications if there is a catastrophic failure. Under such conditions, this will almost certainly invalidate any manufacturer warranty that exists. Reactive service providers will only check gas pressures and overall condition, they will then wait for breakdowns and call outs.  Only by keeping hot water flowing through proactive servicing can you ensure any costly downtime of business-critical hot water is absolutely minimised.

Keeping hot water flowing. Visit our warranty service page or contact us to arrange for your service.

Adveco AD: Providing Continuity of Service in Soft Water Conditions

• The Adveco AD range of compact commercial semi-instantaneous gas condensing water heaters
• Perfect for applications requiring direct contact with soft and softened water
• Highly efficient modular design offers continuity of service in one appliance.  Or can be deployed as an on-gas system backup for larger-scale heat pumps projects

Commercial hot water specialist Adveco, presents the new AD range for 2022. This latest generation of sleekly designed, modulating commercial floor-standing gas condensing water heaters is conceived to be used with a buffer for high demand semi-instantaneous hot water applications in sports & leisure centres, hotels, spas, schools, stadia, and large commercial buildings.

With each water heater composed of one to four 70 kW heat exchangers, the Adveco AD range offers appliances from 70kW up to 280 kW. This approach optimises the supplied output (up to 160 litres/minute) ensuring maximum efficiency when providing DHW. Models with multiple integrated heat exchangers offer load balancing for optimal long-life operation and inbuilt redundancy guaranteeing continuity of service.

Bill Sinclair, technical director, Adveco said,” As well as the continuity of service seen in individual units, the AD is perfect for integrating into large scale heat pumps systems seen in hotels and hospitality. So long as there is an existing gas connection, AD can be used to provide a cost-effective and easy to accommodate back-up for assured continuity of business-critical water heating.”

Tough and efficient, AD water heaters are all equipped with premix burners made of Fecralloy metal fibre for large modulation range with excellent functionality at extremely high temperatures. Using a premix burner ensures the AD requires less gas, making it more cost-effective, plus reducing harmful NOX and CO emissions.

The titanium-stabilised stainless-steel construction of the AD range’s heat exchangers is the perfect response to counter corrosion typically seen in high-pressure circuits in soft, or softened water applications. The heat exchangers work with an electronically controlled variable stainless steel modulating recirculating pump and two-way motorized valves to ensure a perfect balance between water flow and supplied output.

The AD range can also be configured to operate in a cascade of up to eight water heaters. The AD’s controller provides full temperature control and self-check maintenance functions. The controller also accommodates 0-10 input, MODBUS communication, and alarm output for seamless system integration.

Compact, lightweight yet still powerful, the Adveco AD’s patented space-saving design makes it equally applicable to both new projects or renovation work where a lack of space would traditionally stall or quickly drive up costs of a project.

Additional information
• Five-year warranty on AISI 316Ti heat exchangers with
• 10-year warranty on pre-mix burner
• Compact floor standing arrangement: AD 70T & AD140T H1180xW600xD945mm / AD210T & AD280T M1880xW600xD896mm
• High maximum run pressure up to 11 bar
• Low emissions, built with Class 6 technology for NOₓ at 27 mg/kWh GCV
• Available for natural gas or LPG
• Acid condensate neutraliser included
• Ideal for soft water applications. Hard water areas over 150ppm require use of a water softener down to 100ppm.
• Supports standard flue systems using low cost 110-160 mm diameter PP

Installing commercial heat pumps – what to look for

Adveco’s FPi32 commercial heat pumps range are not only a renewable source of hot water with low running costs but are one of the easiest to fit when it comes to installing commercial heat pumps.

With the government-led push to replace ageing commercial hot water systems with new, more environmentally friendlier technologies, the demands for heat pump based applications is expected to soar in the coming decade. One of the key concerns raised by the HVAC industry is the availability of trained installers capable of working with heat pumps. While the number of commercial installations may be superseded by domestic sites, their complexity means installers will increasingly be in demand. To prevent costly hold-ups, projects incorporating ASHPs should take into account how difficult or easy installation of commercial heat pumps might be.

The FPi32’s compact monobloc design, with a built-in circulation pump and plate heat exchanger, allows for an easy installation for a multitude of work areas. This includes both indoors and outdoors. They can be installed in small unused spaces, mounted on exterior walls or flat roofs of the site. Installed on flat roofs or mounted onto GRP plant rooms.

An FPi32 installation also requires few ancillaries (strainer, expansion vessel and pressure relief valve) to enable its operation as part of a hot water system. This also helps to keep system purchase costs lower as well.

Another advantage of installing commercial heat pumps, such as these compact FPi32 units, is that less construction work and time is needed to fit them. They can be up and running quicker, providing working flows of hot water sooner than other units currently in the commercial market. They can then efficiently and effectively sustain the necessary working temperature of 50°C required to provide preheat as part of a hybrid all-electric system in new build projects.

Ease of installation goes hand in hand with significantly reduced maintenance costs.

The design of these FPi32 units incorporates effective frost protection, enhancing the option to install outdoors. The FPi32 range is equipped with a 1.5-metre ‘trace heating cable’ as standard, which is there to protect the pipework between the heat pump and the building from frost conditions. This ‘trace heating’ via the mechanical thermostat is always available when the heat pump has power. This guarantees protection against frosty conditions when needed, regardless of whether the heat pump is operating.

This monobloc design simply requires regular cleaning of the coil and water filter in terms of regular maintenance. The internal parts are easily accessible for all maintenance needs. A refrigerant circuit high-pressure gauge is cleverly positioned so that this can be read clearly and easily through the external cover to monitor the pressure and indicate whether a leak may or may not have occurred. Access to the internal parts, in the need of any replacements, can be achieved without long evaluation wait times. For example, if the replacement of non-return valves on sensors and switches is required then the quick replacement time is advantageous, reducing the amount of “down time” on the unit. All of which equates to an extremely work effective and reliable unit for your commercial needs. This demonstrates that, once supplied by Adveco, installing commercial heat pumps is easy and is also a more forward-thinking way for a greener environmental contribution. Reliability and efficiency equal greater sustainability, as well as keeping those costs lower all round.

We would argue that under the right circumstances, installing commercial heat pumps can be a relatively straightforward and successful way to introduce greater sustainability into the hot water system for new build projects. The FPi32 heat pump range represents a win-win, ticking all the boxes for a sensible purchase, offering a simpler, more efficient option for installing commercial heat pumps in a variety of ways. Once fitted, required maintenance is quick and easy, all whilst helping contribute to a project’s green credentials.

Learn more about renewables.

Adveco SSB-E Lower Carbon Electric Water Heating

The Adveco SSB-E is a range of tough, stainless steel electric water heaters for commercial DHW applications. Based on the SSB buffer vessel, the SSB-E, through the addition of a specialised single or double-mounting flanges integrates electric immersions becoming a full-fledged electric water heater. SSB-E is available from 200 to 2500 litre capacity variants with up to 84 kW of heating for larger scale commercial hot water demands.

Heating capacity is achieved with up to four primary three to 12 kW immersion heaters. The addition of an immersion of three to 36 kW, installed in the side port is typically used to supply built-in redundancy, but can be used to raise overall heating capacity in high-demand scenarios.

The specialised flanges angle the primary heating elements downward into the vessel ensuring water is heated from the bottom of the tank for optimal efficiency. This energy efficiency is further improved through the addition of 100-125 mm removable insulation.

Alongside the advantages of built-in redundancy, the multiple immersions allow for individual element control. Adveco can supply bespoke control box systems that enable full, individual control of temperature, with easy switching and customisation allowing for varying periods of demand or differential tariff supplies.

Manufactured from high-grade AISI 316L austenitic stainless steel, the Adveco SSB-E range is designed and manufactured to the requirements of the Pressure Equipment Directive (97/23/EC) capable of delivering a maximum working pressure of 6 bar at 85°C. All vessels are tested to the procedure defined in BS EN 12897:2006 and are WRAS certified.

With a wide choice of water capacities, single or double flanges plus a range of immersion sizes and combinations, the Adveco SSB-E provides a bespoke water heater for the most demanding commercial hot water applications.

Discover more about SSB-E and Adveco’s other stainless steel hot water tanks for your bespoke applications.

Fossil Fuels – Their Future In UK Commercial Buildings

The future of fossil fuels is a key issue that needed to be addressed by the government’s Heating & Buildings Strategy report which was published late last year. Statistics (PDF) from the Non-Domestic National Energy Efficiency Data-Framework (ND-NEED) from the Department for Business, Energy, & Industry Strategy (BEIS) defined more than 1,656,000 non-domestic buildings in England and Wales at the end of March 2020. 278,000 or 17% of this building stock is off-gas grid. It is estimated that these non-domestic buildings are responsible for nearly one-fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions, a scenario that will be further exacerbated by a predicted one-third rise in non-domestic floor space by 2050.

A major function of the campaign to Build Back Greener, the report outlines the near and long-term ambitions for phasing out unabated fossil fuels and a transition to low-carbon heat in order to achieve net zero in the UK. The intention is to use ‘natural replacement cycles’ and seek ‘trigger points’ to set long-term expectations within the building sector.

For commercial on-gas-grid buildings, this means putting in place a process to phase out installation of new natural gas boilers from 2035, with a caveat that the costs of investing in low-carbon alternatives have been suitably reduced. To achieve this will require the development of the market for replacement low-carbon sources of heat. The core technology for driving these new markets will be heat pumps, but there is also to be a consideration for other natural gas replacements. By 2026 the government intends consultation to be completed on the case for gas boilers/water heaters to be hydrogen-ready. The process of ‘greening the grid’ is perhaps the most interesting and least disruptive option, improving efficiency and replacing the current supply for those already connected to the gas grid with alternative low-carbon fuels, whether biomethane or hydrogen injection into the gas supply. The government has already committed to enabling the blending of hydrogen in the gas grid (up to 20% volume) and continuing to support the deployment of biomethane through the Green Gas Support Scheme as a method for decarbonising the gas grid.

To support early adopters in the small business space and lure them away from appliances that burn fossil fuels it has been proposed that a new Boiler Upgrade Scheme be launched this year which will support the installation of low-carbon heat pump based heating systems with a payment of £5,000, in line with domestic applications. Given the current additional complexities of commercial systems, with higher temperature demands, this may not be enough to encourage early adoption without the support of higher temperature devices designed specifically to meet commercial DHW demands. To further drive early adoption, the intent is to limit support for the construction of new gas grid connecting heating systems, effective this year. That does not apply to existing legacy structures with a grid-gas connection. Replacement boiler or water heater connections should be, as a minimum, more efficient than those being replaced. This it is proposed will be driven by the application of smart controls and supported by a new Boiler Plus standard that reflects improved efficiency and carbon savings. This should ape conditions set in ERP standards in 2018 for new boilers and emissions set under SAP10. Given that the latest generation of gas-fired condensing boilers and water heaters already greatly exceed the mandated requirements this policy could be seen to be redundant before it ever comes into law.

For the moment if your business uses gas, then you can upgrade to new gas appliances up until 2035, with hydrogen-ready options extending that window well into the 2040s based on current appliance lifespan. If you are considering upgrading a boiler of water heater, you could opt for a natural gas appliance, one that is not considered hydrogen-ready, for at least the next ten years without concerns of breaching new regulations, so long as the new unit is more efficient than the unit being replaced. This provides a safety net while assessing new technology options prior to the 2035 deadline. It would also be well worth considering the implementation of solar thermal preheat for gas-fired systems if you wanted to make sustainability commitments with proven and genuinely renewable technology.

Off-Grid, But Still Being Watched

For the 17% of commercial buildings currently operating off the gas grid, many of which will use LPG variants of boilers or water heaters versus oil, the report proposes phasing out the installation of new fossil fuel heating systems and switching to low-carbon alternatives. Plans would see the introduction of regulations to address large off-gas-grid non-domestic buildings (over 1,000m2) no earlier than 2024, followed by small and medium non-domestic buildings from 2026. Where low-temperature heat pumps cannot be reasonably or practicably accommodated other low-carbon heating options (such as high-temperature heat pumps, and potentially liquid biofuels) may be accepted as an alternative.

The wider aim is to support this near term change with greater investment in heat pump innovation, reducing footprint and making them easier to install. This process is, however, already front and centre for heat pump manufacturers without requesting government support. Better, more efficient, more environmentally and cost-friendly appliances is a clear market driver. At Adveco the recent introduction of the FPi-32 ASHP is a case in point, being extremely compact and better for the environment whilst being more efficient and therefore more cost-effective to operate. Despite being off-grid, potential developments in hydrogen delivery could also be a significant development for the future of fossil fuels, especially in more rural areas, although commercial off-gas grid sites are not uncommon in larger urban areas.

To further encourage this adoption, support for new LPG and oil heating systems could well be refused from this year onwards, with the potential for limited commercial funding support for replacement schemes, depending on scale, coming from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme or the proposed Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

The process of transitioning commercial buildings from fossil fuels to low-carbon will, the report accepts, be gradual. It describes a process similar to the electrification of vehicles, which has depended on a mix of incentives and reducing the cost of entry.

Details of any incentives and clear evidence of where cost reductions are to come from remain hazy. Currently, production and operational costs of heat pumps remain high in comparison to traditional gas appliances that make use of lower-cost fossil fuels. The report, however, anticipates aggressive cost reductions of at least 25-50% by 2025 leading to parity with boilers by 2030. This then anticipates the natural replacement cycles of heating systems throughout the late 2030s and 2040s’ where capital expenditure on low-carbon replacement technology should it believes have lowered substantially. This is why 2035 has been set as the date when all new heating system installations should be low-carbon or hydrogen-ready (at least in those areas where future hydrogen supply has been established) effectively reducing the broad use of fossil fuels across a wide span of the commercial built environment.

FUSION Commercial Hybrid Hot Water Systems from Adveco

  • FUSION is a complete range of low carbon hybrid heat pump and electric hot water systems
  • Resilient stainless steel water heating suitable for all UK regions
  • Compact design for new build and refurbishment projects seeking greater sustainability

Commercial hot water specialist Adveco, introduces the FUSION FPH-S range of low carbon, all-electric, packaged hybrid hot water systems. FUSION harnesses Adveco’s FPi32 Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP), a high-pressure ATSH calorifier with electric immersion, controls, and metering to provide a reliable, high-temperature, sustainable and cost-effective system for new commercial build and refurbishment projects.

FUSION is available in 16 pre-specified variants with 6 or 10 kW preheat and 9 or 12 kW electric top-up, with capacities ranging from 200 to 500 litres all rated at 10 BAR for high-pressure applications. Able to meet a range of continuous capacity hot water demands from 257-377 litres/hour makes FUSION highly adaptable for a wide range of commercial buildings.

The FPi32 ASHP is specified to supply a working flow of 50°C for system preheat throughout the year, even when ambient air temperatures drop as low as -25°C. Electric immersion top-up then raises system temperatures in the calorifier to the necessary 60°C to meet commercial requirements for safe hot water demands. The stainless steel construction of the ATSH also makes it an excellent all-rounder, resistant to soft water corrosion and, with FUSION’s unique low electric immersion heat intensity (6W/cm²), is more resistant to scale build-up in hard water areas.

The physical design, dedicated controls and integrated metering ensure the ASHP preheat, and immersion work seamlessly to deliver the highest operational efficiencies. This enables FUSION to make the greatest gains possible from the heat pump, even when ambient temperature and system demands fluctuate. These gains offset much of the direct electrical energy usually required, delivering 53% carbon emissions saving and helping control the operational costs of providing business-critical hot water.

“For organisations with small to medium basin and sink led hot water demands and a desire to embrace a more sustainable business model, the FUSION FPH-S range provides a single, easy to accommodate, highly effective response,” says Bill Sinclair, technical director, Adveco. “By choosing one of these packaged hybrid water systems you gain optimum efficiencies, lower your carbon emissions and can be assured building regulations are being met for your commercial project.”

Fusion FPH-S Features

  • 16 pre-sized variants to meet a wide range of applications
  • 200, 300, 400 and 500-litre capacities
  • 6 or 10kW ASHP preheat
  • 9 or 12kW direct electric immersion heating
  • 257-377 litres/hour continuous capacity
  • 10 BAR high-quality AISI 316Ti and 316L stainless steel vessel (PED (97/23/EC), EN 12897)
  • Dedicated control system for simple operation and maintenance checks
  • Lower global warming potential with R32 ASHP
  • Compact space-saving form factor