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Case HistoryLancaster University Logo

District Heating Optimisation and Feasibity Study Studies

“I look forward to continuing to work with The Green Consultancy, as we move to a low carbon future."

Jan Bastiaans, Energy Manager


The University

Lancaster University was established by Royal Charter in 1964 and has over 12,000 students on one of the safest campuses in the UK. It is rated either 6th or 7th in the three UK Good University Guides and was awarded the highest possible score in the UK government's 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework ratings.4_lancaster-air-opt600 - Peter Hawtin - peterh

The challenge

Lancaster University’s District Heating System (DHS) evolved and aged over fifty years and was not operating efficiently – as highlighted by a The Green Consultancy (TGC) Building Management System (BMS) Health Check. In addition, the university required feasibility studies into the extension of the DHS and the separation of generation and distribution.

Heating & Power plus Biomass boiler

The DHS comprises an Energy Centre with a gas Combined Heat and Power (CHP), biomass boiler, three gas boilers, heat store and a distribution system supplying space heating anddomestic hot water to thirty five buildings on the 120 acre campus.

Gas Boilers

The solution

TGC successfully tendered for the following project.

  • Forensic study to provide a firm foundation for all future decisions about the DHS. This involved a thorough survey of the system, comprehensive analysis of all relevant data and thermal/hydraulic modelling.
  • Feasibility study into the separation of DHS heat generation and distribution.
  • Feasibility study into extending the DHS to the Infolab 21 Building.

The results

Numerous opportunities were identified for improving the efficiency of the DHS involving improved insulation and changes to: BMS control, variable speed drives, pumping, valves and the geometry of hydraulic systems. The value of total potential cost saving will depend on the design of the many possible future projects.

DHS heat generation and distribution separation was recommended at a budget cost under £300,000 with an annual cost-saving in excess of £200,000.

Lancaster Infolab 21

The Infolab 21 Building DHS extension was recommended at a budget cost under £140,000 with an annual cost-saving of £28,000. It was also concluded that the system could be beneficially extended to other buildings on the campus to improve the utilisation of the plant and infrastructure.

In addition TGC advised against a project being considered to introduce differential pressure control which was deemed to result in unwanted operational inflexibility and substantial unnecessary cost.

The university now 4_lancaster-env-dept-opt225 - Peter Hawtin - peterhhas a sound basis on which to plan for the improvement and expansion of the DHS over the second fifty years of its life.

TGC looks forward to the opportunities of providing technical support to the resulting projects and ensuring their success.

The reaction

Jan Bastiaans"I have been consistently impressed by the level of skill, understanding and capabilities of The Green Consultancy. They have delivered a very insightful BMS health check, and subsequently a very thorough and robust set of proposals for our district heating system which helps make the system fit for the next 50 years. I look forward to continuing to work with The Green Consultancy, as we move to a low carbon future."
Jan Bastiaans, Energy Manager

Put us to the test NOW!  To discuss your requirements please call John Treble on 01761 419081 or email John@GreenConsultancy.com

John Treble

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