Alexandra House Care Home

Estimated annual savings of £7,500

Berkshire, United Kingdom
Comprehensive School
TOTEM T10
Alexandra House care CHP

Adveco Ltd. recently secured the contract to supply a TOTEM T20 m-CHP appliance to the new Alexandra House care home in Parkstone, Poole, Dorset, as part of a complete heating and hot water system designed by Nicholas Villareal of McCarthy Bainbridge Ltd.

The Adveco TOTEM T20 m-CHP provides Alexandra House with a high efficiency, low-carbon and low-NOX source of heating and hot water.

The high-efficiency, ultra-low NO­­X combined heat and power unit will allow the building to satisfy the requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations in addition to providing a reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solution to meeting their year-round heating and hot water demands.

Installed by Holton Plumbing Services Ltd., the Adveco T20 CHP will work in conjunction with a custom-built Adveco MSS 2500-litre buffer vessel, as well as a cascade of two AO Smith Upsilon 110 boilers and two AO Smith IT500 indirect calorifiers.  Supplied as a complete package, alongside ancillaries and backup heating components via electric immersion elements, Adveco Ltd. have supplied Alexandra House with a complete, bespoke heating and hot water solution featuring some of the highest quality products and renewable technologies on the U.K. market.

The new Alexandra House, operated by Care South, is a 2-storey, 58-room residential care and nursing home designed to offer high standards of communal accommodation for the elderly, including dementia and nursing care.  The new building, situated on the site of the previous Alexandra House, uses traditional building materials to minimise its environmental impact and incorporates special features such as themed lounges and a secure, sensory garden.

A pair of A.O. Smith IT 500 indirect calorifiers supplied to Alexandra House by Adveco.

The Adveco TOTEM CHP is the first in a new generation of microcogenerators, featuring market-leading efficiencies and the lowest NOX and CO2 emissions available from any CHP within its class.  Designed and built in Italy by Totem-Energy s.r.l., the TOTEM is the result of almost 40 years of research and development, and features components purpose-built for operation on natural gas.  A 1.4-litre Fiat Fire engine, sourced directly from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – the developers of the original TOTEM in 1978 – and an ECU supplied and tuned by automotive experts Magneti Marelli allow the TOTEM to achieve unparalleled cogeneration quality and reliability.  With NOX emissions at <12 mg/kWh, 95% lower than the upcoming 2018 Ecodesign standards for clean CHP at 240 mg/kWh, the TOTEM is leading the way in environmentally-conscious building design.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP), or cogeneration, is the simultaneous production of thermal and electrical energy from a single source of fuel, and is an effective method of significantly increasing the energy efficiency of a building.  Producing electricity by connecting an engine to a generator at the point of consumption can achieve similar levels of generation efficiency to that of a conventional power plant, while also completely eliminating the energy losses associated with transmitting power over long distances.  The waste heat produced in the process is additionally recovered through a series of heat exchangers and used towards the thermal energy demands of the building, ensuring that minimal fuel energy is lost as exhaust.

Care homes, like all residential applications, typically exhibit a continuous electrical demand alongside a significant, but varied, hot water and heating usage pattern.  By sizing a CHP unit to meet the thermal energy requirements – knowing that there will always be an electrical demand to make use of the produced power – allows the machine to maximise its contribution to a building’s overall efficiency.  In the case of Alexandra House, the most effective design was that of a boiler return preheat system.

The TOTEM T20 CHP at Alexandra House will be connected to a bespoke buffer vessel to store its thermal energy, which in turn will connect to the boilers and central heating system.  This will additionally provide domestic hot water through the use of duplex indirect calorifiers, each incorporating an immersion heater to provide a separate heat source for further redundancy.  A correctly sized thermal store allows the CHP to run for extended periods of time while it heats up – all the while providing low carbon power to the building – ready to cover periods of peak usage.  With the bulk of the required energy coming from the CHP, the boilers are only used to top-up the temperature or cover periods of off-peak demand while the thermal store is recharging.

A well designed and reliable heating and hot water system is paramount to care homes, where the comfort and wellbeing of residents often requires above average levels of heating year round.  In addition to its market-leading efficiencies, the TOTEM CHP offers improved reliability through features such as a self-change oil system to reduce its maintenance demand and extend engine lifetime.  The TOTEM has also been designed as a fully serviceable appliance that can be repaired and overhauled on-site with minimal effort to ensure operation is resumed promptly.

The design of the hot water and heating system at Alexandra House is projected to achieve over 7,100 CHP operating hours per year, resulting in annual carbon reductions in excess of 44.5 tonnes and providing expected energy savings, inclusive of CHP maintenance costs, of £7,500.00 per year.

Adveco Ltd. is the sister company to Adveco (AWP) Ltd., who trade as A.O. Smith Water Heaters in the U.K. and has over 45 years of experience in the building services industry.  With an ethos to provide only the highest quality products and services, including some of the latest renewable technologies available such as solar thermal and CHP systems, Adveco Ltd. manually design and supply complete hot water and heating solutions.  Incorporating a professional application design department to envision bespoke and practical systems, in addition to in-house sales, servicing, and commissioning engineers, Adveco prioritise the needs of the client and the application to deliver the most efficient, cost-effective, and reliable solution possible.

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