Edinburgh College

Combined Heat and Power

The Challenge

Reduce Edinburgh College carbon footprint and energy bills.

The Solution

Installation of 1 No.160Kwe CHP Unit, utilising heat from the CHP to pre-heat their hot water cylinders

The Benifits

A reliable system that generate site electricity and heat, helping the college reduce their carbon footprint. 

Project Summary

  • Turnkey design and installation of 160kWe Gas CHP unit from 2G
  • Sizing of unit to suit electrical load from Edinburgh College
  • Heat Generated from CHP linked into college Heating Circuits in order to minimise heat dump.
  • Design of Gas Pipe supply, ventilation and plumbing system
  • Integration into complex college electrical system.
  • Installation of 3 No. Viessman Vitoplex 990kW natural gas boilers

The Challenge

Working in partnership with Edinburgh College, Ameresco (a leading energy efficiency consultancy) identified that installing a CHP unit to generate their own electricity whilst also supplementing their heating requirements would not only provide significant carbon savings for the College, but also financial savings as well. We were approached as a specialist installer of CHP units, and worked closely alongside Ameresco to define the technical and operational integration of the CHP unit into the existing infrastructure.  

The biggest challenge of the project was that the plant room of the College was underneath their main building. Therefore getting a 7 tonne CHP unit into their plant room was not an easy task.  

The Solution

  • Plant room preparations
    • Finding the space for the generator involved us repositioning some the existing equipment.
  •  Logistics
    • Due to the position of the plant room and the awkward access too it, installing the CHP involved:
      • Craning the CHP unit to the doorway of the plant room.
      • Creating a platform on which to move the unit as the plant room floor was lower than the doorway.
      • Winching the CHP into position and finally removing the platform when the CHP was in place.
  • Installation
    • Water connections were made via plate to plate heat exchangers to separate the CHP hydraulic system from the college
    • Electrical connection was made into the local distribution board in the plant room. This then back feeds the whole of the rest of the college.
    • There were local power network issues which meant that a switch had to be fitted to prevent any back-feeding of the National Grid.
  • Flue Installation
    • The flue presented a challenge in that it needed to work through 4 concrete floors which were classrooms at each level.
    • Disruption to the staff and pupils had to be managed particularly as the install was requested during exam time as the college shuts down through the summer holidays.
  • Controls
    • The controls were implemented alongside another company who decided when water pumps were to be started or stopped and control of temperatures.
  • Project management
    • The processes of dealing with multiple stakeholders was significant.
    • Stakeholders included the College, Ameresco, the Facilities Management Company, Students & General Public.
    • The safe management of the site at all times was paramount to ensure a timely delivery and the safety of all parties involved.

The Benefits

Result was that the college have a reliable system which is set to maximise financial cost savings whilst at the same time reducing their carbon foot print.  The CHP unit used a system to measure power brought into the college to regulate the power output of the unit so that no excess was produced.  In addition, the system can be configured to run even if there is no heat demand.  In this circumstance, the heat is ejected to atmosphere in the same way that all cars loose their excess heat through their radiator.