Penrith Leisure Centre, Eden District Council (EDC)

Since installing a Remeha R-Gen 20/44kWe Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit at Penrith Leisure Centre, Eden District Council (EDC) has achieved total primary energy savings of around 35%, according to initial indications.

Previously the Centre had been heated by a turbine CHP, boilers and water heaters. However, due to oversizing, the CHP had failed to achieve the anticipated performance levels and savings benefits.

When the failing plant came to the end of its lifetime, EDC’s requirements were to implement a new high-efficiency renewable or low-carbon solution that would improve the Centre’s energy performance and reduce emissions. Increasing operational efficiency was a further consideration for GLL who manage the leisure complex.

Mechanical & Electrical engineers Thomas Armstrong recommended replacing the old plant with a new ultra-low NOx condensing CHP unit operating in conjunction with high efficiency condensing boilers.

CHP is effectively a super-efficient micro power station that generates heat and power in a single process at the point of use. Instead of rejecting the ‘waste’ heat to atmosphere like traditional power stations, the heat generated by CHP can be re-used to provide high grade heating and hot water.

Sites with year-round requirements for electricity and heat are well suited to using CHP. Swimming pools provide the perfect circumstances for this, making it a particularly effective solution for Penrith Leisure Centre which boast two pools.

Stephen Clarkson at Thomas Armstrong was familiar with Remeha’s R-Gen CHP range and its reputation for high performance at other leisure centres, supported by Remeha’s dedicated CHP team.

The design scoped by Thomas Armstrong identified a Remeha 20/44kW ultra-low NOx condensing CHP unit working in conjunction with three Remeha Gas 310 Eco Pro high-efficiency condensing boilers.

The R-Gen condensing CHP unit can achieve total gross efficiencies of up to 98.7%, meeting EDC’s requirement for optimum efficiency. As such, it is capable of reducing primary energy costs by around 30% compared with traditional heating plant and electricity supplied solely from the grid.

Accurate sizing of the CHP unit was critical to maximise the energy and carbon saving benefits. Remeha’s CHP team worked closely with Thomas Armstrong throughout the project.

“The Remeha team are extremely knowledgeable about CHP technology and have provided valuable advice and support at every stage,” said Stephen. “At the initial design stage and during the installation, they have been there to offer help and backup.”

The CHP system was commissioned by Remeha and has been operating non-stop ever since.

“The CHP installation went smoothly,” said Doug Huggon, Leisure & Community Services Manager at EDC. “We’re pleased to see that the CHP is running well, meeting our requirement for low carbon heat and power.”

The Remeha R-Gen CHP has been closely monitored by Remeha’s remote monitoring service. A Remeha CHP service plan is also in place which includes inspections at regular intervals – typically at 6,000 CHP operating hours for a 20kWe unit.

“The Remeha R-Gen CHP produces 44kW of heat per hour and it’s using it all, even in the summer months, at Penrith Leisure Centre,” Stephen continued. “It’s heating the constant temperature circuit, feeding radiators, fan convectors, air handling units, providing hot water for shower facilities and, of course, heating the two swimming pools.”

Initial reports from the Council indicate total primary energy savings in the region of 35% when comparing energy data from the second half of 2017 with the same period in 2018. Factor in the spark spread, and this will translate to considerable cost savings for the Council and GLL.

By implementing a service plan from the outset, Thomas Armstrong have peace of mind that their customer will benefit from problem-free CHP operation. It’s a strategy that is paying dividends all round.

Remeha’s CHP range spans 5.5kWe to 50kWe. For more information, visit: https://www.remeha.co.uk/products/chp