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HPM November 2015

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com SPECIALREPORT Fuel and running costs condensed Although now increasing in popularity, there has been confusion and misunderstanding of condensing boilers. Ann Boardman, cusomer services and marketing manager for Saniflo UK, explains just why condensing boilers are the best kids on the boiler block for Britain’s housing stock... In terms of residential heating, the UK is, in many ways a paradigm case for the developed world. There is a relatively old building stock, with relatively slow and piecemeal refurbishment. Also, the climate is cool and temperate, so residential heating is a much more significant energy service than cooling. The energy supply infrastructure is well established with a very high penetration of natural gas. The result is that the residential sector is an important user of energy and the main end use sector for natural gas, the majority of which is for space and water heating in gas boilers. Long-term trends have seen rising household numbers and mean internal temperatures drive increased heating service demand, outstripping rises in energy efficiency in building fabric and heating systems. TREND REVERSAL From 2004-2012, the trend reversed with large, policy driven programmes of loft and cavity wall insulation and the 2005 building legislation stipulating that all boilers should be of condensing type that applies to new and replacement boilers. Many say that the stipulation for the switch to condensing boilers will help us meet the ambitious target of reduction in emissions by 80% by 2050, which is no easy feat given the high volume of old building stock and a very high penetration of natural gas as a heating fuel. Condensing boilers are highly efficient boilers that have much lower fuel and running costs than conventional boilers. They offer tangible benefits by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, thereby helping to combat global warming and improving household efficiency, thus reducing fuel bills. During the condensing process, steam is produced that is converted back to water droplets when cooled. In most installations, condensate can be removed through the normal gravity drain in conjunction with the boiler manufacturer’s instructions. However, if a boiler has to be installed on internal walls, or within basements, the use of a boiler condensate tank pump or soak away can be the only solution for the installer. This waste water, known as condensate, is acidic and must be disposed of through the property’s existing drainage system, or through a condensate soakaway. This presents a challenge when the drainage system is not immediately evident. If gravity can’t take condensed water away WWW.HPMMAG.COM Saniflo’s Sanicondens is a small pump that may be used to pump condensate from condensing boilers, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and water heater systems from the home, for example, when a boiler is placed in a basement or a long distance from the drainage system, a condensate pump can be used. This will also improve the interior aesthetics of the installation by avoiding the need for unsightly pipework. The principle behind condensate pumps is a simple and proven one, ensuring reliable and effective operation. Working in the opposite way to a water turbine – whereby energy from flowing water is transferred to a propeller – a condensate pump transfers energy from a powerful motor to the condensate water via a rotating impeller. This action creates the pressure needed to 44 NOVEMBER 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY pump condensate water up and away through an inobtrusive, thin clear tube, which is provided with the pump. Condensate water is then disposed of in a soil stack or outside drainage point. Condensate pumps usually run intermittently through the use of a small tank in which the condensate water accumulates. When it reaches a preset level, a float is raised to energise the pump. This then runs until the level of liquid in the tank is suitably lowered. Intermittent, rather than constant, operation ensures minimal energy usage to keep your costs as low as possible. enquiry number 119


HPM November 2015
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