Baxi helps set the low carbon standard in Belfast

Sean Miskelly, Miskelly Plumbing and Heating;John Miskelly, Miskelly; Peter Keig, Eco Energy NI; Denis Bleakley, Grove Housing Ass; Simon Osborne, BaxiDate: 04/09/2012

As part of the UK Technology Strategy Board's (TSB) Retrofit for the Future competition, Eco-Energy (NI) Ltd has installed an integrated heating solution from Baxi as one of the measures to help reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions by 80% against a 1990 baseline on a Belfast property owned by Grove Housing Association.

The Retrofit for the Future initiative seeks to create a bank of exemplar retrofit properties with evidence of in-use performance and costs that can be shared in future social housing retrofit projects. Eco-Energy won funding in the TSB competition to retrofit a three storey, three bedroom mid-terrace house located in North Belfast. Originally built in 1896, this property is one of around 8.5 million solid wall homes in the UK.

As part of an extensive range of structural, fabric, heating and ventilating improvements, Eco-Energy specified a Megaflo System Compact GA boiler, which features high efficiency Gas Adaptive control, together with a GasSaver flue gas heat recovery device and Heatrae Sadia Megaflo HE cylinder for the house. The retrofit project is predicted to deliver a reduction in tenant gas bills from £1,050 to £250 per annum.

"Comfort, affordability and ease of use are hugely important in social housing properties," says Peter Keig, Managing Director at Eco-Energy (NI) Ltd. "A Gas Adaptive system boiler uses less fuel than traditional boilers, reduces NOx emissions making it kinder to the environment and more economical to run. Its high energy efficiency and matched heating demand output has a big impact on system reliability as well as tenants' heating bills. With the extra savings provided by the GasSaver heat recovery unit, this Baxi solution can reduce fuel consumption and Carbon Dioxide emissions dramatically."

The Megaflo System Compact GA boiler offers high efficiency performance and versatility for this type of retrofit project. Gas Adaptive Control constantly monitors gas and oxygen levels and adapts itself for optimum combustion efficiency to minimise fuel consumption. As a system boiler, it offers a neat, easy to specify and quick installation, eliminating the need for a feed and expansion tank in the loft.

Sitting above this 12kW boiler is a Multifit GasSaver flue gas heat recovery unit. This device recovers heat from the boiler's flue gases, which would otherwise be wasted to the outside. The captured heat is then used to pre-heat water coming into the boiler from the cold mains supply. The GasSaver is capable of reducing the energy usage for hot water demand by up to 37% and water consumption by up to 7% compared to a combination boiler not using a GasSaver.

The Megaflo HE unvented cylinder from Heatrae Sadia provides 70 litres of storage capacity. The hot water storage cylinder has been designed to minimise heat loss whilst providing quick recovery, allowing the residents to have multiple showers.

Separate heat meters installed in the property will enable comparison between predicted and operational performance. Controls interlock the boiler operation with the home's heat recovery ventilation system to optimise performance while a solar PV array has been installed on the south facing roof to generate electricity and reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions still further.

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