Econoplate H Series interfaces central boilers and individual properties

September 9, 2013 by

The new Econoplate H Series interface unit from Stokvis Energy Systems is designed to provide the interface between a central or district heating scheme and individual properties requiring heating or hot water.

At the heart of each unit are the stainless steel, brazed plate heat exchangers, which are packaged with the necessary equipment to control your heating and / or instantaneous hot water requirements.

The Econoplate H Series is available in three basic configurations, all encased in a smart epoxy-coated enclosure.

The H1 units have direct heating, where the district water circulates around the dwelling and indirect hot water via a plate heat exchanger. The H1 units can also be provided for indirect heating only, with separation of the district mains from the dwelling, again with a single plate heat exchanger. This option would be used when either there is no hot water requirement, or where hot water is to be provided via an indirect cylinder or other means.

The H2 units are the most comprehensive package and separate the district or communal heating system from the dwelling and provide indirect heating and hot water separated via two plate heat exchangers. Each unit comes packaged with the latest state of the art components, making the Econoplate H Series one of the most efficient and reliable system on the market today.

The units are compact enough to fit in a kitchen or small cupboard and will deliver comfortable heating and water temperatures at maximum efficiency. Each unit is simple to install there are not multiple gas supplies or unsightly flue terminals, hence flue pluming is eliminated.

Due to the fact that no cylinder space is required, usable space within the dwelling is dramatically increased. As the boiler plant is located within a central boiler house, it is so much easier to incorporate renewable energy and other high efficiency technologies, such as solar thermal, biomass, heat pumps and CHP. The central boiler location also reduces maintenance costs, and eradicates the need for multiple gas safety certificates. Meter reading and energy billing can be carried out locally at the interface units, or remotely at a central location – ideal for councils or those with a large portfolio of buildings.

Econoplate H Series plate heat exchanger interface –

Compare Stokvis boilers, heat exchangers and on


TROX’s new X-CUBE air handling units

July 15, 2013 by

We are seeing more and more manufacturers make use of video to promote your products. In the Building Services market, you might think that video wouldn’t be the ideal medium for air conditioning and ventilation products, but a video gives you an ideal summary of a product’s features, especially for something new to the market.

With the X-CUBE compact TROX has now created a ready-to-operate and pre-configured air handling unit that combines the excellent features of the X-CUBE in the smallest of spaces. These units handle volume flow rates of 600 to 6,000 m³/h and offer a heat recovery efficiency of over 80 % (dry, to EN 308), hence they are the ideal solution for small and midrange applications.
TROX offers nine different X-CUBE compact units with a choice of two different heat recovery systems.

Find more cooling, air conditioning and ventilation products from TROX on Building Services.

A field guide to air conditioning units

May 17, 2012 by

Via Urban Omnibus, I found an interesting sideways look at air conditioning units.

It’s almost that time of year again, when respite from our hot and humid summers comes in the form of an ugly box we tend to stick out our windows. Despite its prevalence in the urban landscape — messing with the visual coherence of apartment building facades, introducing a variety of chemical refrigerants into the environment, or contributing to otherwise unsustainable cooling practices with excessive demands on water and energy — air conditioning is not an aspect of urbanism whose implications we often consider.

What follows is Alison Carafa’s fresh and cheerful journey through some of the unintended uses for and consequences of this unloved but, for many, indispensable addition to urban facades. It’s an interesting look at what is not typically seen as an inspiring or creative piece of technology: AC art/screen graffiti and bird hotels are two of the more unusual topics covered.

-read the full article on Urban Omnibus
compare Air Conditioning products on

This year in heat pumps

February 28, 2012 by

What’s happening this year in the world of heat pumps? Their use in commercial and domestic buildings is a key way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Their importance in modern building services design is evident in the number of industry events that focus on heat pump technology this year.

Heat pumps move heat energy from a lower temperature heat source to a higher temperature heat sink. One of the aims of heat pump design is to maximise the Coefficient of Performance, i.e. the ratio between the heat energy delivered to the building and the energy needed to drive the system.


The ACR Show 2012, 13-15 March at the NEC in Birmingham will see Panasonic exhibiting innovations in product development for heat pumps, while companies such as Emerson Climate Technologies and Testo will be showing associated products such as valves and manifolds .

Seminars in the Technology Theatre include:

  • Heat pump system design
  • Heat pump technology: overview and opportunities
  • Upskilling for the Growing Heat Pump Market

ecobuild (20-22nd March, Excel London) will have numerous exhibitors showing heat pumps. Exhibitors include Danfoss and the Ground Source Heat Pump Association.

The Practical Installer Attraction is designed to help installers take advantage of the growing demand for micro-renewable technologies through a series of daily live demonstrations, including, new for 2012 – retrofitting heat pumps.

The Renewable Heat Focus is another of ecobuild’s Attractions that illustrates the practical and financial benefits of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to the marketplace, including such ground and air source heat pumps.


While ecobuild’s broad scope covers the entire building, HEVAR (22–24 May 2012 at the NEC)  will have several seminars specifically aimed at BS Engineers.


BSRIA are running a course on Heat pump design & integration in July. Again, the need to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings is driving the development and use of heat pump technology, but BSRIA also cites higher energy costs as another factor in their rising popularity.

Building services designers can learn how to:

  • select the most appropriate of the many heat pump options for any given project
  • design a system that optimises performance and energy use
  • perform calculations involving heat pumps
  • integrate heat pumps with other building services systems

BSRIA also offers Thermal performance, safety and acoustic testing of heat pumps and other devices such as air conditioners, fan coils, liquid chilling packages and cooling products.

  • Air to air / air conditioners splits and multi-splits
  • Air to water
  • Water / brine to water / ground-source heat pumps
  • Air cooled condensing units
  • Water to air
  • Domestic, commercial, and swimming pool water heaters


The Chillventa show in Nuremberg, Germany on 9–11 October 2012 will have an entire hall dedicated to heat pumps.

Chillventa is the most important refrigeration exhibition and presents an extensive range of systems, components and applications. It is also a decisive forum for product and system development in the air conditioning, heat pump and ventilation segments.

The previous edition of the show saw positive feedback from both the exhibitors and visitors. The international sector had been recovering after some difficult months and this was noticeable at the 2010 exhibition.

Last year’s European Heat Pump Summit, run in conjunction with Chillventa, made more positive forecasts for the use of heat pumps until 2050.  Next run in 2013, this symposium covers broad issues, ranging from the technical to the economic and political:

  • Overview about the current developments in HP technology and application
  • Importance of HPs for a sustainable future
  • Status and Outlook European Heat Pump markets
  • Implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive in the European Countries

Specification tools

If you are sourcing a heat pump, there are several products profiled on, including ground source, air source and air-water systems.

Refrigerants: evolution and revolutions

February 28, 2012 by

Greenhouse gas cuts of 80–95% by 2050 are still on the cards in Europe. For legislators, cooling system manufacturers, facilities managers, and engineers working in industry, commerce and building services, this means agreeing on an approach to refrigerant use that is realistic as well as creative.

In September 2011, the European Commission published a draft report on the EU F gas Regulation as part of a public consultation, the context of which is the overall objective to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80–95% by 2050.

Fluorinated gases, or ‘F gases’, are powerful greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming if released into the atmosphere.

Amongst them, the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used as refrigerants in air conditioning and commercial refrigeration systems are the most common type.

Read the rest of this entry »

Efficient, innovative domestic boiler technologies

January 23, 2012 by

In recent years, the drive to reduce global carbon emissions has filtered right down to the design of heating products. Innovation and efficiencies in the field of these appliances provide designers and engineers with more options to reduce the carbon footprint of the building projects they are involved in.

Clients on residential builds or extensions can be very environmentally aware, and may request such efficient or sustainable technologies. And housebuilders are governed by the amendments to Part L of the Building Regulations regarding the minimum requirements for the energy efficiency of homes.

Click on the images to find more information and contact details on

Fleet boilers by Hamworthy
The Fleet model was designed from the ground up for efficiency: it delivers condensing performance up to 109% nett efficiency.

The Fleet boiler range is packed full of energy saving features and environmental credentials are excellent with NOx levels achieving European Class 5, below the threshold for BREEAM specifications.

EcoStar Hybrid boiler by MHG
Designed by MHG and nominated for an H&V Best new product award in 2010, the Ecostar Hybrid, offers a compact, turnkey system technology appliance consisting of an oil-condensing boiler, an air/water heat pump and system control in one appliance.

In operation, the EcoStar Hybrid’s intelligent system control always selects the most economical energy source or energy mix with the highest share of renewable energies.

B100 Bio-Fuel R Series by Atlantic 2000
The B100 Bio-Fuel R Series condensing boilers is a year-round condensing boiler that runs at all-return temperature. It operates at between 92 and 99% GCV efficiency, and can provide higher efficiency than other boilers at maximum mid-winter load.

The ability to use bio-fuel means that this boiler can be incorporated into sustainable designs where a source of rape seed oil is available.

The boiler will condense to its maximum efficiency even at 82°C flow and 71°C return. For combustion air, at inlet temperatures below 30°C, efficiencies always exceed 92%. These conditions apply throughout
the year in the UK.

Baxi Bioflo wood pellet fuelled biomass boiler
The Baxi Bioflo biomass boiler reduces fuel consumption and costs, and is simple to install and service.

Wood pellet fuelled, it can be used in sustainable carbon-neutral heating systems and is suitable for use in clean air zones. It is ideal for the living areas of new builds or refurbishments, especially in areas with no mains gas.

Browse more boilers on
Compare four domestic condensing boilers on

CIBSE 2011 Annual Lecture: Chris Wise

December 13, 2011 by

CIBSE Annual Lecture 2011: Wonder – Feel – That from CIBSE on Vimeo.

Via the CIBSE knowledge portal.

The 2011 Annual Lecture on 10 November was presented by Chris Wise who addressed the rhetorical question “I wonder what it would feel like if we did that?”

The Lecture was in three parts covering the role of the vital trace elements of Imagination, Empathy and Physicality in engineering design; a look at whether these ancient human traits help us to create great contemporary engineering or lead us into folly.

Chris used built and unbuilt examples ranging from the Millennium Bridge to the 2012 London Velodrome to illustrate his presentation.

It’s over an hour long, but it’s worth listening to Chris Wise, who is introduced as ‘a hero’ in engineering.

Go and put another jumper on: strategic steps to a low-carbon UK

September 23, 2011 by
Wool jumperHalfway I hope… by ingermaaike2, on Flickr

Let’s start with a quick question.

The UK is currently committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least what percentage by 2050, relative to 1990 levels?

[Answer at the bottom]

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has a section on its website relating to a low-carbon UK and the above commitment.

There’s a fascinating calculator tool that allows you to balance the UK’s energy demand with the energy supply and monitor the resultant greenhouse emissions.

It’s a bit like playing SimCity and other ‘strategic life-simulation computer games’.


Consider what the average temperature of homes should be.

DECC reports that the mean internal temperature of UK homes during the winter months was 17.5°C in 2007 compared to 16°C in 1990 and 12°C in 1970. Historically, the temperature people choose to heat their homes at has increased over the years.

You’re offered various choices ranging from letting this growth trend continue to 20°C by 2030 through to reducing average internal temperatures to 1990 levels.

The commentary is amusingly sobering. ‘Householders can experience today’s levels of thermal comfort whilst also reducing energy demand by wearing warmer clothing or by heating the house in a smarter way.’


Or how significantly should home insulation be improved.

This time your choices range from reducing leakiness by between 25 and 50%, with varying percentages of the existing housing stock being upgraded (floor insulation / cavity wall insulation / triple glazing) and all new houses being built to Energy Saving Trust or even PassivHaus standards.

The most stringent level would half the power required to maintain a given temperature, although this would be partially offset by a growing housing stock and any failure to reverse the trend towards warmer homes.


And it goes on to cover how we heat our homes and businesses, the efficiency of our lighting and appliances, how we travel and how goods are moved around.

And then it’s on the supply side. How many nuclear power stations should there be? Or carbon capture and storage power stations? How many wind turbines? How much of the agricultural land should be devoted to growing biofuels? Should the numbers of methane-producing livestock be reduced? Have you considered harvesting marine algae?

And what level of energy security do we need? What do we need in reserve if there’s a cold snap or an incoming pipeline is closed down?

It’s actually quite difficult to do.


There are also example pathways from experts and interested parties.

Everyone broadly agrees that demand needs to be reduced by around a third, which usually encompasses electrifying domestic transport, shifting up to 50% of freight off roads to electric railways, making planes more fuel efficient and building to PassivHaus standards.

It’s on the supply side that there are disagreements. Friends of the Earth achieves the 2050 target with no new nuclear or carbon capture and storage, and a heavy emphasis on onshore wind turbines, solar energy and geothermal electricity. Whilst the Energy Technologies Institute take a broader mix of supply sources, including 13 new nuclear power stations along with wind, wave and hydroelectric sources.

Have a look – it’s thought provoking.

[80%. Which is a lot.]

Related Links:

Thermal Insulation

Sandwich Panels

Solar Energy


Heat Pumps

Wind Turbines

Industrialised, Integrated and Intelligent Construction: I3CON

September 22, 2011 by

Industrialised, Integrated and Intelligent Construction (I3CON) is an industry-led, collaborative research project part-sponsored by the EU, involving 14 member states. The goal of the project is to develop innovations that will help deliver ultra high-performance buildings.

Pierre Bédat on Flickr

I3CON, which opened in 2006 and completes in September 2010, has involved large and small organisations, academic institutions and commercial firms from across Europe. With a total project cost exceeding 17 million euro, the hope is that the project will provide competitive advantages for designers, contractors and manufacturers.

The project aims to contribute to the creation of a sustainable European construction industry, by

delivering technologies for a smart building services system using distributed control systems with embedded sensors, wireless connections, ambient user interfaces and autonomous controllers.

The I3CON Handbook – a comprehensive document detailing performance measurement metrics, architectural concepts, services, processes, systems, modelling, demonstration and training – can be downloaded for free.

The project is certainly not lacking in ambition:

a new approach for industrialised production of building components with integrated services and intelligence will be created. These building components will be multifunctional, efficient, sustainable, reusable, interoperable and user friendly. The underlying new business model will shift current working practices from custom-designed and craft-made delivery to industrial production. … Ultra high-performance buildings will be delivered 50% faster and 25% cheaper, with lifecycle cost reductions >40% and savings in repair and maintenance in excess of 70%, together with enhanced comfort and security.

UK’s own BSRIA is involved in the project, and is hosting a ‘Community of interest‘ event on the 28th April at their HQ in Berkshire.

April Sanders on Flickr

Meanwhile, recognising the ever-increasing role of sustainability in building services engineering, CIBSE offers a Sustainability Toolkit via their online bookshop. They describe their Guide L: Sustainability as “one of the most important and far-reaching guides ever to be released by the Institution”.