Eco designs heat pump based heating and cooling systems for Europe's 'factory of the future'
4 January 2008, News release from EcoHeat Pumps Ltd
Eco Heat Pumps is to provide a renewable energy solution for one of Europe's most exciting industrial developments.
"The Factory of the Future" is a £20 million investment by the UK Government, the European Union and leading international companies, including Boeing and Rolls Royce, in the engineering of tomorrow - and the day after.
The project forms Phase 2 of the University of Sheffield's Advanced Research Centre (AMRC). The Factory will be purpose built - on the site of the old Orgreave Colliery - to house the latest manufacturing and production equipment. Businesses will be able to run accurate trials of new technology as a guide to future investment.
They will be aided by over 100 researchers from the University of Sheffield, who will be tasked with translating new ideas into practical manufacturing systems and putting them into the hands of industry.
Environment in mind
As befits a major investment in the future the new 4200m2 facility building has been designed with the environment in mind. A ground source system developed by Eco Heat Pumps and based on Thermia Robust units will provide the Factory with hot water for heating and domestic services - and free cooling in summer. Prime energy for the heat pumps will be drawn from over twenty boreholes drilled some 100 metres down into the substrata.
When the Factory is in operation a water-glycol mixture will be pumped through pipework in the boreholes, drawing naturally occurring heat into the system from deep below the ground surface. The heated water - at 12-15oC - will then enter the flow side of the four Eco Robust Heat Pump located in the first floor plant room. Here the action of compressor and condenser brings the water temperature up to the levels required by the Factory building's underfloor heating and hot water systems. In summer cool water will be supplied by the heat pumps system to a heat exchange section in the air handling unit, which provides ducted air cooling for the building.
Backed by the skills of Eco's experienced design and installation team, the Thermia Robust Series makes it possible to combine comfort with energy efficiency in the largest projects. Energy efficiency performance is excellent - Robust units have a potential energy exchange better than 1:5.
Control options are equally sophisticated, making it possible to set up "cascade" arrangements. These automatically modulate the number of units in action and the amount of energy drawn from beneath the ground according to varying factors such as occupancy levels.
All Robust models are equipped with a sub-cooler - an additional heat exchanger, which draws the maximum free energy into the unit from the heat source. Provision of a de-superheater ensures the best possible heat exchange efficiency.
The heart of each Robust Heat Pump is a scroll type compressor -claimed to offer up to 20% better performance in comparison with piston types. No inlet or outlet valves are used in this type of compressor, which results in better efficiency over a longer life span and low, low noise levels.
Like all Thermia units, Robust Heat Pumps feature weather compensation control, which ensures that units never produce water hotter than is required to maintain the preset indoor temperature. Up to 15% additional energy can be saved by using this type of control.
The Robust range makes a perfect complement to the Eco's KBH Water Heater for holding hot water supplies either generated by the heat pump or by its own inbuilt electric heating element.
Three KBH models are available with capacities of 500, 700 and 1000 litres.
For further information please email EcoHeat Pumps Ltd