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Hybrid heaven for Derbyshire academy

When a secondary academy received funding to replace its ageing heating plant, ELCO Heating Solutions was on-hand to supply a new, highly sustainable hybrid system.

By combining two 48kW AEROTOP®M commercial heat pumps with two 120kW THISION®L ECO wall-mounted condensing gas boilers, staff and students are now benefitting from the latest heating and hot water technology.Plus, the project is contributing to a combined carbon saving of 134 tonnes per year.

The new equipment has replaced two coal-fired ‘Robin Hood’ boilers, which provided heating and hot water to the premises for many years. With poor efficiencies and the need to be stoked every morning, the academy required a new system that was going to be fit for the future and provide long-term sustainable heating and hot water production.

The first requirement of the project was to connect the building to the gas mains, allowing the new boilers to run efficiently when necessary. Once the connection was completed, the main contractors for the project – West-Midlands-based BSN Group – were responsible for the scope of works, including updating the heating system. James Robinson, Senior Contracts Manager at BSN turned to ELCO’s Area Sales Manager, Brett Stokes, to help plan the project and provide a technical submission for the integration of the new heat pumps and boilers.

Commenting on the project James Robinson said: “This was a fantastic job to work on and it’s been a pleasure to install a system that will make a dramatic impact to the day-to-day running costs of the academy. The new heat pumps and boilers provide the best of both worlds, delivering optimum efficiency and sustainability throughout the year, while the installation was incredibly simple. All the equipment integrated perfectly thanks to standardised connections, so we’ve been really pleased with the ELCO products and the outcome of the project.”

The main design for the heating system allows the commercial heat pumps to provide the bulk of the heating and hot water throughout the year for maximum efficiency, energy savings and minimal emissions. To ensure efficiencies do not suffer once outside temperatures fall below a pre-defined setpoint, the THISION®L ECO condensing gas boilers provide highly efficient and low emission back up.

Consultants for the project were Birmingham-based Jonathan Richard Associates. Commenting on the project objectives, Andrada Borcovici, Low Carbon Consultant for Surveyors to Education, said: “Following a successful Phase 1 Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme application, funding was received by the academy to undertake the fabric first roof insulation restoration works, and install a highly efficient and low carbon Air Source Heat Pump heating system. This forms part of the academy’s successful Low Carbon Skills Fund application and its long-term decarbonisation plan to make a contribution to reduce emissions as part of the Net Zero by 2050 challenge. The total fossil fuel carbon saving of the combined projects equates to 134 tonnes per year.

“We’ve specified ELCO on many projects in the past and knew their high-quality air source heat pumps would be ideal for this design.”

The new AEROTOP® M reversible heat pumps are available in outputs from 24kW to 48kW, and all models supplied with flow and return manifolds for arrangements of up to four heat pumps, while 16 units can be managed by a cascade controller. The AEROTOP® range also extends to ‘L’ models which can deliver outputs from 54kW to 88kW.

For more information on ELCO’s AEROTOP® heat pumps and full range of commercial boilers, please visit

For media information, please contact, 01376 561666

5 July 2022


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