Fusion Students has installed a Remeha R-Gen 50/100 Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit at its Cardiff student accommodation development as the most economic solution to low carbon heat and power.
Eclipse is a luxury multi-million pound complex, providing 686 bedrooms for students across two buildings, with additional community facilities including a library, gym and cinema.
M&E Consultant Alan Howell of Amber Management said: “Student accommodation buildings like Eclipse have high demands for heat and electricity. So it’s essential to select the appropriate equipment that will comply with Part L of Building Regulations and achieve excellent energy performance for lower running costs.
“Our Value Engineering exercise revealed that CHP brings the greatest benefits in terms of reduced energy requirements for projects like Eclipse. They deliver day and night, 365 days a year and, as the calculations show, offer a very short payback on capital costs. The Remeha CHP provided the required output in a compact unit that overcame space constraints in a small plantroom.”
The design identified a Remeha R-Gen 50/100 Natural Gas CHP, three 2,000 litre Remeha indirect hot water cylinders and three Andrews Water Heaters ECOflo 380/1900 fully-condensing direct-fired water heaters. The condensing Remeha CHP unit provides pre-heat via the high-performance hot water cylinders to the fully- condensing water heaters. It is a solution that is easily capable of satisfying the constant demand for hot water at Eclipse, while reducing energy requirements and producing electricity at lower gas prices.
Three Remeha Gas 310 Eco Pro 7-section gas condensing boilers were selected to provide energy-saving space heating throughout the complex.
M&E Contracts Manager Daniel Seward of CMB Engineering Ltd, working with Vinci Construction UK Ltd, commented: “The Remeha boilers were easy to install. We connected the R-Gen CHP unit through the flow and return circuit to the hot water cylinders. These then pre-heat the ECOflo water heaters. All the equipment is integrated and controlled through a central building management system.”
As part of the installation process, the Remeha CHP team helped with the G59 application to connect the Remeha R-Gen 50/100 NG unit to the electrical distribution network.
“We’ve been pleased with the service we have received,” continued Daniel. “The Remeha team have supported us at every step, from supply to commissioning – the technical team even wired in the control panel for us. They also provide ongoing support through a dial-in internet connection to help with future operation and maintenance.”
For Fusion Students, using CHP in its student accommodation projects has become a tried-and-tested solution, as Head of Construction Paul Miles explained:
“On the advice of Amber Management, we’ve used CHP on our last five student accommodation schemes. It’s proven to be a successful formula that satisfies the demand for hot water while at the same time keeping heat and power costs down.”
CHP is able to capture otherwise wasted heat created as a by-product of electricity generation and convert it into usable heat. By generating electricity and heat simultaneously, at the point of use, the condensing R-Gen CHP 50/100 NG model can achieve total-fuel efficiencies of 103-104%, more than double the efficiency of conventional technology. In practice, Fusion Students can anticipate a primary energy savings of up to 40% at the Eclipse complex and an emissions reduction of around 60% compared with traditional generation.
Eclipse is built on the site formerly occupied by Cardiff Metropolitan University’s School of Art and Design. The northern building contains 2,3, 4, and 6 bed apartments whilst the south consists of studios and "twodios". The principal contractor on the project was Vinci Construction UK Ltd.