Get More From Modular

With environmental and financial demands on heating and hot water systems ever increasing, Building Services Engineers are turning more and more to modular boilers as a solution. This is especially true in buildings where demand can vary widely every day.

Essentially comprising of a number of separate boilers working together, modular boilers can provide great power with great efficiency. This efficiency is achieved by sharing modulation across all modules, preventing the inefficiencies of on/off cycling by matching the output power to the thermal load of the system. Optimum efficiency and reliability are important considerations in the specification of plant for most buildings, but especially so in those with variable demand. Multiple modules also have the benefit of allowing for continuation of supply; in the unlikely event of one of the modules failing, the system will remain in operation.

Evomod, the modular boiler from Ideal Commercial Boilers, comprises of stackable modules each offering a 250kW output, making it a scalable commercial heating solution which can be increased to meet specifications of up to 1MW.

A great example of how Evomod provides flexibility in installation as well as performance is Hitard Court in Southwark, London. When the capital plant boilers there had to be replaced quickly to ensure over 400 residents continued to have heating and hot water, East West Connect Ltd turned to Evomod.

Built in 2012, Hitard Court is part of the first phase of the Aylesbury Estate regeneration. The building has a District Heat Network with boilers in the basement plant room generating hot water that is then pumped around the building and Heat Interface Units provide hot water and heating to each apartment.

East West Connect were called in when the original boilers failed, knowing that they had to provide a solution quickly to make sure hot water kept flowing. The choice of boiler depended on several factors. The primary need was a boiler solution with a high rate of modulation, as the demand from the residents varies widely through the day, and a high enough output to cope with peak times. There were practical considerations too; not only did the boiler chosen have to fit in the available space in the plant room, there were also stairs to negotiate to get into the plant room.

Following site visits with his local Ideal Commercial contact, Ross Carroll, Projects Director for East West Connect, decided on an Evomod 1MW boiler as the answer for Hitard Court as it hit every requirement of the brief. Each module has a modulation rate of 5:1, meaning that four combined gives a 20:1 modulation rate. This in turn allows the boiler to modulate down to just 46.7kW from its high maximum output. Four separate modules were easy to transport into the plant room, and when bolted together, the boiler has a footprint of less than 2m2, fitting comfortable into the space available.

“The installation of the Evomod boiler was a quick and easy process”, said Peter Cowan, site manager for East West Connect and responsible for the installation. “We were able to run our own pipework away from the boiler easily as it came supplied with a manifold and the right pipe connections.”

East West Connect are a relatively new Ideal Commercial customer, and Ross was more than happy with the end result. “I would recommend Ideal Commercial to the industry as they are always with you from conception to completion, from sales through to technical, through to commissioning”, he said. 

Peter was equally pleased. “Any time there is a site problem, they’re there to answer. Working with Ideal Commercial is very easy.”

Modular boilers are also equally at home in new build projects as they are in refurbishment and replacement installations. A world first in multi-faith education, the joint faith campus in Newton Mearns, Glasgow, was recently opened, replacing an existing Jewish school and providing additional primary school provision for the local Catholic community. The building boasts a shared amphitheatre and outdoor obstacle trails, as well as sports pitches, first-class ICT facilities, modern teaching spaces, an impressive library and state of the art science laboratories. 

Forming an integral part of the £18.2million project, Ideal Commercial was selected from a tender panel of manufacturers to provide a high output boiler solution capable of delivering 1.5MW in an unusually small footprint. Boasting stainless-steel heat exchangers, two 3-module Evomod boilers, each providing an output of 750kW, were installed using a combined flue header for all three modules of each boiler, complete with flow return pipework for quick installation.

The installation was carried out by Marmac Services Ltd. Christopher McCall, their Operations Director, takes up the story: “Working closely with main contractor Heron Bros we were able to install the Evomod system quickly and efficiently, with no delays caused to other onsite trades. Being of modular design, the boiler was easier to install in the tight spaces available during the later stages of the project. Like all Ideal Commercial boiler systems, costing the specified products was straightforward, with the merchant able to assist in the specification process. I have worked with Ideal Commercial in the past and had nothing but positive results.”

The school is already reaping the benefits of its Evomax boilers. “Marmac Services has taken on one of the maintenance contracts within the school and we have been updated continually on the boilers’ energy efficiency. We have had only positive results”, explains Christopher.

Ideal Commercial Boilers’ Senior Business Development Manager for Scotland, Charlie Newell, comments on the success of the project: “This project is one we’re extremely proud to be part of. Given the heating requirements of the building and the limited square footage of the plant room, Evomod was the perfect specification choice for this building design.”

Both installations are part of Ideal Commercial’s Industry Trusted series of case study videos. Click here to watch the full stories.

Chris Caton is Head of Commercial Product Management at Ideal Boilers.

Versions of this article first appeared in BSEE magazine, April 2019 and MBS magazine, April 2019.

Hitard Court 800X600

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