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Bromsgrove Leisure Centre plant room.

Sustainable Energy For The Leisure Industry – Part 1

From hotel accommodation to restaurant kitchens, spas and swimming pools, leisure estates generate a wide range of electrical and heating demands. In terms of usage patterns, demands can be significant, often varied, but also constant, creating a complex range of challenging applications.

Currently, around 40% of UK greenhouse gas emissions are accounted for by heating, cooling, ventilation, the provision of hot water and lighting properties. The impetus then is to reduce operational energy use, prioritising reduction in energy demand and consumption over all other measures. This means in-use energy consumption will need to be calculated and publicly disclosed on an annual basis, as laid out in the new, mandatory Streamline Energy & Carbon Reporting (SECR) regime. This is designed to raise awareness of energy efficiency, reduce bills, and save carbon by driving an increase in renewable energy supply and prioritising on-site renewable energy sources.

From new builds to refurbishment projects, the leisure estate is faced with a myriad of choices, and, if medium or large organisations they are going to be increasingly held accountable by SECR for decisions that must ultimately balance both CAPEX and OPEX with this new sustainability.

A difficult task for an industry where heating and hot water are considered business-critical services and demands in terms of higher temperatures and usage far outstrip anything seen domestically.

The key then is to understand how hot water, heating and power demands can be cost-effectively brought into balance by maximising contribution to a building’s overall efficiency. Identifying technology concepts that help address such sustainability is only half the battle though, there still remains that need to reduce total cost of ownership. Space savings, ongoing supply reliability to simplified control and maintenance are all means to reduce costs and provide peace of mind when investing in a business-critical hot water and heating system.

Innovo commercial water heater by AO Smith

A.O.Smith’s Innovo Water Heater

Adveco's MD commercial condensing boiler

Adveco’s MD. A range of high-efficiency Floor-standing condensing boilers

Whilst arguments continue to rage regarding the validity of gas for a low carbon future, the reality is that for the foreseeable future our national infrastructure will continue to remain heavily reliant on the provision and improved use of gas. For leisure projects that face the most stringent legislation and oversight, high-efficiency condensing boilers, such as Adveco’s MD range, and room-sealed condensing water heaters, such as A.O. Smith’s BFC and Innovo units, remain a realistic and effective means of meeting the demands for improved sustainability.

When it comes to the refurbishing of existing building stock, which is where the greatest advances can be potentially made, installing solar thermal is going to be better from a renewables’ perspective. But we also recognise that this approach can be constrained by limitations of space, delivery timeframes and budget. ROI can also be much slower to achieve, despite the welcome new Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) legislation, under the which SMEs installing new solar photovoltaic panels, will from 2020, be able to profit from exporting excess generated electricity to the grid.

A smart approach would be to combine two heat generators, such as gas and solar, or gas and air source heat pump, although this can generate new issues of logistics, space requirements and increased complexity of plant, leading to a higher CAPEX cost compared to a pure condensing heating system. The advantages for a commercial leisure site from a hybrid heat pump/gas boiler system is the ability to smartly balance the heat generators, guaranteeing all-important high system temperatures while reducing the maximum power consumption for greater efficiencies and lower operational costs.

Hot Water Redundancy Without the Cost of Multiple Water Heaters

Adveco designed backup electric immersion heater for the A.O. Smith Innovo IR range of condensing gas water heaters

Specialist commercial hot water and heating provider Adveco, announces the launch of the EB0037, a fully bespoke backup 9 kW 3-phase electric immersion heater specially designed to fit the A.O. Smith Innovo IR range of condensing gas water heaters.

The Innovo range, consisting of nine condensing room-sealed gas water heaters with an output capacity ranging from 11.7 to 31.3 kW and a volume of 160 to 380 litres, offers a design that allows for the installation of a backup electric immersion heater to ensure supply continuity of business critical hot water.

Bill Sinclair, technical director, Adveco says, “The addition of a backup electric immersion element provides a building with a level of hot water redundancy without necessitating the costly installation of multiple water heaters – the most common alternative for achieving system redundancy. It effectively guarantees the provision of hot water so as long as there is power to the building.”

The Adveco EB0037 is a Nicalloy 825 sheathed immersion heater, with a stainless steel oval flange and gasket designed to fit onto the water heater clean-out access, and then is uniquely shaped to fit around the heat exchanger at the bottom of the Innovo IR water heater tank.

The immersion heater can be installed as an independent element activated via a rotary isolator, or can be paired with an Adveco auto-changeover control panel to automatically activate in the event of a water heater fault. This panel can also trigger SMS or email notifications to inform the site management or service partner of the fault for rapid resolution.