Maximising thermal comfort, minimising energy usage

Tinsley Meadows Primary School, part of the Five Rivers Multi Academy Trust, serves pupils aged 2-11 in Sheffield. As part of a £7.6m project, completed in 2016, the existing infant and junior schools on the site were redeveloped into one larger primary school covering 3,740m², providing local families with a single new high quality, safe learning environment.

Sustainable thinking was at the heart of this project, incorporating renewable technologies and maximising the performance of the thermal envelope.  The Trust, which governs Tinsley Meadows, is also committed to sustainability with a strategy that embraces responsible energy management.  This strategy aims to minimise energy and water use, energy costs, harmful emissions, and the depletion of fossil fuels.  Most recently, this has seen Tinsley Meadows take measures to improve energy efficiency by installing smart meters, implementing a renewable electricity contract and, in 2023, installing Ideal Heating Commercial ECOMOD 14kW air source heat pumps.

ECOMOD air source heat pumps

Two Ideal Heating Commercial 14kW ECOMOD monobloc air source heat pumps running in a hydraulic cascade have been installed at Tinsley Meadows Primary Academy immediately outside the centralised plant room.

Heat pumps, which utilise the free energy in the air to heat water, have many benefits including an efficiency of up to 400% which is more than traditional boilers, and zero local carbon emissions.

The ECOMOD commercial heat pumps come with a minimum A++ Energy related Products (ErP) efficiency rating and high co-efficient of performance (COP) rating of up to 4.85. R32 refrigerant ensures a low global warming potential (GWP).  They are light and compact in comparison to similar products, making installation and delivery easy and they have noise levels as low as 68dB(A) – the equivalent of a quiet refrigerator – which is an important consideration in a learning environment.

A hybrid approach

The ECOMOD heat pumps have been installed alongside two Ideal Heating wall hung EVOMAX 2 40kW commercial condensing boilers, for a low carbon hybrid heating system, offering lower running costs and comfort all year round.  Evomax 2 condensing boilersthe UK’s number one wall-mounted commercial boilers - are capable of high seasonal efficiencies with a minimum requirement of 96.2% and low NOx emissions no greater than 39.8mg/kWH for natural gas. 

The complete heating system installation was carried out by Service 2, which has been providing commercial, industrial and domestic HVAC services across the north of England for over a decade.  Chris Snowden, Technical Operations Manager at Service 2, explains the hybrid approach taken at Tinsley Meadows: “the ECOMOD heat pumps have been designed to be the main heating source, backed up by the new gas boilers at times of heavy demand.  It means the school always has sufficient heating without relying solely on gas.”

In addition to the heat pumps and boilers, Ideal Heating Commercial also supplied Service 2 with a range of ancillaries including  heating circuit sensors, horizontal balanced flues, flexible feet and hoses, and insulation.  All products were purchased through K.J Plumbing Factors & Heating Spares Ltd of Bury, Lancashire.

Commenting on the installation, Chris Snowden said: “the heat pumps were straight forward to install and we had the support of Ideal Heating Commercial throughout.”

Read the full case study here: Tinsley Meadows Primary Academy, Sheffield. 

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