Cheaper Water Heating for a Cornish Leisure Centre

Carn Brea, the largest community based leisure centre in Cornwall is benefitting from the installation of two new Hamworthy Dorchester gas fired condensing water heaters and a new Wessex ModuMax condensing modular boiler. In just six months the operational gas bill for the centre has fallen by 30 per cent, system reliability has resulted in less maintenance, again lowering the running costs, and the overall environmental performance of the centre has improved though reduced emissions.

Located between Camborne and Redruth, Carn Brea is run by a charitable trust and serves a strong local community. It is widely recognised as the most cost effective leisure centre in Cornwall and the South West. Recent priorities have included upgrading its extensive facilities, in addition to continuous improvement in overall performance.

The purchase of new Hamworthy water heating equipment formed part of a major refurbishment programme, which attracted funding from Cornwall Council, in addition to the trust’s investment.  

One of the first tasks was to install two Hamworthy Dorchester 95kW condensing fast recovery water heaters to replace a system dating back to the 1970s, improving the energy efficiency to produce hot water. Dorchester direct fired water heaters can be installed close to the point of use, reducing heat losses associated with distributing hot water around a large system, and the controls are self-contained including features such as a 7 day time clock with up to 3 operating periods per day.

The installation was carried out by Kier Facilities Services, and the two Dorchester water heaters each provide a continuous output of 1836 litres/hour with a 44°C temperature rise, and have a combined storage capacity of 920 litres of domestic hot water (DHW) for showers and general hygiene purposes.

In addition, the old, inefficient 2000kW gas fired boilers were replaced with a Wessex ModuMax 250/500c modular condensing boiler. The installation was completed with a factory assembled and tested Hamworthy manifold kit, a boiler sequencing cascade controller and a Chesil FTE floor standing twin pump pressurisation unit.

The boiler heating system is separated from the DHW, providing many seasonal efficiency benefits, and heats the main and learner swimming pools, the central heating and air handling units.  

Carn Brea Leisure Centre manager Alex Clifton said: “Our technical advisors GPJ Consulting of Redruth, picked Hamworthy equipment on the strength of the company’s excellent track record in leisure and the fact that it is a market leader. Evidence to date shows savings of £8,000 on our winter gas bill and a further £4,000 in summer.”

Hamworthy Heating has a comprehensive range of Dorchester direct fired storage water heaters. With over 40 models offering continuous outputs from 370 to 3241 litres/hour and storage capacities from 227 litres to 504 litres, making them suitable for all types of applications. These include uses where a conventional flue is impractical, or where the heater needs to be located close to the point of use. Multi tube and single tube ranges are offered along with a power flame range for higher load applications which can fire natural gas, LPG or oil. The most recent addition is the DR-FC Evo condensing water storage heater range, for high efficiency performance, which has outputs of up to 2333 litres per hour and fully modulating burner control to achieve seasonal efficiencies up to 107% nett.

For advice on making the right choice for your heating and hot water systems, talk to Hamworthy. Tel: 0845 450 2865, email, or visit

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