Adveco - Experts in commercial hot water systems.

Case Study: Covid Laboratory & Wards

Newport Lighthouse & University Hospital Cardiff

Hot Water Demands For Covid-19 Testing & Care

The importance of addressing pandemic hot water demands was apparent from the earliest days of the Covid-19 outbreak. The need for improved hygiene was reiterated over and over again through campaigns to encourage handwashing as well as the thorough cleaning of working environments. As specialists in the provision of commercial hot water, Adveco was approached across a range of commercial sectors to help improve the provision of business-critical hot water supplies. Projects across the healthcare sector, especially within the NHS, were typified by the need for high levels of redundancy to guarantee services as well as accelerated timeframes for project delivery.

Test & Trace

Faced with more than one million COVID-19 tests a week, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) demanded new laboratories facilities to enable faster processing for Test and Trace. One of the first of these was Newport Lighthouse Laboratory, South Wales.

For Newport’s new Covid laboratory gas-fired water heaters were specified alongside heating controls and flueing to meet the pandemic hot water demands. Based on the initial specification for domestic hot water (DHW) for the general accommodations, laboratory hand basins and white areas. However, it rapidly became apparent the demands placed on the laboratory were increasing, leading to a doubling of the number of washbasins in the facility from the initial specification. With an increased system demand to address Adveco upgraded the application design to incorporate a BFC120, which would extend the system’s storage capabilities from the initial 368-litre capacity to 480.


Application design was needed immediately and changed rapidly as the scale of response required grew as Covid-19 spread and evolved


The BFC is a down-firing, high efficiency, gas-fired fully condensing storage water heater incorporating a high-grade carbon steel vessel, protected with A.O Smith’s unique patented glass lining. Installed into the mezzanine plant room, the system was supplied by Adveco with a sized expansion vessel, unvented kit, temperature and pressure gauges and flue kit.

In line with the specification for heater controls, the BFC120 provides a high degree of security and control and remote status indication.

With a highly efficient (92%) modulating premix burner, the BFC more than meets ecodesign specifications and, in the case of the laboratory, emissions were a concern, especially for nitrogen dioxide (NOx) with 37 mg/kWh GCV set as a maximum. The system based around the BFC120 met all the specification requirements and today continues to deliver the daily pandemic hot water demands for the laboratory.

Covid Care

Despite the efforts to track and trace the spread Covid-19 also required specialised treatment spaces in hospitals.  The Covid ward at University Hospital in Cardiff was one such project that demanded both high dependency and longevity from the DHW system.

The ward was required to cater for the hygiene of both staff and patients, with a specification that incorporated nine staff showers and a further 57 for patients, 175 basins and 31 sinks. With the scale of implementation, a life expectancy of the system was set at a minimum of 15 to 20 years to warrant the investment. The specification also demanded short recovery times to ensure availability and a thorough level of redundancy.

With the system sizing carried out by Adveco’s inhouse application design team, the optimal choice would be based around a packaged plate semi-storage heat exchanger system and stainless steel buffer with the option of electric immersion heating.


Including staff showering, the system would require a minimum input (with redundancy) from the packaged plate semi-storage heat exchanger of 244kw. Adveco’s PPS300, with a transfer duty of 300 kW each, provides 81% of load each. The PPS 300s is a storage ready, packaged system that comes with a gasketed stainless steel plate heat exchanger, controls, circulating pump, valves and pipework pre-assembled on a steel skid base.

Two were specified along with a pair of extremely resilient stainless steel SSB1000 DHW buffers.  Together these meet any peak load demands with the required redundancy in place. At full load, these large buffers provide a recovery time of just 11 minutes.  Based on the final specification, the addition of electric immersions was deemed unnecessary.


Adveco’s field engineers commissioned the appliances ensuring installation was completed in adherence to manufacturing guidelines. With built-in system redundancy and the addition of labour warranty for the project, Heath Park Hospital is assured Adveco’s service engineers are prioritised for the length of the parts warranty period, ensuring the system will exhibit no downtime throughout its maintained lifespan which should see the ward’s continued use long after the threat from Covid-19 has diminished.

University Hospital Cardiff product specification web
Newport's Lighthouse Lab painting web 1
Packaged Plate Heat Exchangers