Andrews’ largest solar thermal water heating system for new travelodge in Fulham

In Andrews Water Heaters’ largest SOLARflo water heating installation to date, the newly opened Travelodge in Fulham has been equipped with 33 solar panels, 3 single coil pre-heat tanks and 2 ECOflo water heaters which supply domestic hot water to the 74 rooms, each of which has an en suite bath or shower room. Developed by Lombard Asset Management (Bahamas) Limited, the four storey building accommodates ground floor retail accommodation with the Travelodge located on three floors above. Renewable energy was a requirement of planning consent which would not have been granted without a contribution of 37,000 kWh of energy produced from a solar DHW system. Since at least 85-90% of the hotel’s rooms have been occupied every night since it opened, an efficient, reliable and cost effective source of hot water was essential.

The solar panels are located on the roof, whilst the water heaters, cylinders and other solar equipment are housed in a mezzanine plant room above the retail store on the ground floor. Each of the 33 glazed flat plate collectors has an area of 2.55 square metres, giving a total collector area of 84.15 square metres.

These solar collectors provide 90.8% transmission efficiency, 95% absorption efficiency and a low emission loss of only 5%. Water is preheated by the solar collectors, which are positioned to optimise their solar gain and heat is transferred to the three 1250 litre single coil cylinders. These in turn supply preheated water to the two ECOflo 380/1400 water heaters, thereby considerably reducing consumption of natural gas. The high efficiency, gas-fired, condensing storage water heaters installed each have a capacity of 380 litres and a recovery rate through 50oC of 1400 litres per hour.

The SOLARflo water heating package and ECOflo water heaters were installed by MITIE Engineering Limited who selected the SOLARflo and ECOflo equipment to meet both end user requirements and space availability in the plant room. In addition to the glazed flat plate solar collectors and non-corrosive, stainless steel solar cylinders the complete SOLARflo package also includes solar controls, pump station, expansion vessels, first fill of heat transfer fluid and collector mounting accessories. Matched equipment from a single source, together with the availability of technical advice throughout the installation, is a particular benefit of the Andrews Water Heaters’ product range and after sales service.

The ECOflo high efficiency water heaters feature a low NOx pre-mix power burner that is quiet in operation, and a gross efficiency up to 98%, keeping running costs to a minimum. The units incorporate Vitraglas® silica glass lined tanks which provides protection against the corrosive effect of hot water and guarantees a longer working life. Also standard are Correx maintenance free powered anodes, which substantially reduce service time and costs.

The factory fitted Hydrojet® sediment reduction system on the cold inlet connection helps to prevent sediment build-up at the base of the tank, giving a long working life. The option for these appliances to be flued either vertically or horizontally as room sealed balanced flue appliances greatly increases siting and installation flexibility. As with all Andrews water heaters, heat input and flow are carefully regulated to produce a closely controlled water temperature and a high temperature anti-legionella program, which is essential for hotel hot water installations, is incorporated as standard.

Travelodge was the first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985 and is now the fastest growing budget hotel chain in the country, operating 383 hotels, with over 27,000 rooms, in the UK, Ireland and Spain. In addition, over 20 new hotels are planned this year, including Travelodge Fulham which is now open for business. By the time of the 2012 Olympics, Travelodge aims to be the biggest hotel operator in London.

Andrews Water Heaters is part of Baxi Commercial Division which includes Potterton Commercial, suppliers of a wide range of gas, oil-fired and dual fuel commercial boilers featuring the latest heating technology for energy efficient operation. The breadth of commercial heating available from this single source is a benefit which is appreciated by both designers and installers due to readily available design advice and technical assistance during installation.

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