064 HPM 1115

HPM November 2015

BOILERS:LIGHTCOMMERCIAL Making light of larger domestic installations Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support at Worcester, Bosch Group, explains why installers shouldn’t forget the valuable role boilers categorised as light commercial can still play... With such a high percentage of the UK’s housing stock connected to mains gas, many heating engineers would be forgiven for focusing their attentions on the domestic work available. Demand for boiler installation and maintenance in the UK is particularly high when you compare it to other countries across the continent, largely because of the sheer number of properties relying on mains gas as their main source of heating and hot water. Some 85% of properties are connected to the gas network, and with this brings ample opportunity for installers to fit, service, and repair gas appliances. While the average house might be perfectly suited to a 25kW or 30kW combi boiler, there are also some quite large domestic households, many of them not particularly efficient, or even listed, as they are quite aged and, therefore, require a higher output boiler. LARGE AND IN CHARGE When people think of a commercial heating system, images of huge buildings such as schools, leisure centres and hospitals often spring to mind, but the reality is there are a number of larger domestic properties that may require this kind of technology and installation best practice usually associated with the commercial side of the market. The definition of the term ‘light commercial’ is open to debate but extra qualifications are required for installations with an output over 70kW. These higher outputs are often those required to supply heating and hot water for large domestic properties, bed and breakfast hotels, nursing homes and smaller schools. It is with this growing demand in mind that we launched our 50kW GB162 boiler earlier this year. The idea was that it would give domestic installers access to a boiler which bridges the gap between domestic and commercial products, making it perfectly-suited to those larger properties with multiple bathrooms, for example. Worcester’s GB162 has been designed with these needs in mind, as it provides the power and performance of a commercial boiler, in a compact, versatile and easy to install package, either individually if large enough or grouped together in a cascade installation if not. The beauty of a cascade arrangement is its ability to automatically modulate its output down to 30% or less in order to precisely match the demand for heat, maximising efficiency and keeping wear and tear to internal components to a minimum. Opening up to the light commercial sector is a pretty safe investment for installers. It may be that there is no need to look elsewhere for business right now, but there have been times in recent years when the domestic boiler market has contracted and opportunities for installation work have been scarcer as a result. Installers with the correct qualifications to handle larger installation projects often possess that competitive edge. Now, installers don’t need to turn away work because it’s impossible for them to complete the task; they can recommend using a boiler with greater output and equally high efficiency qualities. Light commercial is a particularly good route for installers with a passion for engineering system design as working on larger projects almost certainly brings new challenges and rewards. We regularly run training courses of installers keen to branch out into light commercial work. Domestic installers are required to hold the relevant ACS qualifications required to work as professional heating and plumbing engineers and install boilers rated up to 70kW. Additional qualifications are required for installations with an output above this figure, which then frees Worcester’s 50kW GB162 boiler provides the power and performance of a commercial boiler up the potential for a wide range of commercial projects. For larger homes and light commercial applications, the commercial core element of ACS (COCN1) is required, together with the boiler element (CIGA1). We generally recommend that if the boiler you are working with does not exceed the 70kW input rating and the manufacturer’s literature specifies typical domestic standards such as BS5440, then the domestic ACS will apply. Otherwise if the boiler’s input is 70kW or over and the manufacturer’s literature specifies typical commercial standards, such as BS6644, then the commercial ACS is required. Up to now, the training and qualifications required to branch out into commercial work may have deterred installers from doing so. Over the longer-term, however, with growing demand for larger systems from homeowners and an increased number of greater output high efficiency boilers to choose from, installers can really take advantage of the light commercial sector. 64 NOVEMBER 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com enquiry number 148


HPM November 2015
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