Tag Archive for: renewables

Extra Gains For Net Zero Restaurants

Commercial hot water specialist Adveco is working in partnership with a global restaurant brand to support the rollout of net zero restaurants demonstrating low emission innovations throughout its chain of UK drive-through and high street franchises.

Through its programme of live metering, Adveco demonstrated that servicing domestic hot water (DHW) water demands of between 1200-1500 litres per day could equate to as much as 20% of total energy usage within the organisation’s target net zero restaurants. A recent refurbishment of a restaurant in the King’s Cross area of London provided an opportunity to address the emissions generated by this provision of hot water for the restaurant. In addition, working within existing building limits means applications need to maximise often limited plant room space. This was especially true of this central London location which also faced problems with limescale due to the hardness of the water supply.

Working to an all-electric specification, Adveco designed an application that would harness a 9kW FPi32 air source heat pump (ASHP) for preheat and supplying additional top-up heat with an ARDENT P 12kW electric boiler. These would supply thermal energy to a mains water-fed compact SST500 stainless steel twin-coil indirect cylinder.

By combining ASHP and an electric boiler Adveco can address many of the complexities associated with integrating ASHPs into existing buildings. This combination enables systems to be sized down, by as much as half in terms of ASHP requirements delivering immediate capital savings as electric boilers are far less expensive compared to an equivalent heat pump. You also immediately reduce the physical size of the system, embodied carbon and demand from the electric supply. Additionally, the system retains redundancy should there ever be a failure.

Balancing a hybrid electric system is key to ensuring efficient operation. Adveco supplied the controls to assure the water heating remains consistent, optimising the ASHP preheat and top-up from the boiler to reduce energy demands and the building’s emissions.

The other advantage of incorporating the ARDENT electric boiler was that it heats water using immersion heaters located in a small tank within the boiler housing rather than directly installed into the hot water tank. This creates a sealed ‘primary’ loop to the indirect coil in the SST500 cylinder. The electric boiler heats the same water continuously so there is only a small, finite amount of scale in the system which will not damage the elements. The heat exchanger in the cylinder is a large coil operating at a relatively low (80°C) temperature eliminating the common problems of destructive limescale build-up seen in direct immersion electric heating.

The electric boiler operates at the same efficiency as an electric immersion heater (100%) and so the only overall difference in system efficiency is the minimal pump electrical consumption and a negligible amount of heat loss in the pipework

Although the system takes up a little more space than an all-in-one electric cylinder, it has more versatility. It requires less clearance for the cylinder, so it was compact enough to fit into the extremely limited space allowed for plant in the restaurant. With the cylinder forming significantly less scale, the restaurant has gained from vastly improved reliability while reducing maintenance demands, for both operational and maintenance savings on top of crucial emission reductions.

Visit the Adveco restaurant resource for more guidance on delivering low carbon and renewables to help achieve net zero restaurants by 2050, or read our free handbook. 

Building Sustainability Into Commercial DHW

For more than fifty years, Adveco has been a leading innovator providing domestic hot water (DHW) applications for commercial-scale projects across the UK. Today its focus is shifting to encompass a blend of traditional and new, more renewable technologies in the form of solar thermal and especially heat pumps building sustainability into commercial DHW systems.

With a predicted one-third rise in non-domestic floor space by 2050, much of the current focus resides on new builds, but this still leaves more than 1.6 million pre-existing non-domestic buildings in England and Wales, generating almost one-fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions, needing expert, practical support.

Air source heat pumps (ASHP) have become the poster child technology for the government’s net zero strategy and therefore a core tool for building sustainability into commercial DHW systems.  The advantage of ASHPs is that, with performance greater than 100%, they can extract additional energy from outside of the building’s metered systems delivering significant carbon savings. For a commercial DHW system, it is recommended that a working water temperature from the ASHP, such as Adveco’s FPi32 or L70, must be at least 55°C. This is certainly attainable from current generation ASHPs when deployed in a hybrid approach. This uses the ASHP as preheat and combines it with either gas-fired or more preferably an electric top-up to achieve the required hot water temperature. This is where the additional system complexity and cost can creep in. But by correctly balancing a system through a mix of physical spacing in the vessel and system monitoring with dedicated controls, as developed for the Adveco FUSION, the system no longer fights itself, working seamlessly to deliver the highest operational efficiencies

In line with the European Commission’s proposal for a tightening of F-Gas regulations, development work continues at pace to support the introduction of R290, or propane as it is more commonly known. This refrigerant offers a coefficient of performance (COP) that enables working flow temperatures from an ASHP of up to 75°C and potentially much higher. This means future commercial systems can be less complex, without the need for additional electric immersion for high-temperature top-up and flushing for legionella protection. That said, immersions remain perfectly suitable for low-demand backup applications in boiler-fed indirect cylinders, ensuring business-critical DHW demands are met.

What we have seen more recently though is a shift in use, where immersions are used ‘directly’ in high-demand commercial applications as the primary heat source. An electric immersion heater has a high heat intensity compared to gas or indirect and, when coupled with high operating temperatures and hard water will increase the rate of scale formation which, over time, will cause the element to rupture.

In response, protecting a system from limescale is often only addressed by a vigorous cleaning regime. This method has a cost and downtime associated with it that is not acceptable for many commercial buildings.  For this reason, minimisation of scale formation with a water softener or a scale inhibitor may be adopted, but for many sites neither provides a satisfactory response because of space, maintenance, downtime, or cost.  A better option for these sites would be to replace the immersion heaters with a low-scale forming hot water system.

The new Adveco ARDENT electric boiler range provides a proven and cost-effective answer. Electric boilers still utilise immersion heaters located in a small tank heat exchanger within the boiler housing. This electric boiler supplies a sealed ‘primary’ loop to an indirect coil in the cylinder. The electric boiler heats the same water continuously so there is only a finite amount of scale in the system which will not damage the elements. The heat exchanger in the cylinder is a large coil operating at relatively low temperatures. Adveco’s extensive experience with indirect coil use in the UK has shown that scale is not a significant problem in these systems. The electric boiler operates at the same efficiency as an electric immersion heater (100%) so the only overall difference in system efficiency is the minimal pump electrical consumption and a small amount of heat loss in the pipework.

An electric boiler hot water system will take up a little more space than an all-in-one electric cylinder, but it has more versatility and requires less clearance for the cylinder. Similarly priced to an immersion heater, an electric boiler-based system will cost slightly more due to the small amount of additional installation work. But with virtually no maintenance and the cylinder forming significantly less scale, vastly improving reliability, the operational and maintenance savings will offset these additional capital costs. The electric boiler additionally offers a level of redundancy that is not achieved with a single immersion heater.

As the limitation on new gas grid connections for heating systems becomes effective this year, it will become critical for system longevity to recognise the new challenges electric-only presents over more familiar gas-based applications. If a business already uses gas, then it can still upgrade to new gas appliances until 2035, with 100% hydrogen-ready options extending that window well into the 2040s based on current appliance lifespan.

Adveco continues to support the refurbishment of existing buildings, recently extending its ranges of direct-fired condensing water heaters – the AD and the ADplus. Both ranges provide a compact, floor-standing design that is easy to introduce into an existing plant room to provide high-demand semi-instantaneous and instantaneous hot water applications.  Improved combustion efficiency means the burner requires less gas, delivering up to 30% savings in fuel consumption, making it more cost-effective, while reducing emissions.  For smaller on-demand needs, ADplus heats only what is necessary, with no ignition for smaller withdrawals providing considerable additional energy savings. Both AD and ADplus as a result exhibit ultra-low NOX (Class 6 appliance at 27 mg/kWh) and CO emissions (19ppm). With the government already committed to enabling the blending of hydrogen in the gas grid, it is also worth noting that these latest generation direct-fired condensing water heaters will already support the initial 20% hydrogen/natural gas blend.

Together, these technologies offer actual development arcs right now for existing commercial properties that are currently on gas, or new builds seeking to embrace low or no emission choices building sustainability into commercial DHW systems for more environmentally friendly operations that will help organisations achieve net zero by 2050.

Adveco FUSION & AD Selected as Finalists in 2022 HVR Awards

  • Adveco AD Water Heater range is named a finalist in the  Commercial Heating Product of the Year category
  • Adveco FUSION named a finalist in the Heat Pump Product of the Year category

Hot water specialist Adveco is proud to announce it has been named a finalist in the 2022 HVR Awards. Adveco’s FUSION hybrid hot water system has been named a finalist in the Heat Pump Product of the Year category. Adveco’s AD Water Heater range has been selected for the HVR 2021 Commercial Heating Product of the Year category.

The Heating & Ventilation Review (HVR) Awards champion innovation, excellence and achievement across the heating and ventilation industry.

Greg Brushett, sales manager UK, Adveco, said, “We are extremely pleased to be once again named finalist in the 2022 HVR Awards, illustrating our continuous innovation of products designed to support the provision of commercial hot water.  Both of these products are perfect examples of Adveco leading the charge for low emission and more cost-effective responses to the delivery of business-critical hot water demands. Whether working on a new building or refurbishing legacy building stock,  for any organisation struggling to understand how it can better support the call to meet net zero by 2050 Adveco leads the way with practical answers today.”

Adveco’s FUSION FPH-S hybrid hot water system provides a range of low carbon, all-electric ASHP-based packaged hybrid hot water applications. The complexity and typical requirements of bespoke hybrid systems for commercial applications can make the integration of heat pumps in DHW systems more expensive and complex to install compared to traditional gas-fired alternatives. FUSION removes this complexity with its pre-sized options which harness Adveco’s FPi32 Air Source Heat Pumps with a compact, high-pressure ATSH calorifier with electric immersion. With dedicated controls and metering, FUSION provides a complete, low-carbon hot water system for a wide range of commercial end uses.

The Adveco FPi32 provides the system with a compact monobloc-designed air-to-water heat pump providing preheated hot water at a working temperature of 50°C. The FPi32 range leverages R32 refrigerant to enhance year-round efficiency (COP as high as 5.23) while reducing the global warming potential (GWP), thereby lowing environmental impact. For a project that has to drive sustainability within the building but also meet pressure requirements greater than six bar, then the FUSION is by far the most efficient and cost-effective choice.

The Adveco AD offers a range of compact commercial semi-instantaneous gas condensing water heaters composed of four models, from 70 to 280 kW. Conceived for high-demand semi-instantaneous hot water applications, 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. The perfect all-rounder, especially in soft and softened commercial hot water applications, exceptional operational responsiveness and highly effective performance means AD can also be deployed in order to supply peak demands and redundancy for commercial buildings with an existing gas connection and large-scale ASHP to water systems.

The HVR Awards will be announced on September 29th 2022.


AdvecoAdveco is committed to helping companies become net zero through efficient commercial heating and hot water systems.

Discuss carbon reduction in your next project by calling 01252 551 540 or visit the contact page.

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.


AdvecoAdveco is committed to helping companies become net zero through efficient commercial heating and hot water systems.

Discuss carbon reduction in your next project by calling 01252 551 540 or visit the contact page.

Future Climate Now

It may seem counter-intuitive to be talking about the need for hot water as the country is potentially about to experience the hottest day on record, but there is absolute sense when we accept that the current weather extreme is a sign of future climate developments and why it is critical UK organisation begin planning responses now.

On Monday, temperatures in Suffolk peaked at 38.1C, just shy of the record 38.7C set in 2019. The UK has seen high temperatures in the past, the famed summer of ’76 actually peak at 35.6C but it lasted throughout July and August of that year. The current heatwave is set to break in a matter of a week, so is this really that big an issue? In short, the answer is yes according to the majority of climate scientists who see these weather extremes as a sign of climate change, which means in the coming years we will experience more extreme climate events and they will occur more often.

According to the Met Office, the conditions causing the current extreme heat are ten time more likely as a result of the average world temperatures rising just over 1C beyond levels seen prior to industrialisation. That means we are now experiencing – according to the UN’s climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the hottest period for 125,000 years. This is why the UN set a limit on global temperature increases to 1.5C higher than pre-industrial levels in order to avoid the most dangerous impacts of future climate change.

The cause of this accelerated warming are greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the burning of coal, oil and gas. Pushing trapped carbon dioxide concentrations to the highest levels in more than two million years, heat becomes trapped in the atmosphere leading to the temperature extremes we are seeing today.

Last year’s UN conference on climate, COP26, painted a stark picture for future climate. If global policy on climate change were to be implemented as promised then the expectation was for a temperature rise of 2.4C from pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, meaning current temperatures would be mild in comparison. This is why the ambitious target of reducing emissions to prevent global temperatures exceeding 1.5C was agreed upon. To achieve this, emissions need to have reached a peak by as late as 2025, before being effectively halved by 2030 leading to further scaling back to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

To put that into perspective, according to the IPCC, there needs to be a minimum reduction in emissions of 43% by the end of the decade, yet as the world came out of the pandemic energy emissions grew last year, by more than 4% in the UK and more than 6% globally to the tune of some 36.3 billion tonnes of CO².

What is clear, according to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), is that the UK’s progress towards net zero is woefully inadequate. Government strategies for the public sector, which is expected to lead by example, are still focused on information gathering with the intent to drive the adoption of new low-carbon technologies from 2025, which feels too little too late. Particularly when you start to factor in the capital costs of instigating a wholesale shift in the way buildings are heated and hot water supplied to meet core business needs.

The commercial built sector is especially complex, and the scale of the challenge is daunting both in terms of new build and refurbishing existing building stock not necessarily designed to work with new low carbon technology. There are more than 1.6 million pre-existing non-domestic buildings in England and Wales, generating almost one-fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions, needing expert, practical support. By 2050, there is also a predicted 35% rise in demand for non-domestic floor space.

Initially, the hope is that proven technology, especially heat pumps, can make a major improvement to the sector, helping to decrease emissions. Space heating is problematic for older buildings where the very fabric of the building will influence the efficient operation of the technology, meaning extensive refurbishment is required. For hot water systems (DHW) this is not the case, and heat pumps and all-electric applications hold huge potential for reducing emissions by as much as 70%. Savings can also be achieved through the application of solar thermal, which can work in conjunction with heat pumps, but also critically existing gas-fired systems to deliver emission reductions right now.

July’s extreme weather should be seen as both a warning of future climate change and a rallying cry to the entire commercial sector to look at what you can do better with what you have now and what you want to build in the coming decades. Adveco has the expertise to help you answer those questions and begin delivering better DHW applications now because there is very little doubt that in the near future the government will need to introduce more aggressive policy that will mandate change. Better then to control the timeframe and plan your transition toward net zero in a way that is most meaningful to your business from the perspectives of cost to corporate social responsibility.

Adveco FUSION Named 2022 Heat Pump Awards Finalist

Commercial hot water specialist Adveco has been named as a finalist in the 2022 National ACR & Heat Pump Awards for its FUSION FPH-S range of low carbon, all-electric, packaged hybrid hot water systems

“To be named as a finalist for the second year running is already quite the achievement for the company,” said David O’Sullivan, managing director, Adveco. “The heat pump market is seeing impressive technical leaps as the UK government calls for organisations to attain net zero by 2050. The commercial hot water market presents additional complexities when it comes to servicing application demands with heat pumps. The FUSION system was conceived, designed and built by Adveco to specifically address these challenges, delivering a hybrid water system that optimises efficiency to meet hot water demand, higher temperatures and lowers carbon emissions in line with the latest building regulations.”

FUSION harnesses Adveco’s FPi32 Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP), a high-pressure A TSH 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.

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.

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 National ACR & Heat Pump Awards, hosted by ACR Journal and Heat Pumps Today, will be held in Leeds on June 9 2022.

 

Unlocking The Potential of Hydrogen

For many, unlocking the potential of hydrogen represents a familiar, easier and more cost-effective way to transition to more sustainable heating practices in buildings. It is also 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.

In the recent report, Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation, from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), hydrogen it is estimated will cover up to 12% of global energy use by 2050, with at least two-thirds of total production being green hydrogen (produced with renewable electricity) with the remainder blue hydrogen (derived from natural gas).

Here 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 begin to give an indication of the growing support for the technologies currently being tested.

The government’s commitment so far extends to the testing and evaluation of the potential of hydrogen as an option for heating workplaces. In partnership with industry, the intent is to “clearly define the evidence needed to make a policy decision about the role hydrogen for heating can play in our future energy system.”

To this end, The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), supported by Innovate UK and Innovate UK KTN, have launched the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (NZHF) which was most recently cited in this month’s Energy Security Strategy to focus on unlocking the potential of hydrogen. A funding sum of up to £240m has been made available to explore the development and deployment of low carbon hydrogen production. The funding is intended to de-risk investment and reduce lifetime costs of multiple hydrogen production projects this decade to help ensure a diverse and secure decarbonised energy system that meets the UK government’s stated ambition of 10GW low carbon hydrogen production by 2030, and commitment to reach net zero by 2050.

This investment comes in advance of a declared strategic decision by 2026 on the role of hydrogen in heating buildings. This decision will consider the success of development projects that focus on appliances, such as new gas boilers that can be readily converted to hydrogen (‘hydrogen-ready’) and the testing of conversion of the gas grid. The latter in particular is critical in terms of evaluating the technical and practical feasibility of using hydrogen instead of natural gas for heating. This assessment process is also expected to consider the expected costs, benefits, impacts, and practical delivery implications.

This consultation process will also be a factor in decisions in relation to the future of broader boiler and heating system efficiency and explore the best ways to reduce carbon emissions from our heating systems

According to IRENA, the rise of hydrogen’s potential is linked to the plummeting costs of renewables and electrolysers. This greatly improves the economic attractiveness of ‘green’ hydrogen which also can help deliver on the demands for storage that comes hand-in-hand with greater dependence on wind and photovoltaic (PV) power generation. From this perspective, ‘green’ hydrogen becomes an important technology in the extension of renewable electricity developments.

Although ‘Grey’ hydrogen production, which is solely based on fossil fuels, is expected to be rapidly phased out in the coming decades, ‘Blue’ hydrogen, although also based on fossil fuels, is expected to play a complementary role to ‘Green’ hydrogen, so long as the carbon capture and storage (CCS) is proved viable. As a result, hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels are now projected to meet a sizeable share of final energy demand in 2050, up from virtually nothing today. To achieve this in the UK, the Heating & Building Strategy report outlines the key processes of consultation required for unlocking the potential of hydrogen beyond 2026.

  • large-scale hydrogen trials: BEIS and Ofgem have liaised with the gas distribution network operators on the conducting of a ‘village’ scale deployment trial by 2025, and a possible town scale conversion project before the end of the decade.
  • Hydrogen blending in the gas grid: to develop the safety case, technical and cost-effectiveness assessments of blending up to 20% hydrogen (by volume) into the existing gas network. This has the potential to deliver up to 7% emissions reductions from the grid. The assessment of indicative cost and value of blending hydrogen is intended to be delivered this Autumn, with the possibility of a policy decision in 2023. This in particular would represent a major first step towards integrating hydrogen in the grid at a potentially national level, but would not require building projects to replace existing natural gas boilers/water heaters.
  • Hydrogen-ready boilers: Consideration will be given to the case for enabling, or requiring, new natural gas boilers to be easily convertible to use hydrogen (‘hydrogen-ready’) by 2026 (in domestic projects). This consultation would also test proposals on the future of broader boiler and heating system efficiency and explore the best ways to reduce carbon emissions from gas heating systems over the next decade. The Heating & Buildings strategy makes clearer the commercial implications where, 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.

The local trials and planning, research and development and testing outlined will help develop necessary evidence on the role hydrogen can play in the heating of buildings, enabling strategic decisions to be taken on the role of hydrogen in heating buildings in 2026. This timeframe, and the necessity of its elements, are very important to remember when the media is constantly calling for a decision to be made more rapidly. The implications of a transition to a hydrogen grid are immense, but so are the challenges. It cannot be rushed and it cannot fail if net zero is to be realistically attained, especially across the commercial & public sector built environment.

On the global stage, green hydrogen may strengthen energy independence, security, and resilience by cutting import dependency and price volatility.  However, the raw materials needed for hydrogen remain exposed to shortages and price fluctuations that could negatively affect hydrogen supply chains, cost and revenues. For this reason, hydrogen, if it is green-lit as a core contributor to the UK’s net zero delivery will not do so in isolation. Just as most buildings will currently rely on both gas and electricity, net zero ‘ready’ organisations will most likely have embraced a mixed approach. This will leverage the advantages of air source heat pumps (ASHP), proven solar thermal and natural gas with a hydrogen blend as a redundancy/peak demand back-up through the 2030s and early 40s. Hydrogen ready’’ adoption should be a necessity by the early to mid-2030’s. Then the UK could look forward to full transition to ‘Blue’ then ‘Green’ hydrogen from the late 2030s and throughout the 2040s at a national scale. Regional rollouts will of course redefine these timelines, but, if the policy supports the adoption of hydrogen from 2026, the technology usage path should remain fairly clear for commercial projects looking at unlocking the potential of hydrogen as a part of their corporate drive toward net zero sustainability by 2050.

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.

Heat Pumps For Hot Water In Commercial Buildings

Heat pumps for hot water is synonymous with the drive to introduce greater sustainability into buildings in the push to achieve net zero by 2050. When it comes to the provision of  hot water (DHW) within commercial building projects there remains a consensus that, despite the rhetoric, currently there is no single ‘silver bullet’ technology able to deliver all the answers.

Until decisions are finally made in 2026 on a hydrogen-based future, the government’s stance is set on electrification, the creation of heat networks and the installation of heat pumps for hot water. For organisations looking for a quick sustainability win then heat pumps provide a clear opportunity, so long as the property is a new build. For new commercial builds, consultants are already specifying a greater electrical load to account for the additional power demands to support a mixture of heat pumps and direct electric afterheat necessary to meet the higher water temperatures and volume demands exhibited in commercial projects. New DHW systems will predominantly follow this model, taking advantage of heat pump performance efficiencies to create a hybrid approach to deliver pre-heating for as much as 75% of the water in a direct electric system. And with no gas to the building, no local generation of NOₓ and no flue to install this clearly has its advantages.

With 50 years of specialist experience in creating bespoke commercial DHW systems, Adveco is well-positioned to support such projects with a wide range of air source heat pumps for hot water, as well as indirect tanks and electric immersions.

Compatible with existing DHW distribution systems with higher thermal requirements, the FPi32 ASHP range is ideal for integration into a hybrid hot water system. Transferring heat from the air to a building, the FPi32 can provide a working flow of hot water at 55°C throughout the year, even when ambient air temperatures drop as low as -25°C.  When combined with either a gas or electric water heater and controls, the FPi32 helps reduce emissions and increases efficiency without compromising reliability or performance.

Packaged Systems With Heat Pumps For Hot Water 

The three models, available in 6, 9 and 12kW variants provide a low carbon source of hot water in a more compact, quieter, more efficient and easier to install unit. The FPi32 also sits at the heart of two pre-sized offerings, FUSION and the e-32 Packaged Hot Water System. For organisations with small to medium basin and sink led hot water demands, FUSION offers 16 pre-specified variants. With a choice of 6 or 10 kW preheat and 9 or 12 kW electric top-up, FUSION offers capacities ranging from 200 to 500 litres all rated at 10 BAR for high-pressure applications. Combining the FPi32 with a high-pressure ATSH calorifier with electric immersion, controls, and metering, FUSION systems are able to meet a range of continuous capacity hot water demands from 257-377 litres/hour for a wide range of commercial buildings.

Where space is at a premium, the e-32 Packaged Hot Water System comes into its own. This prefabricated all-electric water heating system uses an FPi32-9, a 200L GLC indirect preheat tank and a 200L GLE direct electric water heater all housed in a compact GRP housing. This ‘plant room in a box’ can be conveniently positioned externally on flat roofs or in unused or ‘dead’ spaces. This makes the system ideal for a wide range of commercial properties with regular hot water demands such as restaurants and boutique hotels, offices, schools, and light industry. The system is also exceptionally useful if refurbishing existing building stock.

Larger DHW demands

For projects with greater DHW demands, Adveco’s L70 high-capacity air-to-water monobloc heat pump is rated 70kW for typical UK operation at 5°C but climbing to a maximum 90 kW from a single compact unit. With a seasonal coefficient of performance (SCOP) as high as 4.08 the L70 is perfect for large scale commercial applications and can operate as part of a cascade installation for projects demanding greater capacity.

Able to draw and transfer thermal energy from the air, under the right circumstances, such as new builds with a high degree of insulation, using heat pumps for hot water represents an efficient way to significantly reduce the carbon emissions of a building. As the cost of grid electricity closes on that of gas, ongoing savings garnered from operating a hybrid ASHP based system, plus the reduction in CO₂ emissions makes the technology a truly attractive prospect for the latest commercial building projects.  New innovations in heat pump technology and refrigerants this coming year will further enhance the advantages of the technology cementing it position as a truly viable alternative for the provision of commercial-grade hot water.

For more visit Adveco’s renewables page

Forward For 2022

As we look forward for 2022, Greg Brushett, Adveco’s UK Sales Manager, highlights recent product innovation and how as a business we are focussing efforts on supporting customers to navigate toward a more sustainable future for their buildings…

Adveco Ltd is an industry-leading company, which was established in October 1971. Renowned as specialists in commercial hot water, heating and low carbon applications, the company develops, manufactures and supplies technologies, applications and systems.

“We work with consultants, specifiers and designers, providing informed support and partnership through our application engineering team to design and deliver systems optimised to be highly efficient and cost-effective. For contractors, we offer a single, versatile, specialist sales resource that ensures delivery of the most cost-effective system. Facility and energy managers are supported through product remote monitoring, technical support, warranty and maintenance service to ensure system longevity and help realise low total cost of ownership.”

Stated Greg Brushett, UK Sales Manager.

Anchoring Adveco’s sustainability push forward for 2022 is a full range of commercial gas and electric water heaters, boilers, and solar thermal systems, versatile buffers, thermal storage, heat recovery and Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP).

R32 commercial Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP). The Adveco FPi32 is a range of compact monobloc design 6, 9 & 12 kW air to water heat pumps providing hot water at 55°C, or higher in hybrid systems. The FPi32 range leverages R32 refrigerant to enhance year-round efficiency (COP as high as 5.23) while reducing the global warming potential (GWP), thereby lowing environmental impact.

“The use of R32 refrigerant has major implications in terms of taking us toward responsible, sustainable systems that deliver business-critical hot water without harming the environment,”

explained Greg.

Packaged plant room and ASHP. Designed and built offsite and delivered ready for rapid installation when space is at a premium, the Adveco Packaged e32-Hot Water System provides a pre-sized, resilient, environmentally friendly, low carbon hot water system that utilises the FPi32-9 ASHP to help offset up to 70% of the energy requirements. This compact weatherproof GRP structure provides a complete all-electric hot water plant room which demonstrates a 47% reduction in energy demands and CO² emissions for the same output of 500,000 litres of hot water each year when compared with a similar direct electric-only system.

Placing the utmost importance on customer satisfaction, the company not only supplies its range of off the shelf products, Adveco specialises in providing a bespoke solution for its customers. Providing a tailored, individually designed solution ensures that each application/system is correctly sized to make optimal product recommendations, and then supplied with manufacturer grade after-sales support.

“We choose or design products to be as highly efficient as possible, reducing operational costs and cutting or completely removing harmful CO and Noₓ emissions. Both are a critical requirement for organisations, CO especially as they strive to introduce greater sustainability on the route to achieving net-zero.”

Mentioned Greg.

In terms of recent developments, Adveco released its new range of stainless-steel high-pressure indirect water heaters and storage tanks for applications in UK soft water areas; the Adveco ATSI, ATST, ATSH, ATSR and ATSB ranges. These vessels are available up to 1000L and are all rated to 10 bar as standard.

HR001 heat recovery unit. Our latest offering is 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 FPH-S range provides a single, easy to accommodate, highly effective response for organisations with small to medium basin and sink-led hot water demands”

says Greg.

“With Fusion, customers gain optimum efficiencies to lower the carbon emissions from a building project.”

As the company looks forward for 2022 it continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Adveco maintains a fiercely independent approach which is enabling the company to further extend its portfolio of select, high-quality products to better address the changing needs of a nation set on a path to Net Zero by 2050. Greg added,

“Unifying the business under the singular Adveco brand we are better positioned to bring together a greater choice of quality product, all backed by real-world experience and engineering excellence.”

Get in touch with Adveco today about your commercial building projects in 2022