Efficient condensing boilers provide college heating solution

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Pembroke College, Cambridge, has upgraded its heating system with a reliable, energy-efficient solution — installation of four Remeha condensing boilers — that meets its modern day requirements

The central plant room at Pembroke College provides heating and hot water to almost all the buildings on the main College site. This includes the student accommodation housing more than 200 students and Pembroke’s famous Chapel. So when the previous boiler plant began to fail to meet the College’s modern day heat requirements, Pembroke’s Bursar was quick to act.

“Prior to this project, it was a case of checking each morning to see if one, or indeed any, of the boilers was running," said the College's Buildings Manager Robert Griggs. “There was very little effective control of heating distribution and insufficient output to provide and sustain comfortable room temperatures on the coldest of winter nights.”

Increased output, improved reliability of the heating system and reduced running costs were the main concerns of the College. They brought in Robert Reeves at The Energy Practice to provide mechanical and electrical design consultancy on the project. He specified four compact, high-efficiency Remeha Gas 310 Eco Pro 7-section boilers providing a total output of 1580kW to meet the requirement for increased output and reliability.

Size was a key consideration, as Reeves explained: “Our challenge was to double the heat output for Pembroke College but within the same space occupied by the original pressure jet boilers. Taking into account the reliability we have previously experienced with these boilers, the required heat output and the small dimensions of the plant room, we felt the Remeha Gas 310 Eco Pro boilers were the most appropriate boilers for the application.”

Smaller footprint

The smaller, lighter footprint of the Remeha Gas 310 Eco Pro also helped overcome the problem of awkward access to the plant room. Contractor R F Blounts was able to lower the four condensing boilers through a hatch into the basement plant room before wheeling them into place. New plate heat exchangers were added to protect the new boilers from any debris in the existing heating system.

“With plans to upgrade the heat emitters,” added Reeves, “the new boilers achieve a reliable, compact solution to meet both future as well as current demand at Pembroke College’s main site.”

Pembroke College is pleased with the result, as Robert confirmed: “The new boilers, combined with plate heat exchangers and a new distribution system in the completely remodelled plant room, provide reliability, capacity, efficiency and, importantly, comfort for our fellows, students and staff.”

With the new boilers all fully operational ahead of the new academic year, Pembroke College can anticipate more reliable, efficient heating throughout the buildings on its main site and a lower carbon footprint, in keeping with its wider environmental commitments.

06 September 2016

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