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Helping schools transition to net zero

UK: Ciat UK, part of Carrier Global Corporation, is collaborating with consultants and distribution partners to help schools transition to low-carbon heating technologies as part of a planned, phased strategy. 

The project follows Carrier’s recent successful Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) projects for more than 60 schools in London, the Midlands and Yorkshire.

“Achieving net zero in a single bound is a challenge for schools and other end users, particularly for those who have recently installed new gas-fired boilers,” said James Hughes, commercial HVAC vertical market sales manager, Carrier and Ciat UK. 

“With many schools, the solution is to help them plan for a phased transition, with upgraded heating infrastructure put in place now, ready for the future switch from gas to heat pumps.”

The phased approach is successfully working at Kepier School in North East England, which installed seven new gas boilers three years ago. Ciat UK worked with project partners BReng Hull, consultant AA Projects, installer Quora Group and equipment supplier Cool Designs, to help develop a long-term decarbonisation plan for the school, with funding under the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF).

“The key is to upgrade heat emitting systems, so the move to low-carbon heat pumps can be made seamlessly when the time comes to replace end-of-life gas-boilers,” said BReng Hull MD Rob Smelt. “This ensures valuable capital is used to maximum effect, while moving towards net zero on a planned time track with future-ready infrastructure in place.”

One of the Ciat MajorLine over-door fan coils installed at Kepier School

Following a heating audit at the school new high-level Ciat fan coils were mounted within ceilings and on surfaces, allowing the equipment to be installed while the school continued to operate with the existing heating system still using the gas boilers.

The project included removal of conventional radiators and replacement with 31 Ciat Coadis and seven MajorLine FCUs.

“The new units were selected based on the outputs achievable with lower water temperatures,” said Rob Smelt. “This allows the school to undertake decarbonisation in two stages. The new boilers operate at lower temperatures in full condensing mode, saving energy, reducing running costs and cutting carbon emissions. When the boilers are replaced with high efficiency air-source Ciat heat pumps, the correctly sized heat emitters are already in place to enable a seamless transition, delivering immediate savings and spreading investment costs.”

Step one in the decarbonisation process is now said to be delivering significant energy savings for the school. The savings have been enhanced due to the high 80ºC water before the new heat emitters were installed. The new system has reduced the water temperature to 50ºC, yielding a 30ºC reduction in the heating uplift required, and saving 70kW of energy every day during the heating season. This equates to an annual energy saving of 9,800kWhr of gas, and a reduction in carbon emissions of 1,800kg CO2.

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